How we work and when we work has undergone a radical overhaul in recent years, especially with our predisposition for an open plan, collaborative way of working. This has given rise to a new workplace zone – the break-out bar - which falls somewhere between a desk and a kitchen, providing a more informal space for people to work, eat or chat.

Break-out bars are becoming more popular with our clients here at MPL as they bring masses of versatility to an office, yet can be created in a relatively small space. Here are our top four considerations, hints and tips for anyone thinking of adding a break-out bar to where they work:-

1. Freestanding or against a wall? – a break-out bar can take the form of both. A freestanding option can be installed virtually anywhere, although if you want your bar to be attached to something, you’ll need a wall – stud partition or solid.

2. Height, depth & length – ergonomics play a role in designing and specifying a break-out bar, especially if it’s destined to be a surface where someone perches with their laptop. MPL’s designs work perfectly with bar stools but we’ll also take into account the break-out bar’s purpose – just eating and chatting or working too – and it’s length, specifying how and where it needs support.

3. Power, data & light – if your break-out bar is going to be an alternative work zone, think about adding charging, Ethernet and USB points as well as lighting – from above or in the form of wall mounted lamps.

4. Designs – the bar itself can be made from a number of materials, from upscale Corian™ or marble to stainless steel, acrylic or wood. You can add interest by painting, tiling, paneling or wallpapering any wall the bar is fixed against, or add interest by mixing and matching different bar stools.

If you think your office would benefit from a break-out bar, talk to MPL Interiors today about past examples and future designs.