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Hybrid work
Facility management

Lounge area in the office: what makes it a rising trend to focus on


May 7, 2024


May 7, 2024

The demand for space for collaboration, including office lounge areas, doubled between 2021 and 2024. If you want to stay ahead of corporate design trends, the increasing interest in workplace lounges is one of them. The future of the office layout is diverse, dynamic, collaborative, and people-centric. This means providing your team members with just a desk and a chair is no longer enough. This is where we find misalignment between companies and their employees that makes them reject the idea of returning to the office daily. Do you feel that nobody uses lounge areas in the office, and they are just a waste of space and money? In some cases, they are. But, this is often because they are not designed to meet employees’ expectations, boost their workplace experience, and enhance their productivity and well-being. In this article, you learn more about the different purposes of an office lounge, its positive effects on your workforce, and the design rules to follow to create a welcoming and engaging lounge in your workspace.

The purpose of an office lounge area quickly explained

A space to relax and reset

Taking breaks regularly is essential to remain productive throughout the day, but employees need places to take those breaks. One of the main purposes of an office lounge area is to provide a space for staff to relax, switch off, and reset during their workday.

In office lounges, they can close their eyes for a few minutes with headphones on, read a bit to relax after a stressful meeting, or have a little chat with colleagues before heading back to their tasks. These moments of rest enhance overall work performance.

Coming up, we will explain how to create an office lounge area that fosters relaxation. 

A modern area for informal meetings

This more laid-back area of your workplace can also be used for more informal team gatherings. Conducting team meetings in an office lounge fosters a relaxed atmosphere that can encourage open communication and creative thinking. The casual setting reduces hierarchy, making everyone feel more comfortable and willing to share innovative ideas.

Moreover, your office lounge can also be the place where HR and team managers conduct job interviews with potential candidates. In this context, it helps you set the tone about your corporate culture and the workplace’s vibe. Hosting discussions in a lounge subtly communicates the company’s emphasis on a collaborative and relaxed work environment. 

Eventually, it makes a lasting impression on visitors about the workplace vibe and the value you place on employee well-being and a harmonious organizational culture.

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Female colleagues in office lounge
Female colleagues in office lounge

A place to gather for brainstorming sessions

Who said the best ideas happen sitting in a desk chair at a long conference table? Although meeting rooms are usually where brainstorming sessions happen, gathering in the office lounge is becoming more popular.

Carrying on brainstorming sessions in an informal setting like an office lounge can break down barriers, encouraging more open and spontaneous idea sharing. The comfort and casualness of the lounge diminish the pressure often felt in official meeting rooms, thus boosting creative thoughts. Moreover, a non-traditional space can inspire employees to think outside of the box and re-energize their collaborative efforts.

5 reasons to have a lounge area in the office

1. It boosts collaboration and social interactions among your workforce

Office lounge areas become pivotal in enhancing collaboration and fostering social interactions among hybrid employees. By stepping away from the norm and isolation of individual desks and conventional meeting rooms, these collective spaces offer a comfortable environment that encourages your staff to come together informally. 

This setup promotes spontaneous communication, the exchange of ideas, and team bonding. Not only does it break down hierarchical and interdepartmental barriers, but it also contributes to deeper interpersonal relationships. As colleagues converse over a cup of coffee or brainstorm on a couch, a sense of community is built, strengthening the fabric of the organization’s culture.

2. It increases employee satisfaction and makes the office more attractive

While RTO mandates are on the rise, many companies are facing employee return-to-office backlash. The reasons why workers reject the idea of going back to the office on a daily basis are diverse. Yet, an unattractive physical workplace layout can be one of them. People got used to working from home in a comfy environment with a cozy chair and a coffee machine nearby (with good coffee! ☕). Rethinking your entire office arrangement and design can deeply influence their motivation to return on-site more often. Creating a welcoming and well-thought-out office lounge area is your opportunity to give your workplace a homely feeling, which can also spark motivation. 

3. It aligns with the new office’s role and the need for more agile workspaces

Office lounges provide an extra workspace option for your employees. Your office layout should also include zones where workers can talk, exchange, and relax. The office’s role has changed over the last couple of years with the rise of flexible work arrangements. People no longer come on-site only to get their jobs done but mostly to work collectively, bond with their colleagues, and experience a sense of belonging in the workplace.

Moreover, lounge areas are not only utilized for time to chill but also as non-traditional office spaces. As the 2023 WeWork Global Office Trends Report reveals, companies are slowly giving more space to lounge areas. Before COVID-19, lounges represented 12% of the workspace. In 2023, this shifted to 19.3%.

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Woman relaxing in office lounge
Woman relaxing in office lounge

4. An office lounge area enhances employee performance and productivity

Office lounge areas offer an alternative to the structure of formal workspaces. These areas allow mental breaks, reducing stress and fatigue through a change of setup that helps to reset cognitively and physically by walking from one space to another. The opportunity for relaxed, spontaneous interactions can also boost motivation and spark innovation. 

By designing lounges with comfortable seating and creating a casual atmosphere, you enable employees to unwind. This can lead to increased levels of concentration and energy when returning to their initial tasks. In essence, these zones are key to maintaining a balance between effective work and moments of pause that benefit your team members’ well-being and productivity.

5. It demonstrates your modern and people-centric approach to work

All tasks don’t have to be done from a single desk. Great work and ideas can flourish in fewer formal workspaces. The most important thing is to provide a comfortable and inspiring work environment that answers your employees’ needs. 

What’s the difference if they work from a chair or a sofa? What matters is that they get the work done, are full of great ideas, and are happy with their work life. Moreover, the importance of focusing on employee well-being is rising across all industries worldwide. Providing them with a place to pause and relax for a few minutes is definitely a way to support this key aspect.

5 tips to design a welcoming, inspiring, and practical workplace lounge

1. Prioritize functionality and optimize your space

Not all companies have the space to set up one or several lounges. If your office is small, optimization and functionality are your best allies. Yet, regardless of the square footage available, creating a useful lounge area hinges on its practicality and space optimization.

It’s essential to design your office lounge with comfort and accessibility in mind. Thoughtful placement of furniture and the right balance of seating and surfaces enable your lounge users to relax, converse, and enjoy this environment fully.

The key is to provide enough room for social interaction without overcrowding, select versatile furnishings that serve multiple purposes, and ensure there is a natural flow. By prioritizing practicality alongside style, a lounge area can become an inviting hub that maximizes your office space.

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2. Make your lounge area attractive

Workplace lounges often remain unused. They are a part of the building that people pass by without noticing it or feeling attracted to it. But when designed correctly, this space can become one of the most important areas of your office. It serves as the heart of the workplace, providing a space where employees can decompress, collaborate informally, or find inspiration away from their desks.

To do so, you need to pick comfortable and ergonomic furniture, create the right atmosphere, and provide useful amenities for your employees and guests. For example, you can place some inspiring books on the tables so your staff can read and rest their eyes a bit instead of scrolling their phones. You can also offer a few card and board games to foster team bonding and help them switch off for a few minutes. 

3. Choose your office lounge furniture meticulously 

Which vibe do you want to create? Design is great, but don’t forget comfort. The initial purpose of this space is to relax and switch the brain off for a few minutes. There are three key aspects you should keep in mind when you choose your office lounge furniture: comfort, productivity, and aesthetic appeal.

Factors to consider include ergonomic design for prolonged comfort, robust materials for durability, and versatility for various seating arrangements. For instance, ergonomic chairs support proper posture, a modular sofa system can be reconfigured for different team activities, and height-adjustable tables cater to the diverse needs of employees.

A thoughtful selection of these elements ensures a functional and inviting lounge area that enhances the daily office experience.

4. Take time to pick the right colors and design for your lounge area

Selecting the right colors and design style for an office lounge is crucial as they profoundly impact employee mental health, mood, and performance. Color psychology suggests that hues like blue and green promote calmness and efficiency, while pops of yellow or red can invigorate creativity and energy.

Moreover, integrating a biophilic design, which incorporates natural elements like plants, natural light, and organic textures, reduces stress and enhances well-being. It can have real effects on your team members’ concentration and productivity.

Therefore, a well-designed office lounge with a harmonious color palette and elements of nature can positively influence the cognitive and emotional states of your staff.

🌿Learn more about the benefits of biophilic office design!

Colleagues socializing in office lounge
Colleagues socializing in office lounge

5. Involve your employees in the process

We would rather say it too often than not enough: involving your employees in the process and collecting genuine feedback about their needs is crucial. 

They will be the ones using this space the most, and they know how to make this area of your office useful and appealing. Plus, this inclusive approach fosters a sense of ownership and appreciation among the staff as they contribute ideas that reflect their expectations regarding comfort and functionality. 

By taking into account their feedback, the finished lounge is more likely to enhance their daily experience, boost morale, and increase job satisfaction. So, before deciding on anything, take the time to discuss with them what they would like to see and have in this space.

We hope you no longer see the lounge area in the office as just a space for team members to take a brief break from their desks. It is a multifaceted environment that serves to recharge, socialize, provide a relaxed work setting, and facilitate informal collaboration. Designing this space thoughtfully – by focusing on functionality, aesthetics, and employee-centricity – can transform it into the heart of the workplace and become another workspace option, boosting both well-being and productivity. Creating an inviting, well-planned lounge, therefore, is an investment in the human capital of your company and shows your commitment to fostering a supportive and innovative work culture. 

Do you think it’s time to rethink your office space and design a more future-proof and people-focused setup? Thanks to our user-centric and innovative features, we support all businesses in optimizing, managing, and creating the best office environment for their employees. Request a free demo of the deskbird app to discover how we can also support you!

Lounge area in the office: what makes it a rising trend to focus on

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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