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A Look at Breakout Space Design in Open Office Layouts

an office with an open layout
The Robin Team
Published on

The key to an effective breakout space is in the interior design. Not quite a room, it’s an easy way to design open office retreats for small team meetings without hogging a conference room.

Here’s a look at the free-standing enclosures, elevated platforms, and “wall-free” spaces replacing cubicles and closed doors in modern offices.Below are some well designed breakout spaces.

Cisco - San Francisco

Blue breakout spaces in Cisco's San Franscisco office

Designed by O+A

Lowe Campbell - Detroit

Group of wooden box breakout tables in Lowe Campbell's office

Designed by Neumann/Smith Architects. See more photos on Office Snapshots.


Meeting room inside a shipping container

Designed by INHOUSE

Box HQ - San Francisco

Row of semi-private call rooms in Box headquarter office

Designed by Fennie+Mehl Architects

One Workplace

One Workplace - Outdoor office with open garage breakout area

Designed by Blitz

Github HQ - San Francisco

Nook at Github HQ with couch and pillows
Orange metal container with bench at Github's office

Designed by Fennie+Mehl Architects

Y&R Group - Sydney

Meeting space with astroturf floors in the office

Designed by The Bold Collective

Thumbtack - San Francisco

Thumbtack's SF office lobby looks like a comfortable living room

Designed by Boor Bridges Architects

Motorola - Chicago

Awesome LED wall map in Motorola's Chicago office

Designed by Gensler

Ogilvy & Mather - Jakarta

Elevated wood platform breakout space at Ogilvy's Jakarta office

Designed by M Moser Associates

Facebook - Menlo Park

Facebook's rocking chair and poster heavy breakout space

Designed by Gensler

App Dynamics

App Dynamic's office green breakout area meeting

Designed by Fennie+Mehl Architects

Feeling inspired? While a full office redesign may be outside of scope, your office might benefit from a makeover. Change the layout by moving existing furniture to create private spaces. Getting a few new chairs, a table, and even a rug to create a visually separate space with use of color can give people a new spot to work and truly appreciate the design that went into it.

Breakout spaces can be ideal for small, ad hoc meetings. If you have an open office layout, adding a secluded space gives people opportunity to change their setting and be more productive.

Tips on scheduling break out spaces

Though many see a break out area as a place to grab on the fly when it happens to be free, adding it to your meeting room calendars means people can check on the space availability before carrying their laptop across the office. You can make it easy to book on arrival, too. Add a room display and people can check if someone has scheduled the space or if they can book it and get to work.

Frustrated by meeting room scheduling call out

featured report

The Office Space Report 2023