These days it seems like more and more companies expect their employees
to clock longer hours at the office and increase productivity. But
without giving them more incentive–other than the incentive not to get a
pink slip–it’s hard to motivate people to work any harder or longer
than absolutely necessary. That’s why some of the best companies in the
world work hard to make their offices fun, creative and a place
employees look forward to going every day.
Google Zurich Office
Google really does seem to have world domination plans–between opening offices all of the world, their constant expansion into new markets and the ever-growing popularity of Android. So naturally they’d be a great company to work from just on the job security front alone. But of course that’s not the real reason anyone applies. The real appeal of working for Google is sliding down slides, using the massage chairs and hanging out in one of those crazy pod cabins as seen at Google’s office in Zurich, Switzerland.
Pixar Office – Emeryville, CA
One of the things that sets a career at Pixar apart from other animation jobs is the lack of soul-stealing contracts. But the other thing that sets Pixar apart is the office–and not just because of the amenities. Sure, the swimming pool, theater room and game rooms are great, but what’s really appealing is the lack of boring gray cubical walls and buzzing fluorescents. Each workspace at Pixar feels personal and helps to inspire creativity.
Red Bull London Office
It’s hard to imagine a bunch of stuffy suits at a company like Red Bull, and that’s because there aren’t any. Full of piss and vinegar–or maybe just Red Bull and adrenaline–employees can tear ass down the office’s carbon slide to get to the next conference meeting, which takes place at a ping pong table. As an interesting contrast to the care-free elements of the office, the entire place makes you feel like you’re in the future, with super modern design, a gorgeous lounge and crazy floating offices.
MR Design Office in Tokyo, Japan
Usually a five person office starts off in someone’s basement or on top of a laundromat, but the MR Design Office in Tokyo proves that even a small company can dream big when it comes to office space. Designed by Japanese studio, Schemata Architecture Office, the MR Design Office boasts a slick minimal design–including a clever conference table that uses a parabolic reflector dome to light the table and contain acoustics. Much cooler than any office basement, this space may be small but it packs a lot of interesting features, including an adult sized chute (which exists solely for fun, rather than quick transportation).
LEGO Development Department in Billund, Denmark
Remember the first time you saw the movie Big and you wanted Tom Hank’s character’s job? Well get ready to re-experience that envy all over again because the folks at LEGO have it even better. Employees at the LEGO Development Department in Billund, Denmark spend their time playing with LEGOs on the floor in visually stimulating “play rooms.” While the office does maintain a professional vibe, it’s filled with bright colors and an overall uplifting atmosphere that lets in plenty of light… unlike most offices which tend to feel soul-crushing and drab.
Ogilvy & Mather’s Office in Guangzhou, China
When advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather relocated their Southern China office forcing their employees to increase their commute, no one seemed to mind. It turns out that employees actually look forward coming to work when their office feels like a carnival complete with carousel horses and life-sized nutcrackers. Combining modern and whimsical, the Ogilvy & Mather’s Guangzhou office somehow feels both stimulating and relaxing–making it an ideal place for creativity and productivity.
Level5 Office in Fukuoka, Japan
The Level5 office in Fukuoka, Japan feels more like a high-end luxury apartment than a video game studio, but the geek cred is in the details. You’ll find accents like a random Yoda figure sitting in a conference room or Spider-man hanging around the lounge, which really go a long way to make the Level5 office appeal to otaku (or fanboys for you non-japanophiles). Of course Level5 isn’t just conference rooms and cubicles; they also possess their very own motion capture studio.
MindLab in Copenhagen, Denmark
A cluttered office filled with rows upon rows of cubicles and supplies stacked everywhere isn’t conducive to innovation. That’s why MindLab discarded the notion of an office in which people accommodate the room. According to them, “the room should accommodate the people.” Their philosophy shines throughout the design of the office, which features open floor plans and whiteboard walls. Employees can jot down notes or bounce ideas off of each other at any time, allowing their creative juices flow without distractions or obstacles.
Bastard Store in Milan, Italy
If you ruined your chances of becoming a pro skater when you wiped out at your last competition, there’s still hope that you can find some room for skateboarding in your career–that is if you can score a job at the Bastard Store’s corporate headquarters in Milan. So rather than spending your breaks out back smoking a cigarette in the cold (feeling bitter about missed opportunities) you can grab your board and head to the Bastard Bowl, a huge skating bowl suspended 6 meters above the store.
GSL Law Office in Moscow, Russia
Featuring bright accent walls, whimsical architectural elements and a giant comic book mural you would think this office belonged to an animation studio, not a law firm. The GSL Law Office in Moscow looks nothing like the typical dark wood and leather decor cluttered with bookshelves and diplomas you see in those personal injury lawyer commercials. In fact the vibe at GSL Law and Consulting almost makes you believe that lawyers can be friendly, decent humans.
White Mountain Office in Stockholm, Sweden
Working for an internet service provider doesn’t exactly sound glamorous, but working inside of an ultra-modern, highly sophisticated underground office does. The dress code may be business casual, but it would be incredibly tempting to come into work wearing a suit and insist that everyone call you Bond.
Blizzard Entertainment Office in Irvine, CA
Whereas most gamers get fired over playing World of Warcraft at work, it’s obviously encouraged at Blizzard. But that’s not even the coolest part about working at Blizzard Entertainment. Just coming into work every day is a geeky dream come true since the entire office is basically one big Blizzard museum, filled with collectables, artwork and statues from their games. The office also offers quite a lot of perks and surprisingly the volleyball and basketball courts get just as much use as the extensive game rooms.
Most Luxurious Office Cubicle
After seeing some of the world’s most amazing offices, it’s hard not to develop a serious case of office envy… something that Jared Nielsen doesn’t worry about. His office may not be the most luxurious place to work, but his cubicle makes up for it. Complete with hardwood floors, mahogany paneling, a beautiful carved desk and an oriental rug, this cubicle looks extremely out of place among a carpeted cube farm.