To most middle class working people, offices mean rows upon rows of standard, drab, grey cubicles, fluorescent lights and post-it notes hanging from the message boards. Long corridors, water coolers and conference rooms complete the montage that for aeons, has defined a place from where business is conducted.
The tech boom of the late 1990s though changed that perception to an extent, when a company, now synonymous with internet search (obviously Google), first unveiled its campus to the world. Suddenly an office was more than just a place to go to from Mondays to Fridays. Suddenly offices became imaginariums, gymnasiums, places where fun at work wasn’t just an ideal but a reality. What is more, Google pioneered the concept of “happy workers equal greater productivity!” Little surprise then that Google’s employees are amongst the most productive in the world!
More and more corporates today understand the value of happy employees. No wonder then that more and more companies, startups and ventures are investing in designing workspaces that make their employees happy, ergo productive. This post sheds light on some of the world’s most quirky, happy and uplifting office spaces from around the world.
Most of the world’s most statement making offices come from the technology, advertising and creative domain, there is a reason to that too, people who work in these fields are a quirky, idiosyncratic breed that are really into pop culture and often work long hours that may stretch into weeks.
Bahnhof’s Pionen Facility: Sweden
Bahnhof of Sweden, an internet service provider needed a secure facility, given the nature of their business. What is more secure than a Cold War era nuclear bunker built 30 metres underground, into the side of a mountain? We would say not much else! What makes it even more awe inspiring is that it was one of the inspirations behind the set for the villain’s lair in the Bond film ‘Moonraker’. Meeting rooms and conference zones also look like the observation deck aboard a star trek cruiser!
Edelman and Partners Office: Soho, New York
Edelman and Partners, one of the world’s leading public relations firms have on their roster of clients the who’s who of the tech, corporate, industrial and entertainment sectors. Their office in New York’s quirky Soho area, is an interesting mix of practicality, entertainment and technology. Starting with the reception area where a large Microsoft Surface tablet dominates the visitors area, to individual conference rooms that have wall to wall touchscreens, to individual workspaces where employees are encouraged to express themselves through graffiti and other quirky touches, makes this one office that stands out completely.
Tech Mahindra’s MindSpace Mumbai facility:
Tech Mahindra, erstwhile 3 Global Services, may have taken over 3’s business, but continue to persevere with the former’s philosophy of a vibrant, dynamic office space. Situated in Mumbai’s outsourcing district of MindSpace, each of Tech Mahindra’s offices are designed to make an employee feel at home. Large murals on all walls depicting sport, pop culture and happiness are the first things one sees. A multi-cuisine cafeteria and relaxation zones complete one of the cheeriest office spaces in the maximum city.
Googleplex, Mountain View, California:
The company that pioneered the office space revolution, has to round off the list of the most awe inspiring offices. Spread over a mammoth 2 million square feet of space in California, Googleplex is the search giant’s world headquarters. From quirky inspiration pods to juice bars, gymnasiums to conference rooms with jungle themes, Googleplex can best be described as ‘Neverland-meets-Disney World-meets-the- Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus’. Dubbed the happiest place to work several years in a row, Googleplex has become the benchmark for quirky, yet functional workspaces that keep employees happy, ergo productive!