What Can Tech Giants Teach You About Office Design?

Written by Chloe Harwood

Firms like Facebook, Google and Microsoft aren’t just transforming the technology we use, they’re also revolutionising the way we design our offices. These cutting-edge companies are turning traditional ideas about workspaces on their heads and coming up with new and exciting ways to arrange these areas. If you’re looking for ideas to help you revamp your office, keep reading. Here are some of the things the tech giants could teach you about design.

Taking a different stance to seating

Many companies don’t put a second’s thought into the seating they choose for their workspaces. They go by the idea that as long as it’s comfy, it’s OK. Forward-looking firms are challenging this approach though and putting a whole new spin on seating. Take Facebook’s vast new base in California. Its lobby is adorned with armchairs that look like they’ve been lifted off the set of Austin Powers. Meanwhile, Google’s London headquarters feature an array of unusual seats, including a giant semi-circular white sofa adorned with pillows and a series of chintzy chairs that fill a Granny’s Flat-themed room.

If you’re looking for inspiration for innovative office seating, you can peruse the collections of breakout furnishings offered by suppliers like Calibre. You’ll be able to take your pick from a host of colourful, unusually shaped seating options that could give your office added character.

Open plan, but not as you know it

Open plan workspace designs have been popular since the 1950s, but change is afoot in the world of sprawling office spaces. Increasingly, companies are choosing to incorporate different zones within their workplaces to help break them up and offer personnel different environments. Google is leading the charge here. Its London office features a rustic-style canteen area, a quiet Home Working space where personnel can go to complete tasks alone and a Town Hall area featuring a video wall and seating for 200 people.  By incorporating specific zones within your office, you can rest assured that whether your staff members need solitude for concentrated work or sociable spaces where they can stage impromptu meetings, they’ll have somewhere suitable to go.

Injecting the fun factor

Tech firms are injecting the fun factor into their premises too. To boost worker morale and ensure people have a chance to really relax and unwind on their breaks, they are incorporating a series of recreational spaces into their offices. Games rooms featuring everything from table football to games consoles are popular now.  Not a company to do things by half, Facebook has taken this a step further by constructing a rollerblade fun park for its personnel to use. Meanwhile, to bring a smile to staff members’ faces, Microsoft’s Vienna base includes a slide in place of a staircase.

Making the most of outside space

Businesses are also breaking out of their premises to take advantage of their outside spaces. Facebook’s Californian complex is topped with a roof garden complete with 400 trees and a half-mile walking loop. Meanwhile, Google employees in London can cultivate allotments on the ninth floor of their building and they can also enjoy views over the city from a roof terrace garden.

OK, so you might not have the budget or the desire to take office design to the extremes showcased by these tech giants, but by taking on a few of their ideas, you’ll be able to bring your workspace bang up to date.


About the author

Chloe Harwood