A Few of the Most Unique Offices
Most of us spend eight hours or so at work every day, so the environment we work in plays a big part in how productive (and happy) we are. For example, if you’ve ever worked in a grey, cubicle-style office, you’ve surely wondered if there are better offices out there. The answer: yes, yes there are. From the innovative to the just plain wacky, these are some of the most notable offices out there.
Inventionland Design Factory
How many companies can say that their work environment is a mix between corporate and theme park? That’s right – Inventionland Design Factory, an “idea incubator” in O’Hara Township, Pennsylvania, blends the office setting with 16 different themed areas that look like they’ve come straight out of an adventure park. Workers can choose to get their work done in sets as diverse as a treehouse, a pirate ship, and a castle. Pictures of the workplace are astounding all on their own, but if you want to see the place in person, you can always schedule a tour.
When you think of Detroit, Michigan, images of decaying city blocks probably come to mind. While the city has as long way to go in bouncing back to its former glory, Detroit’s downtown area is full of some hip businesses that make good use of the historic buildings that live there. Case in point is the Quicken Loans headquarters, which is located in the Chase Center. While much of the workspace is open and brightly colored, the more interesting details come from the parts of the building the company has left untouched. Quicken Loan’s big centerpiece is the repurposed, early 20th-century bank vaults it uses for meetings.
When it comes to workspaces, Google is perhaps one of the most renowned. The company’s well-known “Googleplex” in Mountain View, California, has millions of square footage in office space that mixes business and personal. Along with the typical desks and meeting rooms, so-called Googlers are also free to do their laundry and ride company bikes on the premises. Additional perks include a ball pit and an arcade. And it’s not just what’s inside that counts – the office complex also includes a five-acre park.
While the Googleplex may be the end-all be-all of envious tech workers everywhere, Microsoft’s Vienna campus has to come in pretty near the top as well. Themed conference rooms include a completely wood-paneled “hunting lodge” as well as a top-to-bottom deep blue ocean room, both of which exude a calming atmosphere. While the rooms are noteworthy enough, visitors to the office are greeted right away with a wall of plants that make up the reception area. And, if Microsoft workers ever get bored, they can take a trip on the slide that runs down the middle of the office space.
Bahnhof, a Swedish Internet service provider, has a workplace built for a Bond villain. Their “white mountain” office complex is built in an underground bunker that originally served as a nuclear shelter during the Cold War. The actual working spaces are found in rooms made of sleek metal and glass that cut through the cavernous rock face, while submarine generators serve as a power backup. It’s the perfect space for a hip data center – and those planning world domination.