You spend about a third of your time at work, so it’s crucial that the office is a comfortable and enjoyable place to be. Some offices though are clearly more pleasing than others.
Those responsible for designing an office environment often find themselves torn between spending more for happier staff, or spending less and risking a disengaged team. It’s also important to consider how too many distractions make it harder to employees to really focus on their work.
Additionally, a fun looking office can really help with recruitment as people are keen to work somewhere that feels comfortable – though sometimes these added comforts come at the expense of other perks – higher starting salaries, and top-tier medical plans or retirement schemes.
We took a look at some of the best office environments we could find, and investigated what makes them so great.
This office is, in a word, epic. With 1100 staff, this office seems to have everything, including an enormous “living wall” and a slide descending through three storeys. Despite being absolutely huge (500,000 square feet), it’s won environmental awards for its use of recycled materials throughout and its water and air purification systems.
One of the world’s biggest companies, Google, espouses a philosophy of fun and creativity throughout its offices worldwide. Every office has a slightly different theme, but all are colourful, funky and full of exciting distractions. From astroturf to aquariums, from games consoles to rooftop gardens, a quick look around Google’s offices is enough to make you wonder how they ever get any work done.
Team members are encouraged to take naps or avail themselves of endless free food, leading some staff to complain that the office environment simply contains too many diversions. And with all the comforts of home, you never really need to leave the office – is that the approach to working life you really want to take?
This is a charitable organisation in Los Angeles that had limited funds to construct and run an office space. Their workplace consists of a series of shipping containers, recycled, stacked and interlinked, making for an innovative and compact space with minimal overheads.
Everyone loves playing with those little plastic blocks, and that includes the staff at Lego. Office workers at the head office in Billund, Denmark, are encouraged to create their own Lego sculptures throughout the day in order to stimulate creativity and problem solving ability.
When you’re designing new kits, the best way to do it really is to play with what’s already available, meaning that you really could claim to your boss that you’re adding value to the company, while constructing a scale model of the Death Star.
As specialists in online recruitment, we’re very interested in the factors that make someone want to work for a company, and an office where you can have fun, play games or even take a nap can be a major pull for discerning job seekers. Having said that however, there are obviously so many factors determining the value of a particular company or role that mean you should be certain a position is really right for you – all the video games and chocolate fountains in the world won’t make up for an oppressive corporate structure or unethical business practices.