Our working environment can be inspirational; it can, if designed and executed well, increase levels of productivity but, hiding employees away in dark dingy rooms can be something that causes illness, physical and emotional, as well as affecting retention rates of staff. However, offices across the globe are changing and there are some amazing examples of funky, inspirational and fun places to work (and the proof is in the pudding – once you realise the size of the business, you will be an instant convert. Right, where will you put the slide…?)
Facebook, California You cannot deny the power of Facebook as a social media platform for both personal and business use. A great example of modern, open plan work spaces, Facebook constantly canvasses its staff as to what they would like in the office… and, the 1 billion users of the platform, along with development of software etc., is in no way impeded by staff having fun!
Vodafone, Portugal At first glance, this architect designed building looks ‘ordinary’, much like how we think an office should look. However, on closer inspection and a rummage around the building, you will find the angular line offer unpredictability to the premises. Working in a clean, bright environment is something their employees love.
Skype, Stockholm Bright and airy, there are not defined workspaces as such as this company wants their employees to talk to each other and be social – after all, that is what their application is all about. Now one of the most used internet based calling applications, people from across the world can not only talk in real time, but also see their companion – amazing when you consider that they are in another time zone.
Red Bull, London With some obvious work equipment (the flip board, for example), the 100 or some employees who work here collaborate on a daily basis. They have lounge like working spaces but the work space is versatile; corporate functions are not a problem with the reception area turning into a bar.
You Tube Their office space has some amazing gimmicks and the like, where employees are encouraged to play, roam and exercise. Again, their results speak for themselves with YouTube being the original and dominant market player when it comes to uploading and sharing video.
Dreamhost, California These online gaming business recognises that not everyone likes the idea of working in the open and so they have a mix of private work areas and open plan spaces. Making the best use of natural light, keeps the use of harsh fluorescent lights to a minimum and the addition of colour stops it feeling stark and empty.
Google, Zurich Google is the fresh faced online search engine that anyone would want to work for and with this great slide taking you down a floor or two, who wouldn’t love to have a go? Like other companies, Google spent a lot of time, effort, money and research in to creating work spaces in all its office complexes that nurtured employees, as well as helped their creativity along. Thriving on the creative visions of their employees, Google decided that this was not too high a price to pay hence you have one of the most successful and creative organisations of all times.
Macquarie Bank Founded in 1969, this American based investment bank must surely have ripped up the corporate banking rule book that suggested they needed to be grey in colour, and officious in attitude and looks. Their mixed office of open plan and private spaces hits the mark, but it is the use of coloured glass, and the amazing red staircase that blows many people away when they enter this building. And being a large bank, spread over 6 floors, has not stopped them either, Successful in its dealings, this bank is going places…
LivingSocial, America This is a prime example of how the modern can blend with the old and so the next time you look at your older style building and think that nothing can be done, think again. As a company, they rely on their employees being creative and happy and so, they have created a space that encourages play, just as much as work; take your lunch when you want and either play a game of pin ball, or catch up with the day time soaps.
Corus Quay, Canada Big buildings and large staff numbers can often mean that some employees can work for the same company and never meet. Some companies think this is not conducive to good relations or good business and so this architect designed building, with 8 floors, houses 1100 staff. But, there are bright colourful places to meet and mingle.
Why should office space being boring and predictable?
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