Do you remember the 1999 movie Office Space? It is the most realistic representation of dull and ineffective office design where employees are stuck in almost claustrophobic workstations, but still, face noise and distractions from all around the space. Decades from that movie, we still have some companies that have this same old approach to office design. However, we also have brave pioneers that dare to go where no company has gone before, and inspire with their imaginative and cool office designs. Here are some of the most interesting ideas we came across while looking into such businesses.
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1. Outbrain, New York City
Let us start with the company who had an excellent way of reinventing the old cubicle approach we were talking about. The cubicles are still here, but they are colored in bright blue, which inspires focus and productivity. Also, the cubicles are more open to one another than in traditional offices. The center of the office is a beautiful colorful mural by Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado, which further brightens up the space. The office also doubles as a venue for panels, meet-ups and happy hours. There is even a large sofa that inspires chill time.
2. Foursquare, New York City
Another fresh New York company with the fascinating interior design. Foursquare’s loft is light-filled (essential for productive and focused employees), airy and packed with many interesting features. The employees are working at desks in a large bullpen that goes throughout the entire length of the building. Next to it we can see themed meeting spaces with different design and vibe (e.g. one has a yellow wallpaper, one a green one and one is stocked with antique cameras).
3. Web.tv, Bursa
This technology company created a truly unique working environment for their employees inspired by the city where they are situated, Bursa, Turkish Republic. Each of the objects is a representation of a famous place or item in Bursa, and the second floor is equipped in the style of the Ottoman Time (16th and 17th century). There are zones that inspire socializing, fitness, and those that are aimed to improve performance. The office even has a boat that encourages employees to work together as a crew. Professional TV installers must have had a lot of work when it came to incorporating the units into such unconventional space, but they’ve pulled through.
4. Inventionland, Pittsburgh
A company with this name must have an equally genius office. If you think that, you are right. The design facility of Davison Design & Development has offices that are unique in every sense. The facility has fifteen different sets which are designed by the company itself, and they come in the form of pirate ships, robots, faux caves, race tracks, and castles. The offices are also equipped with a video and animation studio that is intended for creating prototypes of their inventions.
5. Cartoon Network, Atlanta
Another company that hasn’t renounced the traditional cubicle system, Cartoon Network did shook things up a bit when it comes to the very appearance of these otherwise cramped and dull working spaces. Each cubicle is highly personalized. Most of them stick to the kids’ TV theme, but they are all very different with some of them being decorated with colorful furniture, and others with stickers, magnets and photos.
6. Mind Candy, London
At the first glance Mind Candy offices resemble more of a hobbit’s house than a working area for employees of an entertainment company. The place is infested with plants and decked out with astroturf carpeting. The meeting rooms are actually a gingerbread house and a wooden treehouse. There are quiet areas where the employees can unwind and a lot of bright artwork. The best thing about this headquarters, though, is a helter-skelter-style slide that delivers employees from one floor to another.
7. Google, Zurich
All the Google’s offices can be mentioned in lists like this, because they are very inspirational, creative and adapted to all employees’ needs. In Zurich Google really stepped up their game with an office space that allows employees to play basketball, watch movies, get a massage, take a relaxing bath and slide down the fireman’s pole. We are not sure how can they get any work done with so many fun contents. Besides the entertaining areas, meeting rooms are interesting features because they come in the form of gondolas.
8. Airbnb, San Francisco
As a company that deals with hospitality service, it only makes sense that Airbnb’s headquarters are designed to make the employees feel welcomed and motivated. Most of the design draws inspiration from nature, translating its colors and materials into furniture and flooring. Space is open and highly collaborative, and the employees can choose between working while standing, sitting, sitting and stretching their legs, and even sitting on swings. There are multiple zones, and some of them are intended for relaxing, some for work and others for socializing. The employees can also make some changes in the design when they want to.
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These eight offices excel in originality when it comes to design. It is obvious that the companies in question value their employees and want to make everything within their power to make them happy and productive. We envy them.
Carolin Petterson is a businesswoman and content marketer with years of experience under her belt. She has had the opportunity to contribute to a number of popular business and marketing websites.