Five of the Coolest Offices You’ll Ever See – Derive Inspiration for Your Own
Cool office design is nothing new; though it has in recent years garnered a reputation as something business organisations must invest in if they’re to create an enviable company culture, one that makes their organisation appealing to new recruits and keeps their current workforce happy working where they are.
When one looks for examples of cool offices and cool office design trends online it’s inevitable that they’re going to be confronted with examples of some of the world’s most important and powerful new companies, like Facebook and Google, that have gone out of their way to make their workspaces as cool as it’s possible to imagine a place of work could ever be.
However, the big players in the tech industry aren’t the only companies that have placed a particular emphasis on providing their employees with wonderful places to spend the working week, and perhaps even making the thought of working over the weekend far from the worst thing in the world, as there are seemingly countless examples of SMEs and start-ups that have created enviable workplaces, the kind of workplaces most of us can only dream of setting foot in, let alone actually working in.
Selgas Cano Architecture
Image credit: M.POLLO Menswear, license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Google ‘cool office spaces’ and there’s a very good chance that an article featuring Selgas Cano Architecture’s office will appear at the top of your search results.
If you haven’t yet seen photos of this remarkable workspace it’s about time you did, and although there’s so much to derive inspiration from here, it must be admitted that applying the elements that you’ve found inspirational to your own office space will be tough going indeed.
After all, chances are you won’t have a budget that empowers you to design and construct a half-aboveground, half-belowground office set in a wonderfully natural setting.
Image credit: DaveFayram, license Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
GitHub is a social coding platform and their San Francisco offices are something more akin to the kind of bar you’d never want to leave than a workplace where some serious work, surprisingly, is performed.
Valued at $750 million, GitHub isn’t a small fry by any means, though its Open-source credentials shine through – Open-source projects can use it for free – which has endeared it to every man/woman and their dog and enabled it to sell as many as 3,000 t-shirts and other items of promotional merchandise a month.
According to inside sources, when they finally opened their first office they wanted a workspace that was ‘fun, not soul-deadening’, something they’ve certainly achieved.
Image credit: CNET
Building upon an enviable business address at 606 West 28th Street in Manhattan, Quirky has created a wonderful workspace for its employees employed at its New York headquarters.
If you’re not familiar with Quirky and what they do, they’re a company that helps people to bring their inventions off the drawing board and to production – budding inventors can submit their ideas for a $10 fee whilst other people vote on them with those gaining the most votes marked for production – and their offices are what one would expect of such a company; fun, stylish and a great place to be employed.
Located on the second floor of an old warehouse, their offices are characterised by the use of lots of glass and wood whilst retaining a certain factory/warehouse appearance that gives visitors the impression that really cool stuff is created and brought to life here, thus giving it the look and feel of a true collaborative invention hub.
Image credit: bre pettis, license Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Located in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill, Makerbot’s ‘Botcave’ is a truly inspirational workplace, kind of like a fluorescent laboratory/Cantonese sweatshop where really cool stuff is made, which is actually what the company’s all about, albeit empowering people to do just that at home.
Rows of 3D printers line the office walls and then there’s the MakerBot factory where their for-sale printers are assembled and prepared in readiness for shipping.
Alt text: ZocDoc office
Image credit: VentureBeat
ZocDoc’s headquarters are located on 568 Broadway, the same address where prominent fellow start-ups, Foursquare and Thrillist, also maintain their headquarters.
Despite raising $75 million – the company was valuated at $700 – their offices aren’t as ‘wow’ as many would expect; however, the reason they’re listed here is because they’re a great example of the kind of workspace – with the exception of the enviable business address – that star-ups lacking big budgets could create themselves.
Simple yet comfortable with comic book style illustrations adorning the walls and scholastic style lunch tables – the previous occupant was a school – there’s a lot to derive inspiration from here, so if you’re looking for ideas for your own office, take the tour for yourself.
Chances are your business won’t have a budget remotely comparable to any of the companies whose cool office spaces were discussed here; however, there’s so much to derive inspiration from and apply to your own workspace.
Lauren Downey is writing freelance for MWB Business Exchange, a UK-based business that offers unbranded office spaces for rent to start-ups and SMEs as well as large corporations. They strive to maintain the same level of service for every client.