Tips to pick an inspiring blend of color, texture, and furnishings
Employers are looking for ways to create flexible office spaces that encourage productivity, foster social connections, and provide much-needed respite from the daily grind. Studies show that employees are happier, engaged, and more productive when given a variety of work spaces. However, one area that’s often overlooked is the employee lounge.
“Employee costs are the largest expense for any company, so making staff comfortable benefits the bottom line,” says Rick D’Amato, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, a principal at LPA Inc. User surveys conducted at LPA support the need and desire for variety, flexibility, and comfort when it comes to office design. When creating an employee lounge, it’s important to inspire movement and differentiation from work zones.
To increase employee engagement and wellbeing, businesses are using a modern blend of color, furnishings, and amenities to transform traditional break rooms into lounge areas that truly inspire.
Avoiding white walls: Why color matters
Color can be used to enhance the aesthetics of your employee lounge. Some organizations choose to use its signature color as an accent throughout the office. As you review your color options, consider the mood each color inspires. Your choice can reenergize workers, evoke calm, and elicit a variety of emotions, for example:
- Earth tones – warmth, comfort
- Yellows – bright, cheerful
- Reds and oranges – active, energetic
- Blues and purples – tranquil, calm
Choose your colors wisely. A University of Texas study found that low-screeners can be affected by the color “noise” of their surroundings while high-screeners can block it out. Whites and grays are considered poor choices since they lack energy. In particular, gray can lead to declining confidence levels and even depression.
Provide comfortable VIP seating
Your employee lounge should include a mix of seating including comfortable lounge furniture, standing-height tables and stools, and even booths. It is important to provide flexible options that encourage movement and allow choice among postures and conversation style. Soft, comfortable furniture helps employees relieve stress and relax. Whether your space takes on the form of a coffee shop, cove, or nook, the employee lounge also “sets the stage for interactions that build trust, encourage a sense of belonging, and invite fun.”
How to design a welcome destination
To get the maximum return on your investment, you’ll want to design more than just a pit stop. Your employee lounge should be an inviting, welcoming destination where employees can go to relax, recharge, and connect with coworkers. Besides color and furniture, here are some key elements you can use:
- Provide balance with materials. Earthy, natural materials help bring us closer to the outdoor world and make a positive impact on mood. Designers also suggest using thicker materials like felt to separate work, quiet, and communal spaces.
- Please the senses. Don’t just focus on the visual. While paint color, light, and natural scenes can activate a space, you can increase comfort by incorporating soft, plush textures.
- Offer additional perks. You can further energize your space by offering refreshments including coffee and healthy food options. Other ideas include device recharging stations and games.
Inspire and support employees to do their best every day
A well-designed employee lounge is an essential part of your workplace. Employees who have a variety of spaces in which to work are happier and more engaged. To make your lounge a welcoming destination, give employees comfortable seating, paint colors that calm and inspire, and other amenities that help them relax and improve wellbeing. Asure Software’s Workspace Management solutions can help your organization measure the utilization of your current employee lounge(s) and improve on your design.