Relaxation zones are useful for all companies following the party season.
CBRE has prepared recommendations on how such spaces should look
CRBE, the world leader in consulting and the commercial real estate sector, issued recommendations on how to design a relaxation area in office spaces, as well as identifying the basic rules for building relaxation zones for their employees.
Employee performance is affected by many factors, among which the working environment undoubtedly plays a role. Creativity and new trends have already penetrated into the office building sector in the Czech Republic. Owners and managers of companies, regardless of the size of their organization, are increasingly interested in the way employees perceive their work environment and the way it makes them feel, and know that investing in an inspiring work environment pays back.
In terms of design and functionality, it’s somewhat difficult to define unified and universal preconditions for relaxation zones. If these areas are to be fully and correctly used, their form, location and equipment must be adapted to the specific purposes of the company, their employees and the building.
If you plan to create a relaxing area for your employees, stick to the basic rules and procedures, compiled by CBRE.
The first step is to think about your own company. It is generally a given that companies focusing on creativity and individuals needing energy for deep concentration, require the opportunity to relax more and more often. At the same time, this concept is more inclined to organizations and companies that use flexible working models where their employees can work from anywhere, because productivity is assessed on the basis of results and the tasks completed rather than by the time spent at work.
The second step is to select a suitable space for relaxing. If you want to unwind, the environment plays a crucial role, more than anywhere else in the company. Ideally, there should be a plenty of daylight that is technologically secure, with functioning heating or air conditioning, in not overly busy part of an office, while not being too quiet and thus far away from employees’ working desk. Relaxation zone should not be placed in spaces that are not cosy, such as converted store rooms that do not have any windows. We also need to consider office spaces from the manager’s view and many other aspects so the relaxation zones do not become merely store rooms for unwanted furniture.
This brings us to the third step, that is equipping relaxation zones and selecting the furniture. For many, the thought of relaxing zones conjures up images of a crazy modern concept with lots of colours and disparate pieces of furniture where one can lie down, play billiards, table football or even use a slide. This concept, however, is usually only a marketing opportunity, trying to create a feeling of a relaxed atmosphere and "playing at work", rather than a truly functional relaxation zone. Relaxation zones should be suitably painted in discreet colours using soft materials such as wood flooring and wall panels, as gaudy colours do not provide a calming effect. A variety and diversity in style and purpose of furniture is welcome, not in colour. The more types of seating arrangements you have, the more people can choose where to sit to feel comfortable and unwind. Even here, however, the choice goes hand in hand with the company’s image and its main work functions. Imagine, for example, a dressed-up lawyer trying to get up from the chair bag with a cup in hand.
Last but not least, think about the frequency and real purpose of the space used for relaxation. If there is not such area in the office, it is possible to consider using an existing meeting room, which may be modificated to serve as a relaxation zone. The ideal solution is using adjustable and modular furniture which is easily movable, and smart writable paints on the wall or touch screens. Trainings and internal meetings can be more playful and interactive, making them fun and therefore more productive. Alternatively, colleagues may just chat in a relaxed atmosphere to discuss work-related issues or to project pictures from teambuilding after work. If you are a company full of workaholics or employees just do not have the luxury of having time for “doing nothing” in a relaxation zone, remember that it is possible to rest even at work. Sometimes, just a change of the environment, atmosphere or the seating arrangement can make the work suddenly less rigid and stereotyped, ensuring relaxation that can produce new enthusiasm or even fresh new ideas to help you get the job done in a more effective and productive way.
CBRE Group, a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2016 revenue). The Company has approximately 75,000 employees and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices worldwide (excluding affiliates). CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services including project management; property management; investment management; valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting and research and consulting. In the Czech Republic, CBRE has almost 350 employees and manages nearly 70 commercial premises with a total area nearly 1.2 mil. sq. m. Read more at www.cbre.cz.