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How to design a breakout space

Some of the best ideas and innovations are born away from the office desk.

A breakout space can serve a multitude of purposes; the concept of a good breakout space has evolved to offer much more than just some soft seating in the corner of the office. Creating a social space for staff offers a relaxed and inspiring area for them to connect with colleagues away from the distractions of sitting in front of a computer screen.

Comfortable break out space/ privacy booth

In most companies, these crucial but under-used spaces account for up to 30% of the total workspace. But used well, they can increase productivity, generate ideas and encourage engagement.

When designing a breakout space, the first thing to consider is what you want to get from your space. How will it be used? And by how many people? A break out space can come in a variety of formats, whether that be an impromptu meeting space to talk through an idea or somewhere to escape and focus, get some quiet time and rejuvenate.

Increasingly, businesses today are choosing to create a WorkCafe; a dynamic space that connects people with their colleagues, their work and their organisation. A WorkCafe can transform a traditional corporate cafeteria into a destination for connection, collaboration, focus and innovation.

5-step process to design the best possible space for your business

  • Maximising real estate – Aside from the staff you employ, real estate is the most expensive cost to your business. A breakout space can take any size – it is about what the space sets out to do and whether the design you decide upon achieves that overriding goal.
  • Collaboration and privacy – A breakout space can be a place for staff to have a screen break and relax, or share ideas and hold informal meetings. In the case of the latter, there are products that cater for equal collaboration in a meeting environment with multiple laptop ports.


  • Well-being – The UK Statistics Authority reports that stress cost the economy more than £2.4billion last year, so well-being in the workplace in no longer just “nice to have”. Your people are your biggest asset, so your office design must support a culture of belonging, placing your staff at the centre. Read more about managing workplace stress.


  • Attract & retain staff – Whilst keeping your current staff at the centre of your design plans, it is also important to use your break out space to attract new talent. Your office space stays a lot about you – it should make people feel excited at the prospect of coming to work for you.


  • Brand – Just as with the rest of your office, a break-out space must reflect both your brand colours and brand values. Your breakout space will speak volumes about you and your business, so the design you decide on must communicate what you want to be saying to the outside world.

So, what kind of furniture can you choose from? As experts in office design, we can help you whether you are looking for traditional breakout chairs or want to go a bit Google.

Here are a few of our favourite furniture pieces:

  • Create a B – Free Lounge with brightly coloured seating. With a range of cube seating, armchairs, high stools and seating in colours ranging from dark grey and blue to green and orange you can even reflect the company’s corporate colours.


  • To create an important first impression and show off a break out space, try our Statement Chairs upholstered in striking fabric.
  • Give your staff a Hug. Our Hug 6 seater work booth is an informal way for staff or small teams to get together. It can also offer privacy for those looking to get away from the distractions of an open plan office. It comes in a range of distinctive fabric colours.


  • Together removes the need for walls in an office by bringing in-private meetings out into the work place. With its high rise back rest and media capabilities, Together naturally creates acoustic comfort and allows for real creative collaboration.
  • For some really fun and flexible seating, it is hard to beat the Crescent Chair. In colours ranging from bright pink to yellow, these chairs, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, can be reconfigured in numerous ways and come with folding headrests.


At Penketh Group, we know that today’s worker is increasingly mobile and can work from a coffee shop or home as well as an office desk. But leaving the office separates staff from co-workers, the business culture and management.

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