In fact, more and more companies consider their kitchen facilities as the heart of the business.
Lizzi Hines - CEO and Creative Director of Spaceworks and Pop-up Now by Spaceworks - is quick to dismiss that creating inviting and comfortable shared workspaces encourages gossip and time-wasting.
"In fact our research tells us the opposite. You're more likely to get concentrated work done when staff sit down at their desks for shorter bursts of productivity, instead of sitting there staring at a screen for five hours straight," says Lizzi.
Based in Auckland, Spaceworks has clients around the country and is a leader in commercial and residential design. Lizzi has 15 years' experience in the design industry and during this time she has seen a significant shift in how space is being used, particularly in office environments.
"Today there is less emphasis on the front of house and reception areas are more informal. There is less secrecy, for example there are no problems taking people through to a meeting room through the office and seeing staff working. Staff have more natural light and facilities available to them, and the kitchen especially is way more important."
According to Lizzi, getting the layout right during an office fit-out can result in great benefits - increased worker happiness, increased productivity, improved company culture and a positive impact on a company's bottom line.
Lizzi says correct layout for functionality will stand the test of time.
"Quite simply, businesses aren't going to spend money without a benefit. The fact is we’re getting up and moving around more and it’s proven that giving people choice increases productivity. The availability of break-out stations, zones and areas encourages collaboration which is now a much more accepted way of working in business. Having ancillary spaces is incredibly valuable."
And now millennials are entering the workforce, responsive workplaces are providing for different ways of working.
"Millennials are very mobile, more fluid and adaptable. However, it's really important that if changes are made to an office environment - that everyone - including older staff are taken along for the journey. That's why we implement change management as well, because otherwise you're going to get all sorts of problems when people don't respond well to change."
Lizzi Hines is bringing her enthusiasm for positive workplaces to the 2016 ADNZ Conference - held in Auckland 26-29 October.
ADNZ CEO Astrid Andersen says Lizzi Hines will make a valuable contribution to the conference line-up.
"Lizzi has an impressive client base and a huge amount of expertise around how people use space. It will be fascinating to hear Lizzi's insights."
Visit http://www.spaceworks.co.nz/ and http://www.adnz.org.nz/events/feature/112/2991 for more information on the ADNZ 2016 Conference.