It’s almost a bonding ritual when someone offers to make a cuppa but employers are struggling to find the balance between keeping their staff in caffeine and minimizing disruption to the working day.

While nipping to Costa many seem like an innocuous exercise, a study in 2017 found Britons waste 18 hours a year popping out of the office just to grab a 'proper' cappuccino or latte from a coffee shop. But let’s face it, a jar of Nescafé and a kettle just won’t cut it in today’s modern workplaces.

Step forward the work café

A work café is a creative office design idea that is installed to appease the hot drink aficionados and maintain productivity levels while latte-sipping takes place. It’s pertinent to point out that a work café isn’t there to eradicate proper breaks – escaping from the office for lunch is very much advocated – but these hybrid spaces are designed to bring together the team and the tea round. 

Coffee, chat and collaborative work

What makes a good co-working space? The ideal work café should provide an alternative area to hold meetings, brainstorm with colleagues and give staff a change of scenery at the same time as grabbing a hot drink. Some of MPL Interiors’ most ambitious corporate office design ideas​ are seen in our work for the Lanes Group Plc – home to an in-house Starbucks - but more humble work cafés can be incorporated into any office. Here’s our advice:-

The essential ingredients for a work café

  • A dedicated cafeteria with tables and chairs can be overhauled to mimic a coffee shop, with a Starbucks-esque serving area and a combination of booths, pods, and high tables and bar stools.
  • Informal work can be encouraged by ensuring wifi, USB charging points and plug sockets are provided.
  • Creative interior design planning can ensure a work café is located in the right part of the building and is sufficiently set apart from formal spaces to give it a different atmosphere.
  • Small offices can benefit from a drinks station, with bespoke housing for a coffee machine, crockery, and a drinks fridge - a combination that works well with sofas and side tables.
  • Open-plan kitchens make excellent work cafés, especially if there’s a central island with good lighting and bar stools.
  • Good coffee is a must – MPL can source professional-style barista machines, ‘bean-to-cup’ models and pod-based machines, as well as install an instant hot water tap in a kitchen.
  • The right interior design can quickly transform a space into a work café – think chalkboards, glass jars, and metro-style wall tiles.

For examples of work cafés that MPL Interiors has created, and for workspace interior design inspiration for London offices, contact us today.