According to Steve Jobs, productivity is not something you can prescribe. Instead, it is necessary to create a suitable framework that allows people to realise their full potential. The trend is going towards having offices that have little in common with the traditional concept of a workplace. The new emphasis is on innovative office landscapes that are fun and promote creativity.
Offices should inspire employees and promote creative ideas. So far, so good. But what does this mean in detail? In order to answer this question, let's take a look at where the trend originated: Silicon Valley. Google is a prime example. The company did not move into an office building, but onto a campus. We are already familiar with the colourful bicycles and the volleyball court from the movie "The Internship". And on the inside? "Playground" would be a suitable description for the Google offices. They are colourful, homely and full of original ideas. Thus they radiate precisely what Google desires from its employees: lots of creativity and esprit.
Revolutionary Workplace Design
As architect and office specialist Martin Kleibrink explains in the business magazine "brand eins", fixed workstations are only actually used around half the time. This represents an opportunity to replace fixed workstations with flexible work concepts that can be utilised by all employees and lead to the formation of creative hotspots. This is what it looks like at Google in Zurich or Hamburg: there are numerous meeting rooms and nooks, but only upon closer inspection can they also be recognised as such. They are hidden in-between, among other things, futuristic cabins which appear like a cross between an egg and a diving capsule. There are also cableway gondolas, mini chalets with rustic interiors, converted hot-air balloons or even remarkably realistic models of underground carriages. SoundCloud in Berlin has a similar concept. The online music service has created a Scandinavian atmosphere in its offices, and meetings are held in armchairs in front of a fireplace. Wood to feed the fire is, of course, always at hand.
Replenish Your Energy and Maintain Contacts
Anyone wishing to achieve a high degree of creative performance and initiate groundbreaking innovation processes must take a break from time to time to recharge his creative energies. The best way to do this is to switch off completely or let off steam. Here, too, Google, Facebook & Co. are way ahead. Apart from kicker and table tennis, Google, for example, also offers relaxation rooms, where employees can rest on comfortable loungers in front of aquariums. Employees who are all tensed up from too much programming work can opt for a treatment in the massage room. Or work up a sweat in the fitness rooms, if they prefer. Such amenities not only promote recuperation, but also create a convivial atmosphere, in which ideas can be exchanged informally during a game of table tennis or billiards.
The office location and furnishings mirror the corporate culture. Increasingly, modern concepts resemble open office landscapes, in which private workplaces merge with shared spaces to create something bigger than the sum of its parts. Are you interested in attractive office spaces which leave scope for own ideas and design concepts? Visit Engel & Völkers to find out more about our range of commercial properties.