When it comes to office space planning, the trend in past decades has been to try and cram as many people into the office as possible, in order to make maximum use of the space available. However, in more recent times, designers have started to realize that this may not be the best way to proceed.
Indeed, as research has raised awareness of the importance of staff happiness, we have seen a move away from regimented office layouts, towards designs which help to introduce an element of fun to the working day. Here, we take a look at how some businesses are using creative and clever design to redefine workplace fun.
Re-Imagining the Workplace
One of the most simple approaches to redefining workplace fun is examining every day work practices and trying to make them more unique or interesting. Think about the spaces that employees work in regularly and consider how you can make them more enjoyable environments to occupy on a daily basis.
For example, meeting rooms have become an area of focus for design companies in recent times. Traditionally one of the most yawn-inducing areas of a workplace, Google got around this problem in their Zurich office by using themed Gondolas to host their meetings, and Mind Candy went a step further, creating a meeting room treehouse.
Meanwhile, advertising agency Mother London’s studio features perhaps the most innovative office design London has to offer in terms of pure space planning, with a unique-looking 250ft communal desk seating approximately 200 employees. In order to keep things fresh, workers for the agency are required to switch seats every six weeks.
An Additional Layer of Fun
However, some businesses have seen the benefits of extending the sense of fun beyond work practices, hoping to improve morale and help employees to relax. Studies have shown that happier workforces are more productive, have fewer absences and experience lower staff turnover rates, so there is evidence to support this approach.
An unusual design trend we are seeing more and more of is the office slide, used in place of staircases. This first came to mainstream attention when Google implemented a spiral slide into their office in San Francisco. The company have since installed similar slides in their other buildings and YouTube and Mind Candy have followed suit.
Some companies are using fireman’s poles for much the same purpose and other trends we are starting to see include games rooms for staff to use during their breaks, sports areas for before, during or after the working day and white boards to allow employees to share inspirational quotes or messages with their team.
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