Are office designs out of control?

Monday, October 28 2013
Are office designs out of control?

Some startups believe that they're going to revolutionize everything about the business world. This attitude has become increasingly pervasive in recent years as new companies pop up on a regular basis.

One element that these young enterprises seem determined to change is the office. The thinking is that the workplace is stuffy and confining - two qualities that oppose some startups' freewheeling ideals. We recently went over some of the hottest trends in office design, and it's pretty clear that the days of cubicles and private spaces are numbered.

Part of the reason for that is that startups want their offices to have a personality. In an interview with Onoffice Magazine, Lauren Geremia, the designer behind Dropbox's headquarters and Path's new digs, explained that she tries to help each client achieve specific objectives.

"I ask them what they want visitors to say when they leave the office, things like that, to get inside their head. Every client has a formula; a structure with rituals for how they eat, how they work, how they communicate. A lot of these companies are young enough that I'm able to have an input there, and develop it together," Geremia said.

This has led to some truly ridiculous layouts. For instance, Venture Village points out that Google's office in Zurich has hot air balloon baskets for workstations. Meanwhile at Jimdo, the walls are decorated with photographs taken by employees.

Why these designs aren't worthwhile
Venture Village goes on to point out that while implementing a unique design can help create a corporate culture, it can take a while to see the results. Further, there's always the chance that the layout won't actually lead to the image the business wanted.

Some interior decorators can charge exorbitant fees for an intricate layout as well, so this might not be the wisest investment for any company, especially startups with limited capital. A basic office is sufficient for communicating a professional aura.

Additionally, you won't have to worry about what your facility looks like if you allow the staff to work from home by installing video conferencing technology. The cutting-edge business communications platform allows employees to talk to their colleagues and clients from any Internet-connected computer, smartphone or tablet. Company leaders should consider using collaboration software and a minimal office design to save money and avoid having a ridiculous appearance.