“Carefully study the well being of your men, and do not overtax them.”
Simple words hidden behind complex depth, written by Sun Tzu author of the ‘Art of War‘.
Every good leader knows that a business is run by its army of employees.
In order to increase productivity, it is essential to keep employees in good spirits. Not just for the growth of the business, but also for the wellness of members of the team.
As competition rages, one of the best ways to attract top talent is to create a good working environment.
These founders know exactly that and have transformed their office spaces into the eye of envy of their competitors:
Selgas Cano – ‘An office between the woods’
Image Credit: Iwan Baan
Why it stands out: It creates a culture of being closely associated with nature. Imagine being able to see the beauty of nature after a long workday, with animals passing by in their own calm demeanour and the leaves rustling in the breeze.
What can be more relaxing than that?
But if that is too slow for your taste, the company also has a fun room and slides for its employees.
Most interesting feature: An office built in the middle of the forest.
Best for: Companies with high-stress environments.
Drawbacks: It can be extremely difficult to find an office space in the middle of the forest. Although, it can be achieved by creating a virtual experience of nature.
Lego – ‘The forever young workspace’
Image Credit: Anders Sune Berg
Why it stands out: Like most offices, the Lego office does not simply rely on interiors and the colour of the walls to convey a message. The whole office itself is inspired by a lego.
With what feels like one-piece stacked on top of the other, this whole office looks like one massive Lego piece. It has a whole arena for work and play, with Legos built everywhere from hotdesks and into meeting rooms.
In the play area, adults can play with different Lego pieces and create their own masterpieces.
The open plan layout of meeting rooms, play areas, and hot desks will make you feel like you are inside Legoland, especially with the slide that makes it fun to reach offices.
Most interesting feature: An office that is designed like a Lego.
Best for: Creative companies.
Drawbacks: However, being confined into an environment with one particular nuance, can sometimes limit creativity.
DTAC Headquarters – ‘The all-in-one office’
Image Credit: The Cool Hunter
Why it stands out: Companies tend to build offices in different locations as they grow. However, what is unique about DTAC is that it brought together all six of its offices into one. This allows the workspace to be more driven by common goals and communication. Imagine having all your employees together under one roof.
Other than that DTAC is also said to be the largest office to be leased in Thailand’s history with 62,000 square metres.
Having such a massive office does not mean that there is a lack of fun elements in the environment. For example, from having an open terrace overlooking Bangkok’s skyline to a massive inbuilt library, the company has it all.
Most interesting feature: All offices brought together under one roof.
Best for: Companies with frequent changing environments, as it is easier to communicate when everyone is under the same roof.
Drawbacks: Unsuitable for small businesses and businesses that rely on telecommuting.
Gummo office – “A sustainable solution”
Image Credit: i29
Why it stands out: Gummo aims to build an environmentally friendly office by using furniture from online auction sites and charity shops. Apart from being a sustainable option, it can also be beneficial for the company’s finances.
Climate change is an important issue that no one should avoid, not even business owners. As society gains a greater awareness of environmental issues, particularly the millennial generation, working in an environmentally friendly office can boost the “feel good” factor of employees. They can feel like being part of something bigger.
Such a culture can also increase employee loyalty and boost productivity.
Most interesting feature: Environmentally friendly.
Best For All companies.
Drawbacks: The colour combination can be dull. The quality of second-handed furniture may not be as good as a new one.
CodigoDelSur – “The Mansion”
Image Credit: CodigoDelSur
Why it stands out: This is one of my personal favourite on the list. CodigoDelSur has two offices: the first one is known as the “house” and the second is called the “mansion”. The mansion was designed as a reflection of a “post-apocalyptic” future.
While the other offices are designed to look like a proper workspace or a fun office, the ‘mansion’ does look like someone’s house –think Professor X’s school for mutants. As subtle as it is, designing an office to look like a mansion does bring out a sense of increased togetherness amongst employees. Imagine feeling like going to a friend’s home every Monday morning, instead of the office.
The company also encourages employees to embrace music and sports (especially basketball) as a way to destress, which is probably the reason behind the massive piano with the “Play” sign in the middle of the mansion.
It is the perfect example that one does not really have to go overboard with decorations to create a fun environment.
Most interesting feature: Everything.
Best for: Small companies looking to add an element of fun into their office space; creative companies.
Drawbacks: May not be suitable for all company cultures.