We’re glad that you’re thinking about a new school staff room because all too often staff are taken for granted. They’re the ones that enable the day-to-day running of the school so let’s take this opportunity to think carefully about how to create a space where staff can relax, unwind, connect and re-charge their battery.
Important considerations for your new staffroom
Current trends in staffroom design
Staff rooms are a huge boost to teacher morale, they can help staff feel part of a team and encourage a sense of belonging. If members of staff feel they belong and are supported this will improve learning outcomes and results for everyone in the school.
The current focus in staffroom design is a move to create an open and friendly design that is reminiscent of a café area or commonly referred to as ‘Costa coffee style’. The main benefit of this style is to provide an informal space for staff to relax and connect with colleagues, as well as providing a quiet space to work.
Like current design trends in commercial workplace environments, there is also an emphasis on creating a ‘home’ feel to staffrooms with vibrant colour palettes, bespoke comfy seating and an altogether more inspiring atmosphere for staff that is a far cry from the ambience in a classroom.
Whichever style you prefer we always design staffrooms with inspiration and relaxation in mind.
A place to eat, drink & catch up
One of the most important aspects of your staff room will be the provision for staff to prepare their lunches and pick up a coffee.
Most staff rooms have an open-plan kitchenette but if you have the space you may want to consider having a separate closed-in kitchen area which will help contain cooking smells, minimise distraction to other staff and provide privacy for staff to eat their lunches.
A change of flooring between the main staff room space and the kitchenette area will also help to create a visual divide between the areas. Including a breakfast bar or dining table within the kitchen area will encourage staff to completely break away from other tasks and get the much needed break they deserve.
A place to work
Every staffroom should provide staff with everything they need so they can work effectively. It’s important to include at least a couple of computer workstations, or for a really efficient use of space how about having a run of fitted desktop benching, which can be bespoke manufactured to any size and can fitted around pillars or cut out around radiators, using space that couldn’t otherwise be used. This can include power & data ports plus USB charge points so that staff can easily use their mobile devices.
Staffrooms don’t always require a desk and operator chair. Planning for the next lesson or marking students work may be much less daunting for some staff when completed from a quiet and comfortable seating booth or from a supportive armchair. More flexible options when space is at a premium are mobile flip top tables that can be folded up and stored neatly when not in use.
A place to sit back & relax
Providing a variety of comfortable and colourful soft seating, including cushioned sofas, supportive tub-style chairs, backless bench units, modular seating configurations, mobile stools and swivel-based seats will give staff the flexibility to choose whatever seat suits them best whilst delivering visual interest and variety.
Being able to move seating is another important consideration, which will allow for both individual work and the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues when necessary.
A quiet place for concentration
In larger staff rooms it is important to create a small area that gives a bit of privacy from the rest of the room so that staff can focus on an in-depth task. This can be achieved with a high-sided seating booth or floor-standing screens but the ideal way to create the right environment would be to use sound-absorbing products such as acoustic felt panels or acoustic felt hanging screens.
Acoustic felt helps to absorb excessive background noise and reduce echo, creating acoustic comfort within the hubbub of a busy staffroom and with a huge range of design options including personalisation with school branding, they are a great way of delivering a little creativity to foster staff engagement.
A place to store personal belongings, books and paperwork
It’s important to provide lockers or other secure storage options for staff to safely store their personal belongings throughout the day. Staff rooms also need to be kept tidy and organised because clutter and disorganisation is not conducive to creating a calm and happy environment. We recommend that you plan in as much storage space as possible for things like books, paperwork and other teacher resources to be stored in neatly.
Pigeonhole storage is essential for any school, available in many sizes and built with adjustable shelves to suit your requirements, our pigeonhole units provide the perfect solution for holding paperwork and notes and help to ensure that staff work spaces are kept clear and well-organised.
Storage walls can provide up to 60% more storage than conventional storage cupboards – and in the same footprint! It is the most flexible solution, allowing you to specify the storage functionality through a wide choice of modular units and internal fitting options. You can also make your storage wall completely unique to your own environment through the almost infinite external finish options.
We have a range of resources to make planning your staffroom refurbishment easy and hassle free. You can download our Project Panning Guide packed full of key considerations and options for different layouts and you can also get some visual inspiration from our image gallery.
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