In a world where we are connected to people across the globe through social networks, people often end up checking their smartphones for status updates during dates and in office meetings. While the verdict is not yet out on where this is leading the human race socially, it has become increasingly important to provide spaces in our workplaces to connect the ‘unplugged way’.
Social areas in our workplaces are zones where staff engages in casual interactions, and some even ‘not so casual’ ones. In the conventional workplace design, such interactions usual happen in the cafeteria or near the water cooler. Today, organisations and designers are increasingly looking at creating new zones where robotic staff can feel human.
Break out zones, lounges, library, meditation room, gym, transition zones are a few examples of where staff gets a chance to meet each other and exchange casual conversation. A few advantages of such spaces are:
1. Team building: Staff not only gets to meet other staff from the same team, but also staff from other teams. This contributes towards building a more cohesive organisation.
2. Motivation: Providing more than work desks itself can be a motivator. Providing lively spaces to interact with fellow human beings, each of who has ideas to share, is a great motivator. It often helps in bringing in pride of ownership amongst staff.
3. Breeds creativity: Doing routine stuff often blocks the mind. Social spaces allow staff to even work differently, with some organisations even allowing laptops in such zones. Even otherwise, taking one’s eyes off the computer screen and spending a few minutes in an interesting surrounding is said to breed creativity, thus making staff more creative.