The playground theme is running rife in workplaces wanting to emulate Google. Some companies are even managing to create spaces to rival the search-engine giant. The Manchester offices of IT company Melbourne are certainly near to topping the list of spunky office designs.
You wouldn’t say so looking at street view of the office building’s exterior. The gray business park is enclosed in a forest of to-let signs, a deceiving wrapping one realises when seeing the weirdly wonderful interior. Capturing the ambience of a fairytale, decor highlights include oversized flowers, an arcade machine, and an indoor garden path that leads to a classically old Nintendo console. Having completely departed from traditional interior office design, the space includes a living room complete with a fireplace and leather chairs.
The mad-men style boardroom brings one back down to Earth for a moment before getting swept away again through a cupboard door, and into a Narnian Winter littered with desks where employees sit and work. The shifting themes are exemplary of Google’s indoor ski-lifts and tropical jungle huts which make for an interesting contrast. What some may label a frivolous expense, corporate executives have wavered as a worthwhile incentive for employees to stay on with their company. Reaping in productivity benefits as a result of high-spirited staff, new companies are flourishing.
Is implementation of these office design ideas worth the cost?Instead of clock watching, employers are finally allowing employees to take responsibility for their time management. Firmly in the midst of these contemporary office design layouts, some are dubbing recent trends as the end of an age of flickering fluorescent lights and closeted work environments.
Speculation about whether these innovative interiors are office history in the making or a passing fad is rife amongst sceptics who believe that a work space with a slide is a terrible investment. Companies that have converted to Google’s way of thinking, however, have bought into the studies that show an increase in productivity in light-hearted workspaces. As long as office playgrounds aren’t leading to a slump in money spent on technology, an improvement in business should be sought after; even if it means saying goodbye to cubicle dominated office design.