Beyond Break Rooms – Taking Care of Staff

Posted by on Jul 17, 2019 in Behind the Design
Beyond Break Rooms – Taking Care of Staff

Say goodbye to mismatched chairs, folding tables and random coffee mugs. Healthcare design trends are taking staff quarters beyond your average break room and for good reason.

Big strides are being made to accommodate staff in the hospital setting. In the past, the design of staff spaces came as an afterthought. Many breakrooms didn’t have windows or comfortable chairs. The insights gathered from data have changed all of that. Research shows that taking care of your staff is an investment that pays off. Staff is more productive, patients and families are happier and administration can recruit and retain their talent.

Beyond break rooms, some hospitals are incorporating outdoor dining terraces, gardens, and walking paths, while others offer facilities to support employees’ interests, such as bike racks and showers for those who prefer to bicycle to work. In some cases, hospitals offer concierge services such as dry cleaning or retail pharmacies.

The core concept is to acknowledge the staff and their needs. Providing a rejuvenating setting for workers has become a top priority for hospital administration as they focus on productivity, recruitment, and retention.

Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped modernize healthcare organizations locally, regionally, and internationally, improving patient experience and outcomes. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff

Source: Horwitz-Bennett, Barbara. “Staff Support: Designing Optimal Healthcare Work Environments.” HCD Magazine, 29 Nov. 2016,

Leave a Reply