Learning All About Lacrosse

Need More Office Space? Create An Outdoor Lounge Under A Custom Canopy

by Ashley Kelley

Instead of investing in a lengthy remodel of your office building to create enough workspace for employees, you can save money and time by having a custom canopy built right outside an entryway instead. Turning the canopy into a break area gives you an opportunity to free up interior space for more cubicles. Once your canopy is built, here is how to transform it into a comfortable lounge space for colleagues and employees alike:

Protect the Interior Space

To make your new exterior canopy lounge comfortable for employees, it's important to protect the interior space from bugs and insects. This can easily be done by using screen with magnetized edges to create a barrier from the outdoor elements. Hang the screen along the outer edges of your canopy top so that they cling to the metal posts and to each other, creating a seal from mosquitoes, flies, and other insects. For added protection, hang plants that repel mosquitoes in the corners such as:

  • Citronella plants.
  • Horsemint herbs.
  • Marigold flowers.
  • Catnip herbs.

Keep in mind that these eye appealing plants will be hanging under the cover of the canopy, so you'll need to make sure that they're watered about once a week.

Spruce things up with Color

Your canopy lounge should be a relaxing space for employees, and colorful décor can help to create just the right environment because of their psychological effects. Spruce the space up with hanging glass art, colorful table centerpieces, and throw pillow for the furniture. When it comes to color schemes, consider these options:

  • Increase energy levels, stimulate the mind, and induce workplace excitement with shades of red.
  • Use blue accents to lower blood pressure levels, induce serenity, and encourage efficiency.
  • Build confidence, increase emotional strength, and induce creativity with hues of yellow.

If you decide to implement throw pillows, area rugs, and table covers into the space make sure that they're designed for outdoor use. Outdoor furnishings are easy to maintain and many are made with textures to make them look like they belong indoors.

Furnish the Space for Productivity

Just because your office's canopy space is dedicated as a lounge doesn't mean that you cannot encourage productivity among employees when they spend time in the space. You can furnish the space so employees are able to do paperwork, study reports, and brainstorm without sacrificing their comfort and ease. Line the screen walls with waist-high plastic bookshelves full of laminated reference books and educational reading, place plastic coffee tables in front of outdoor-friendly seating to work on, and incorporate a desk and a wireless internet connection that offers access to your company intranet full of interactive training, skill building games, and even an employee social network. Employees can bring out their laptops for a little entertainment and learning. 

Set Some Ground Rules for Employees

To create and maintain a safe environment for each employee that uses that canopy lounge space, you'll want to set some ground rules for everyone to abide by. Your list of ground rules will be most effective if kept simple and basic. Clearly define where food and drinks are allowed, limit noise distractions by requiring earphone use for personal music players and computers, and create a game plan for how employees should handle complaints and concerns they may have.

Your rules should be printed out for each employee to read, agree to, and sign as a pledge. Hang a laminated copy of the rules both inside your office building and in the canopy lounge.

It's a good idea to have the space professionally treated for bugs and insects when the building is treated. Have the canopy's custom top inspected twice a year so small tears and minor damage can be identified and addressed before they become too serious.