Look at an average office and you can see why many people might dread getting up in the morning and going to work. Grey impersonal buildings make the people who work in them feel like drones in a miserable corporate machine. To tackle this mentality, lots of companies have started putting more effort into making work a little bit more fun for their employees, whilst creating a place that staff will actually want to spend time in.
Here you’ll find our pick of some of the best and most creative offices from around the world. Whether you dream of going to work in the middle of a forest, a secret underground lair or even a padded room to thrash out your rage in, these are the places you should be applying to.
If you’ve ever dreamt of leading the life of a double agent then it might be a good idea to send off your CV to Swedish internet provider Bahnhof. Located in a Cold War bomb shelter, the former office of Wikileaks is suitably covert, with the majority of the building situated 30 metres below ground level in a system of caves.
One of the worst things about working in an office is that you inevitably spend most of your days in a grey city centre, far away from the calming
effect of natural, green spaces. To combat this problem, Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano did what they do best and built their own offices in the middle of a forest. In this glass-fronted building, workers can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding woodland, whilst a hinged mechanism allows for varying degrees of sun exposure and ventilation. Imagine stumbling across this on an afternoon walk!
Whilst setting up your headquarters in the middle of a forest might not be a realistic option for everyone, you can still bring nature to your office if you’re based in the city. Buy plenty of easy-to-maintain plants and swap air-conditioning for fresh air to boost the building’s feel-good factor.
Google is famed for its fun-loving attitude to work, so it’s no surprise that the London offices of the search engine giant are featured in this list. From the ‘velourmptious’ room – a snug, green, padded homage to the traditional British pub – to the secret garden on the roof terrace, Google’s offices have a decidedly quirky, eclectic feel. There’s even a padded room with a prison-style lock, so if employees ever need to vent their ire against the search engine world, they’ve got that covered.
Although you may not have a budget to match Google’s, it’s still possible to create a sense of fun with your office decor. Why not get some bean bags for your meeting rooms and invest in some board games for lunch-time tournaments?
The clean, white space of this former industrial hall near the centre of Geneva might look like many other modern office buildings, but the meeting rooms it has inside certainly set it apart from the rest. Stacked up like building blocks, 16 glass-fronted shipping containers serve as the meeting rooms in Group8. Rather than styling up the containers, the company decided to maintain their rough, original aesthetic, making them stand out in an otherwise neutral space.
You can easily recreate this look in your office by customising some steel storage containers and using them as meeting or breakout spaces.
The Goethe Institute
How would you like to be treated to your own personal light show every time you walk into work in the morning? Well, that’s exactly what you’d get if you worked in the Goethe Institute in Barcelona, where the reception area features a light display created by interactive designer Sebastian Neitsch. From a Tron-style neon web to a psychedelic checkerboard, the walls change to something new and fascinating whenever someone walks into the room. On top of that, microphones in the wall pick up on sounds and turn them into customised light displays.