Smarter companies concluded long ago that an inspiring office environment is critical to the success of the business. These pioneers know that if they create only a hum-drum battery farm where staff toil away their days in grey cubicles, they are unmotivated, unproductive and stressed.
Smarter companies already know that the office needs to be a shrine to creativity, where managers and staff feel upbeat, can collaborate easily and inspire each other to drive the business forwards.
Free and attractive designs allow for the easy sharing of ideas and some of the highest-profile companies have turned their headquarters into creative playgrounds with amazing features such as: basketball courts, thinking pods and indoor rivers. Their facilities are so extensive that some people even live in them. Many staff live at Google’s offices in Mountain View, California, for years at a time.
Here at Nabru we have a look at three offices that anyone would kill to work in:
1) Airbnb, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Aligning the creative style with the company ethos and sector is a great way to motivate staff and keep creative momentum focused on the businesses core function.
Airbnb, the online accommodation advertiser, takes inspiration from its main function of setting people up with affordable accommodation while they’re on holiday or travelling on business. The meeting rooms are set up like small apartments in the style of different global cities. Some have seating set into the outside walls in order to evoke the feeling that they’re separate spaces in the same living area.
The office also evokes the style and culture of the city of Dublin, with green phone boxes and a bar that mirrors the look and feel of Dublin pubs. By embracing its location and taking a brand-conscious approach to décor, the Airbnb offices stay traditional but provide a modern, relaxed variation on work interiors.
2) Google, Stockholm, Sweden
Google is the daddy of innovative office design. Its Mountain View headquarters is the archetype location that many companies now follow, inspired by its reputation for excellence in nurturing new talent. Its Stockholm office maintains a small-company atmosphere, even while centralising several Swedish offices. As a result, the office lacks some of the extravagance of other Google offices but bears the unmistakeable design stamp of the company.
In addition to state-of-the-art technology the offices also feature: games, conference rooms themed around great Swedes like Ericsson and Nobel and a scheme that allows workers to be paid in meatballs (presumably not their entire salary, you would think). Well, this is Sweden, after all!
3) Heineken, White Plains, NY
Although Heineken is a Dutch company, it has been a major player in the American beer market for decades, and with conglomerates like MillerCoors to compete against, its US headquarters, situated in White Plains, New York state, need to look the part. To that end, they have recently been revamped in order to align more effectively with the brand’s offices in Amsterdam and around the world.
The centrepiece of the headquarters is a bar, naturally, which can be used for parties and events as well as an employee Friday night drink. The rest of the offices encompass the message that the company wanted to promote to its employees: transparency, progressiveness and a unified brand.
The overriding décor theme shared between all of these offices is the amount of variation there is in terms of what you can do away from your desk. Studies have shown that there is a clear correlation between the amount of engagement and mental stimulation workers are given and the quality and speed at which they work. Nobody could accuse any of these companies of not being at the top of their game, so there’s obviously something in the way they design their offices.
Each have found that critical key in unlocking the balance between fun and business. If you are a smarter company, you may already be planning to revamp your digs and turn your office into a creativity and inspiration factory.