The Modern Lounge & Workplace Wellbeing

How often do you break away from your desk? While the open office remains a topic of debate in the workplace, lounge spaces - areas that allow people to move away from the traditional workstation, relax, stretch out and meet with colleagues - are a desired destination for many organizations regardless of the layout. 

In this design news aggregate, we explore the significance of the lounge and discuss different ways the lounge can take shape in the modern workplace. 

Perspectives On The Lounge 

The focus on lounge design is becoming about more than just creating a space away from the desk and shifting to the importance of common areas that support wellbeing.

Allwork.Space, sharing Cornell University thesis research from Cerise Marcela (“Impact of Workplace Design on Sedentary Lifestyles”) noted the finding: “visibility (of communal areas) plays a primary role in determining sedentary behavior. Individuals seated in areas with lower visibility to the community spaces were more likely to spend more hours sitting.” To promote movement, Allwork.Space suggests combining community areas, like a kitchen or café, with interconnecting stairs to create a “center of gravity” that encourages people to join. 

Meanwhile, Work Design Magazine recommends ensuring that “areas with natural light are designed for communal use, rather than sectioned off for leadership or client-facing purposes.” Other ideas include placing common seating near windows and having natural, biophilic elements throughout the office to enhance mental and physical wellbeing.  

Lounge spaces are no longer considered an added perk, but an essential opportunity to support a healthier lifestyle. The conversation surrounding the design of more informal, casual spaces indicates the need for lounge environments that promote wellness in daily work experiences. 

The Lounge In 2019

More than ever, designers are pushing the boundaries of what a lounge space can look like in the modern workplace. 

The New York Times discusses the trend of office terraces and rooftops equipped with Wi-Fi and electrical outlets. Outdoor settings are natural extensions of great workplaces – whether for socializing, personal focus or quiet rejuvenation – and open-air lounge settings are fast-becoming a choice destination.

Still, the indoor lounge remains a prominent feature in office design. Havas, for example, opened a wellness lounge for its 2,000 London-based employees with the goal of offering a dedicated space to help staff take time away from technology. Interior Design Magazine highlights McDonald’s Chicago headquarters, which features a skylit atrium complete with several communal spaces at the heart of the 480,000 square-foot HQ.

Indoors or out, the variety of design options for today’s office lounge opens up possibilities for impromptu conversations, idea sharing and collaboration, movement and group work or personal focus and rejuvenation. 

On our blog, we’ve shared our top tips for how to choose a lounge system and the evolution of the lounge. We’ve also just introduced the Montara650 Rocker – one or two rockers alongside other seating options in the lounge can offer a welcome change of pace. Read about the surprising benefits of rocking for wellbeing in the office here

Why It Matters

Based on Marcela’s research, Allwork.Space indicates that “simply having visibility of a communal area or cafe, and a feeling of space, can encourage more activity.”Whether it’s a larger project like rooftop retreat or a wellness center, or a small-yet versatile community space, lounges designed with wellbeing in mind are here to stay.

Published On: February 11, 2019

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