In a word, yes.  They most likely are. With radical changes in work structures in multiple industries over the last two decades, so too has the water cooler station. Whereas before it may have been that the only ‘away from the office’ space was where the floor standing water cooler was (did that make the carrier of the desktop water cooler happy or unhappy we wonder?), as work styles and office space has changed, so too has the work environment.

Breakout spaces now aren’t only for hotels and conferencing venues or sports stadiums, but are, more and more, becoming a standard in any workspace – be that in a smaller office where partitioning is made use of, to larger organisations where a breakout area is a wholly separate room or even an entire floor in the largest businesses.

Are breakout spaces necessary at work?

Again, yes.  A change in scenery, a creative space to reflect and think or a separate, more casual space where to retreat for a while when stress is high at work is what breakout spaces are all about.

Why are they necessary?

Breakout spaces not only reduce stress, they also enhance employee creativity and productivity, benefitting not only the individual but also the company overall. Any environment that reduces tension or creates a space where one can replenish their drinking water, defuse or relax is of instant benefit with potentially long-term benefits too.

Should your water cooler be in the breakout space?

Absolutely. Drinking water regularly is crucial to one’s ability to focus, concentrate and better perform throughout the working day. There is no better place for a water dispenser than in a breakout space.  Moreover, if your organisation hasn’t yet gravitated towards such a space, then any easily accessible, ‘classic’ water cooler station will suffice.