May 24, 2023
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A canteen is the most versatile space in an office.
Whether you have to take a quick break from work or grab a bite with your office pals- the canteen is the place to be. They are the most sought-after space in an office because they provide the ambiance to unwind and relax. An office canteen is essentially associated with food, fun, laughter, and sharing where employees and managers can get along as a team.
The purpose of an office canteen is to provide a space for rejuvenation within the work environment. Hence, an office canteen design is supposed to be informal, free-flowing, and engaging. The canteen should be designed to encourage communication and dialogue amongst peers thereby promoting a healthy work-life balance.
Conventionally, office canteens were designed for catering only to their primary function of being an eatery. These canteens were equipped with modular table and chair setups along with other public amenities and the idea of employee engagement was looked down upon. But with the evolving times, this perception has faded away.
Today, office canteen designs are all about fostering growth and productivity through interaction. Contemporary office canteens are meant for relaxing and revitalizing the employees so that they can better concentrate on work once they return back to their desks. An article by Penketh Group, a UK-based office fit-out and refurbishing company suggests that 91% of employees globally recognize the importance of having a space in the office where they can recharge and re-energize.
An office canteen design should achieve the perfect blend of function and aesthetics. The space should make employees feel comfortable in a dynamically evolving workspace.
Typically, an office canteen has three zones- service zone, public zone, and utilities. The service zone is used by the canteen staff for storing, preparation, and cooking activities. The public zone is used by the employees to sit, eat, and interact. The utility zone includes the hand washing area and the toilets for the office workers. The intersection of these three zones should be such that they are overlapping but not intersecting each other. The circulation in the canteen should be optimally designed to enhance accessibility. The service counter and food warming stations should have sufficient queuing space in the front to accommodate a higher employee footfall during lunch hours. You can get creative and demarcate zones using various colors and materials to establish the visual language of the canteen.
Visualizing an office canteen often reminds us of circular tables with closely placed chairs around them. But, you can challenge this notion with creative office canteen furniture. It is not necessary to design the office with parallelly placed tables and chairs. Instead, you can create an interesting canteen layout with informal seatings such as benches and bar chairs. This can help in providing variety in design and empower the employees to select their seats based on their comfort level. If your office canteen has a smaller area, you can introduce mobile furniture in the canteen to promote flexibility of movement and decongest the space as and when required. If you wish to break through the linearity of geometric furniture forms, you can select organic-shaped furniture that will add to the informal character of a canteen.
With the rapid advancement of technology, office canteen designs are becoming digital-savvy. Especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, offices are leveraging technology to its fullest for optimizing their functioning. Canteens of corporate offices are experimenting with the idea of digital food ordering. This can help in speeding the service and avoid queuing at the counter. Further, the installation of television screens and projectors in office canteens has become exceedingly popular in recent times. Employees can enjoy a sports match while having lunch and bond over the game.
The office canteen design should enhance the functionality of the space. Hence, colors, textures, and patterns play an important role in setting the aesthetic appeal of the space. The right use of colors can increase appetite and create a warm ambiance. Colors such as red, yellow, and orange work well for canteens. You can paint a wall with these bright colors as an accent element to break the monotony of design. Further, you can make a statement with design by painting the wall with texture paint or cladding the wall with bricks, wooden panels, or tiles. If you are reluctant to paint a wall with such bright colors, consider introducing color through furniture.
Enhancing the appetite is an integral element of office canteen design which can be effectively done through lighting. We suggest you select warm undertones of lighting to create a comfy vibe in the canteen. You must prioritize inviting natural light into the canteen because it reduces the dependability on artificial sources of light and helps save functional costs in the long run. For artificial lighting, along with the ambient ceiling lights, you can select a few accent lights and task lights to enhance the visual appeal of the space. Lamps and pendant lights are excellent lighting solutions for drawing focus to the food. You can also use cove lighting to enhance surface finishes.
When deciding the decor of the office canteen, think of minimally designed products. Wall frames, bottles, and crockery are great ideas for office canteen decor. You must also consider adding plants to the space. They help in de-stressing and purifying the air thereby promoting healthy indoor environments. You can reflect the company logo colors, work ethic, and values in the canteen to make the space appear cohesive with the rest of the office.
Learn how to create a welcoming office reception design.
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