San Francisco is home to hundreds of well-established companies, surrounded by thousands of fledgling start-ups hoping to make it big. There is a reason that this city in particular has become a hot spot for new ventures to get started. Other than the obvious close proximity to Silicon Valley, San Francisco benefits because it sits in between tech giants and social media companies — leaders in the next wave of business culture.
Mirroring the fast-paced world of technology trends, the big brands in this space began trying out new concepts in their company layouts. In contrast to big bland office buildings of the 80s and 90s, new-age companies implemented “fun” offices with tons of amenities, like coffee shops, ping pong tables, and video games in the break room.
The question to ask here is, are these offices working? And what can we do to imitate their design?
Popularized most recently by tech giant Google, these layouts feature open rooms full of desks, instead of traditional cubicles or offices. The idea here is that open layouts encourage communication and collaboration between employees. So, do they actually work?
Two groups of thought have sprung up around the topic, and the answer isn’t clear. Depending on how employers implement open office layouts, workers will either embrace or reject the new plan.
There are a few ways to combat this problem:
As part of an ongoing joke about Millennials, numerous punch lines feature their love of coffee and craft beer. Companies are harnessing these interests and bringing them to their workspaces as an attempt to increase worker happiness.
With unemployment at record lows, employers have to recruit new workers to their companies using additional benefits other than the usual medical and dental coverage. And some of these benefits are becoming more and more elaborate. Take these companies for example:
Twitter - This office comes with its own yoga studio, fitness room, two game rooms, and a large cafeteria. Oh, and don’t forget about the rooftop garden.
Square - At the forefront of electronic payment, this company features a library, an in-house coffee shop, wellness center, and outdoor deck.
Overall, what can we learn here? One thing rings true, it is important to design an office from the perspective of your employees. They don’t need a lavish lounge or in-house barista, but they will appreciate a space that is arranged with them in mind.