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Beanbag Chairs, The Buzz for Break Rooms

Posted on February 25, 2013

When I think of a corporate break room, I recall the concrete fourth floor in an old warehouse where I once worked in downtown Boston: dusty and cold.  Not to mention littered with old and dented file cabinets and even older and more dented men puffing away at stinky cigarettes.  Yeah, I didn't exactly look forward to going to work in the morning.

On a recent assignment as a consultant to a young and progressive company, I was given a tour of their sprawling facility. To say that it was a long tour is an understatement. Once inside the main entrance, it was obvious that this company meant business when it came to the design of its interior. Cutting edge, chic, urban-mod and playful are just a few of the words that come to my super excited mind.  When I entered the break room, let me just say that in my head I screamed "can I be a full-time employee now please?!". With a combination of natural and incandescent lighting, this enormous relaxation and brainstorming area was furnished with a customized collection of large beanbag chairs they got from Ahh! Products.

I was happy to see this company cared about their employees, but I wasn't totally shocked at the idea of creating an inviting, comfortable environment within corporate America.  The trend for businesses of all sizes nowadays, particularly start-ups, is to transform certain areas of the office into inviting hubs for relaxation which benefits corporate teams in more than one way. First, they know that they can retreat to a designated area to unwind for a few minutes, collect their thoughts, sketch out the day’s assignments or even brainstorm for creative projects.  Not just a veg-out place, the opposite effect can happen: it increases efficiency and creativity! Employees can work and relax instead of overstress and get stumped in traditional, rigid office furniture. Happy employees are the best employees, we all know that.

I was quite impressed to see that the CEO had added a touch of comfort to an otherwise relatively conventional working environment for people who spend the majority of their time at work (which was technology-related). Think about it, how much time do you spend at the office?  And how much time do you spend in an uncomfortable chair when you could be spending at least some of it in a cozy beanbag chair?!  Hard, plastic break room furniture...ugh!  Just don't snooze people, that might be overdoing it!  Plus, if you are going to suggest this idea to your boss, remember to get top quality ones with removable, washable covers so when Ted (who always spills his coffee) sits down, you're covered.  I don't want the boss to fire you for suggesting stinky dirty furniture for the break room!  And forget about vinyl, gross, that stuff will make Ted sweat and stick in no time flat.  Yuck.

Does your office and/or break room have especially comfortable and inviting furniture?  If not, what are you forced to "relax" on?

Thanks to Cameron R. for this guest post!  We hope you're in an office sitting on a soft beanbag at this very moment!

Jade is the founder and CEO of Ahh! Products. Find her on

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