Not all businesses have statement offices. But there’s an argument to be made that all businesses probably should. It’s not just about satisfying the whims of picky millennial workers. It’s also about impressing clients and having a significant impact.
One the surface it doesn’t seem to make much sense that a company would invest thousands of dollars in superfluous office features that don’t directly contribute to higher profits. But businesses know that there’s more to life than money, which is why so many make their offices a kind of passion project. The working environment helps to give the business purpose and make work something that is both productive and enjoyable. Despite what economists and liberal newspapers might want you to believe, not all businesses are hell bent on maximizing every last dollar of profit.
What’s surprising right now is the sheer number of companies that are designing and building inspiring offices. It's not just Google anymore. Even small design firms are finally hopping on board and realizing the quality-of-life benefits.
Take Pallotta Teamworks, for instance, a company that wants to help charities deal with the problems of AIDS. Its offices are based inside a boring-looking industrial unit. However, the company has transformed the interior and made it into a kind of town inside a warehouse. There are office spaces made from shipping containers that are painted bright yellow and other spaces made from wood cladding. Workers are able to travel between different areas on bridges suspended above the warehouse floor. And there are relaxing Zen water features, complete with smoothly rounded pebbles.
Dropbox was a company that seemed to come out of nowhere to suddenly become a global brand. It’s one of the most innovative businesses in the world, and as you might expect, it’s got some of the flashiest offices.
Its offices are decked out with stylish furniture from companies like Crossford, but it’s offices are also designed with a sense of humor. For instance, it names each of its meeting spaces things like “the romance chamber” and “the breakup room.” There’s also a fully-equipped gym as well as a lobby area where employees can chill out and tap away on their phones or laptops.
Here’s another company which seemed to come out of nowhere thanks to the rise of the cloud. Airbnb’s innovation doesn’t stop with their product. It also extends to their offices. Because the company is based on the premise that people should be able to rent out their homes as holiday apartments, Airbnb offices have home-like features. This includes things like sofas, wallpaper, and colorful coffee tables. Its offices look very much like something out of the home of a millionaire twenty-something.
Facebook is another millennial company that wants to reinvent the office. Their spaces are almost all custom and revolve around bright pieces of artwork as well as outdoor-indoor working. What’s more, employees at the company are encouraged to bike between one part of the campus and another on specially made wooden causeways.