The office of your dreams - which one would you choose?
Most of the office dwellers do their 9 to 5 daily routine hunching over in boxy, fluorescent-lit cubicles, feeling lucky if their office has a snack or a coffee machine. We are all familiar with the boring offices that are plain, simple and do not try to inspire, or lift the spirits of the workers at all. Although the ‘open space’ design, reminiscent of bee hives still prevails, there is a number of notable exceptions to the rule.
The best offices in the world accomplish several things. To begin with, they are highly functional workplaces, reflecting their owner’s unique culture and spirit, and they are inspiring places to be and work at. All of these offices are interesting in different ways. It can be where and when they were build, how they are decorated and designed, their size, history, the spirit of innovation, or simply how they have been repurposed. In terms of categories we have selected some of the prettiest, most environmentally friendly and sound, eccentric, funnest, tallest, largest, expensive and safest offices that the world has to offer.
There are a lot of pretty offices around the world, but the Selgas Cano architecture office is, perhaps, one of the prettiest. The firm has designed and build a sunken office in the middle of a forrest in Madrid, Spain. The office gives the employees a bug’s eye view of the beautiful forrest around them, and really makes it stand out.
The Bullitt Centre in Seattle, USA is one of the greenest buildings in the world. This building has a roof covered with solar panels, a rain-water filtration system, and toilet systems that can compost human waste. Moreover, the materials used to build the building were toxin-free and sourced locally.
You can find different offices located within the Nanyang Technological University. The university has earned itself a reputation as one of the leading science, technology and research universities in the world. What also makes the university stand out, is the green roof on top that slopes almost at a 45-degree angle. Besides making the university look good, the green roof keep the ambient temperature low and reduce heat in the daytime.
The offices of Inventionland are something you surely have not seen before. They definitely show their creative side - sometimes maybe even too much of it. Some would maybe call it bizarre, or at least eccentric to have offices like this, including installations like a pirate ship, race track, a cavern and a 12-foot cupcake, just to name a few. There are currently sixteen differently themed sets of Inventionland, where the employees work inside. The idea behind it is to release the creative mindset of employees - finding your inner child can be both inspirational and rewarding.
When it comes to fun, the Google employees of the world are probably the happiest people on Earth. They are routinely zooming around on scooters, slipping down tube slides, playing on their indoor putting greens, casually exercise and work out in the middle of their offices using high tech gym equipment, and they never stop gloating about the awesomeness of their offices. In fact, you can hardly refer to these installations as offices, because the designs of these nerd playgrounds totally outclass your average corral of homogenous clustered desks. As one Google spokesperson told the New York Times, designers of Google offices have but one goal: “to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world.”
The original global headquarters in Mountain View, California, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, is a sprawling, sun-drenched campus known as the Googleplex. “It is easy to feel like we’re back in college,” Google employees brag in their career page’s description of the campus. Hundreds of bikes and scooters provide transportation from the conference rooms to the bowling alley, the climbing wall, beach volleyball, and weekly “TGIF” celebrations.
In their Amsterdam Google office, 1960s caravans serve as meeting rooms, complete with lawn chairs and fake grills. In short, every Google office worldwide will have a signature theme that is bound to surprise and astonish any visitor, or perhaps even make us a little bit jealous.
Airbnb Dublin office is great example of ingenuity coupled with inspiration and desire to experiment. The office was built form scratch in a huge, abandoned warehouse. Its centrepiece is a giant staircase that you can't miss, and it serves as a meeting area for the employees. The office has 29 differently designed ‘neighbourhoods’ to allow for plenty of space for the employees. A gigantic TV screen dominates the central area of the building and can be comfortably observed from the staircase when it is being used for presentations. The meeting rooms in the neighbourhoods are all inspired by cultural themes emanating from places Portugal, Greece and many other places worldwide, but at the same the rooms replicate the actual renting places that Airbnb offers to its customers.
Next, there a company that hails from England, money.co.uk. The company’s headquarters are built into the Victorian castle, and display an eclectic but lively mix of old fashioned, outright medieval and modern themes, interspersed with splashes of bright colours. Each room in the castle is equipped with the speaker system, controlled by a wall mounted iPad. Star Wars theme dominates the company’s meeting room, where the employees can also relax, play video games, snack and screen movies.
Aesthetically refined office
Second Home Lisboa in Lisbon, has a whopping 1,000 plants, decorative purpose, beautiful, improves air quality and more energy efficient, has a lending library with over 2,000 books in English and Portuguese, promotes mental and physical well being, wells area for yoga classes, located inside the Mercado Da Ribeira, a food market originally built in 1892. Plants are used to create privacy instead of adding new walls.
The tallest office
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, is currently the tallest office building in the world with a height of 828 meter. How long it will last, is just a matter of time. The title for the tallest building is a constantly ongoing race. At least for the time being, having an office in this building is very prestigious, and makes a strong statement about the financial prowess of your company - an average office will cost you around $500,000 per year. Plus it is also kind of cool to be located above the clouds.
The largest office
The Pentagon is among the largest buildings in the world, encompassing more than six million square feet of floor space. It, therefore, also ranks among the largest offices in the world. However, you can hardly expect anything that is ‘fun’ or eco-friendly in this building.
One World Trade Centre in New York, USA, is currently the most expensive office building build. The cost of it was $3,900,000,000 and was finished in 2014. It stand 541 meters tall and has 104 floors. State-of-the-art in every sense of the word, it includes a sustainable design integrating renewable energy and operating efficiency. One World Trade Centre also has the most advanced life safety systems found in any office building in the world. Asking rents start at about $70 PSF and increase to $100 PSF on the highest floors.
The safest offices
Finally, there is a number of super safe offices in the world, due to various reasons. For example, a data centre based in Stockholm, Sweden, looks like a secretive bunker out of a James Bond movie. Actually, it used to be a bunker and nuclear bomb shelter during the Cold War, but is now providing telecommunication services by the Swedish Internet provider, Bahnhof. It is placed 30 meters under the granite rocks of the Vita Berg Park in Stockholm.
The White House in Washington DC is certainly one of the safest office buildings in the world. It is more like an office fortress. It is build with bullet-resistant windows, filled with well-trained secret service agents, and boasts alarms positioned underneath the ground, as well as infrared sensors above the ground. The White House is also home to the family of US President, although moving there was probably a downgrade of sorts for America’s current President. One occasion, President Trump called the White House " a dump".
Similarly, the Kremlin fortress in Moscow, the capital of Russian Federation, is the seat of Russia’s executive power and the office of the Russian President. Built in 1480 as a residence for the Russian Tsars, the Kremlin is both safe and cool looking. The fortress has the largest bell and the largest cannon in the world, as well as gilded cathedrals, towers and spires. Secret service agents monitor the perimeter, while snipers patrol the tops of the historic buildings to ensure the safety of the Kremlin’s many visitors and the bureaucrats that work there.