Extravagance and it’s place in office space
Office spaces are becoming increasingly elaborate and extravagant as time goes on. Companies all over London are apparently caught in what can only be described as an endless struggle to one-up each other. From movable walls in serviced offices, to adding amenities including but not limited to games consoles, slides, and even free booze, on the surface it seems like the ultimate aim is to make desk jobs more convenient and bearable. But what effect does all this extra quirk really have on a company, its culture and its workforce? And what exactly do our employers stand to gain by investing in such extravagant office spaces?
Myths and Legends:
The mythology surrounding the world’s richest and most prestigious companies is fueled in many ways by tales told through the grapevine; mostly by people who know someone who’s a friend of a friend of a guy who visited an office once and swore blind they saw a rock climbing wall in the lobby. Stories like this spread far and wide, with no small amount of help from the press. As a result, the offices of corporate giants like Google and Facebook have become something akin to urban legends, or otherwise perhaps modern day fairy tales that make adulthood sound entirely too good to be true.
Only this time the fairy tales are true. Facebook’s London headquarters has, among other things, free pic n mix, sleep pods, and listen to this…a wine bar! And Google’s Soho office comes complete with a rooftop terrace, garden allotments, ‘snugs’, day beds, and, for some reason, a genuine jet fighter ejector seat. And it’s not just the super rich multi-national tech giants that have invested in stepping up their office space game. Now, even coworking office spaces are on to the trend and are trying to make their offices as hip and engaging as they can. This in turn means that the bigger companies are having to up their game even further to compete with these new incentives to jump ship and freelance.
So why are businesses really doing this?
It’s not just about making people more comfortable. It’s about making people more productive. By adding free bars and nap pods, these big name companies are doing their best to get you to work harder, to entice you to stay longer, and above all, to keep you loyal. As Forbes so aptly put it, “when team members are happy at work, they are better collaborators, work to common goals, and are more innovative. That means it pays to elevate people’s mood”.
After all, would you want to stop working for a company that has on-site pic n mix and a free bar to offer you? I know I wouldn’t.
Just think of it as less stick, and way more carrot.
But wait, there’s more…
Some would argue that, as this extravagant trend towards office quirk continues to escalate, the ability to cater to their employees’ various on-site needs has become another symbol of a business’s status. Indeed, the ability to humanise your company’s real estate now appears to represent your businesses’ own inherent humanity. The assumption is that if your building has character, so then must your product.
This all means that a company’s office space has now become an extension of their brand.
But hey, I’m not complaining! Because when a load of huge corporations pave the way for creating happier workplaces all over the world, the evidence clearly shows that everybody wins.
By: Aidan Milan