In the 80s people seemed happy enough with their own cubicle and a plywood divider, but those drab offices have become a symbol of the corporate treadmill and it’s rare you’ll still find an office so closed-off and claustrophobic.
However, there is still a reason shows like The Office are so popular and we can’t help but chuckle at music videos like this one by Acicii vs Nicky Romero. Perhaps, some offices have modernised more than others?
In this blog, we take a look at the cream of the crop, the most drool-worthy office spaces in the UK.
It’s no surprise that this quirky drinks brand have gone above and beyond with their office space in Ladbroke Grove. In the early days, the brand laid fake grass instead of carpet because it was cheaper, but this now takes center stage in their ‘playground’ theme. Add table tennis, football, bunting, a slide and you’re getting there. It’s basically a day at the park.
But their office space is not style over substance. When asked about the design of their office and how this impacts the company’s culture, they replied:
Our drinks are entirely natural and we don’t hide anything in them. We wanted this transparency to be the reflected in internal culture so we use a lot of glass instead of thick walls. There’s a chance you could see something in a meeting room that a company our size would usually keep in tight circles but we’re really good at being open with one another. It keeps us little.
This famous advertising agency is based in East London’s Tea building, where their achingly-cool office space fits in perfectly with its urban East London surroundings.
The focal point of the office is a 14 foot wide concrete stairwell which doubles up as a huge communal seating arena for presentations and pitches.
To the right of the stairwell they have what you’d almost describe as a cage, which is actually a communal chill out area with walls adorned with pictures of all employee’s mothers, based on the belief that “everything we do, we do to impress our mothers.”
One thing the office doesn’t have is doors. Clive Wilkinson Architects commented on:
The need to create a workspace that kept ones imagination alert and for this reason kept the space communal, airy and open with doors, walls and closed areas banished.
What is really impressive about this space is the commitment to collaboration and community. Daily community lunches are held in the office canteen and employees move desks every 6 weeks to open up collaboration with others, spark ideas and seed cross-department friendships.
Read more about Mother London
Data science-led marketing agency, Jaywing were one of the first tenants to take up residence in Sheffield’s £10m Alsop Fields development. A major redevelopment project making beautiful living and working spaces out of Sheffield’s old factories.
The result of the regeneration is an office space that’s modern, airy, open and extremely spacious. The space lends itself perfectly to collaboration and a general sense of freedom. However, breakout rooms and low-hanging exposed lighting give it a comforting feel, along with some internal perspective and segregation without closing off the space with those ever-unpopular doors and walls.
Jaywing’s Chief Executive Rob Shaw said:
The opportunity to create a more inspirational space in a 'ground-up' development of a truly modern working environment, married with the rich cultural heritage of the Sheffield steel and silver industry was too good to miss.
The Sharp Project is a collaborative working space for creative companies. As the name suggests, the building was once a Sharp TV factory. The renovation has retained all the old charm, complete with rubber flooring which was presumably installed in case someone dropped a telly.
The building centers around a large open plan atrium, which is the real focal point of the building. Regular events are held in this open space to help tenants get to know each other, something The Sharp Project is ruthlessly commitment to. Careful consideration is given to new tenants to ensure that businesses can work together and help each other grow, rather than compete.
Just off the atrium, there are black cargo carriers in front of graffiti walls. These spaces are offices for smaller companies or people just setting up and they come with a start-up-friendly price tag.
The factory has been cleverly divided into areas, allowing for a diverse range of tenants each with very specific needs. Creative companies that enjoy the offices include digital agencies, search agencies, film production companies, photography studios and full-scale production companies.
Read more about The Sharp Project
No surprises Red Bull are on this list but what may surprise you is the very sleek, architectural style of their London HQ. It’s very modern, grown-up, minimal and neat. More airport chic then adrenaline junkie’s chill out pad. It does however, focus around a fully-stocked bar boasting spectacular views of London’s West End.
Attention to detail brings the style back to Red Bull’s roots with a carbon-fiber design element that is inspired by the patterns left behind by skaters, snowboarders, race cars/bikes and stunt planes.
Read more about Red Bull
Splunk are a fast-growing data business with head offices in San Francisco, but given the care and attention they’ve paid to their quintessentially- English office space, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is their HQ.
Rather than opt for the space age, clean, white, crisp design you might expect from an American data company, Splunk London have embraced their Paddington location to create a unique, welcoming and cosy space. Designers Morgan Lovell commented:
The design team went to work creating a unique open plan space with a host of quirky design features. Referencing the local train station, we introduced arches to the boardroom complete with bricks and steel and the obligatory graffiti. And installed a Pullman carriage in the middle of the office which serves as a comfy, soundproof meeting room.
This blog is the final in our series looking at team wellbeing. We’ve also looked at how remote working can enhance your agency, how to recruit the right team members and how to empower your team and improve decision-making.
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