In another article we discussed how office design and layout has come a long way over the last 100 years. The same can be said with regards to the importance of different areas in the workplace. In the past the most important area would most likely have been seen as the main office area where staff worked away at their desks. Today that’s not the case. Today the office kitchen is playing a vital role in the workplace.
Why Is The Office Kitchen Important?
As more and more employers understand that getting the work life balance is important and that staff health and well-being can play a vital role in keeping staff healthy, happy AND productive, it’s easy to see why the office kitchen plays a major role in this effort.
Having an office kitchen allows staff to take breaks away from being tied to their desks for long periods of time.
Being able to take regular breaks is very important as is the need to move around and avoid being sedentary.
Before companies had kitchens or other break out areas many office workers spent more than seven hours a day sitting at a desk. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods is linked to obesity, some types of cancer, and potentially an early death. Sitting for extended periods is also known to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
With the ever increasing evidence that long periods of sitting down can impact our health, being able to take a break away from your desk can only be a good thing. A panel of leading experts chaired by Professor Stuart Biddle, who reviewed the evidence on sitting for the report, recommended taking “an active break from sitting every 30 minutes”. It’s also recommended that everyone should get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Walking around and taking a kitchen break can contribute to our daily exercise quota.
Relaxing The Brain
The kitchen can also provide a way to simply relax. Taking time out may have been seen as “not getting the job done” in the past but with today’s more enlightened understanding it is clear that everyone needs some “down time” in order to allow their brain to have a break and to relax.
We all know that you can spend a great deal of time staring at a computer screen looking for the answer to a problem without coming up with a solution, however, very often stepping away and allowing your brain to think of other things can help us come back to a problem with a fresh perspective and an answer to the problem. For staff to be productive, it’s vital that they take breaks.
Sustaining Body And Mind And Promoting Healthy Employees
Everyone needs a place to grab a snack or to eat lunch. Previously eating at your desk was the norm but today having a kitchen area lets staff step away from their desk and switch off for few minutes while getting something to eat or drink. Having a company kitchen means that as an employer you can offer a place where staff can prepare healthy meals and drinks.
It’s also interesting to note that research by has shown that offering fresh fruit to staff can increase staff energy and productivity by more than 10%! By using your kitchen to promote healthier eating options and enabling staff to have easy access to healthier options like fruit you can make a real difference to feelings of wellbeing and productivity.
A Casual And Creative Meeting Space
The kitchen can act as a great place to meet casually, away from desks and meeting rooms. The very fact that the space is casual can also help with creativity. Breaking the pattern of the more formal workspace can help the mind relax and be more open to new ideas and allow the brain to be more creative in its thinking. Being close to snacks and hot and cold drinks can also help the brain refuel.
Designing Your Kitchen For Today and Tomorrow
With this in mind when it comes to designing a kitchen space it’s worthwhile giving thought to how to make it practical AND a place where people will feel comfortable. Functionality must still be a top priority but through careful planning a kitchen can be a highly versatile space which can fulfil many needs and demands.
Look at the layout, colour scheme and the type of tables and chairs that will help promote the right atmosphere. Look at flexible seating arrangements that can serve multiple purposes. Make sure to consider power sockets, Ethernet or Wi-Fi access so that people can bring their laptop, tablet or mobile to the kitchen when they are hanging out.
Overall the kitchen can be a great place for relaxing as well as providing a space where staff can collaborate, team-build as well as have breaks and take lunch. Today’s office kitchen has indeed come a long way where it now acts as a focal point of a business and a perfect tool for embodying a company’s culture and values.
How Can We Help?
JBH Refurbishments over a full refurbishment service when it comes to workplace kitchen fit outs. If you’re looking to fit out a smaller area as an office tea point and we can help you with this too.
Taking The Next Step
To find out more about our office tea point and workplace kitchen fit out services, please see our Workplace Kitchen Fit Out and Office Tea Points page, contact us on 0333 207 0339 or via our contact page. We’re happy to take you through our how we work and we can then arrange for one of our project managers to come out to visit your site and carry out a full site inspection. The next step would then be to provide design options and a quotation. Once agreed you can leave your office refurbishment in our capable hands.