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by Mary Kate Sheridan | August 08, 2018


Photo by Shridhar Gupta on Unsplash

I’m not typically a jealous person, but today my eyes turned a little green when I spotted a picture on Facebook of a friend working . . . on a gorgeous lake in Austria. Sunglasses on and a smile plastered on her face, she was plugged in to her office through a remote work station called “BusinessBeach.”

I would be lying if I said I didn’t look up a few flights and plan a dream “work-cation” across the pond. But once I harnessed my travel bug, I began mulling over the importance of a workplace’s “brick and mortar.”

It turns out, it’s pretty significant. According to Capital One’s 2018 Work Environment Survey, 79 percent of respondents believe that unless a workplace environment is innovative, the employer cannot encourage motivation. And the design may even trump the coordinates: 66 percent of respondents “believe that workplace design and environment is equally important or more important than office location,” with the number even higher at the executive level. Among respondents’ most coveted office-motif elements were natural light, reconfigurable furniture, artwork, collaborative spaces, bold colors, and rest areas.

These requests aren’t pipe dreams. Many companies take their workspace design—and its effect on employees—seriously. Look no further than Inc.’s recently released World’s 10 Most Beautiful Offices of 2018. Below are a few highlights from these workspace-design trailblazers.

  • Bumble: This Texas-based company embraces its name with a bee-inspired motif and appeals to its mostly female workforce with private rooms for pumping and a “Glam room” that features complementary haircuts and manicures.
  • Condigo Del Sur: This mobile app developer based in Uruguay is housed in a 1920s mansion, which is adorned with video art and includes a pool, inner courtyards, a barbecue room, and a playroom.
  • Dplus Global: With massive horse-shaped lamps in the bathrooms and a boat-shaped reception desk, the decor at this natural-products company is sure to wow, while the yellow tones in the entry area are meant to facilitate a sense of comfort.
  • Edrington: Toasts no doubt abound at this spirits company, with a stocked bar at the entrance and a light fixture made of Scottish barrels in the conference room.
  • GIPHY: With a full-service coffee bar, gaming area, and lounge, this New York-based company isn’t short on workspace perks.
  • Hutch: Using its own design app, Hutch offers cozy common spaces with L.A.-themed decor and a mural of some of the app’s design filters.
  • Ideas Lab: This technology research lab in Shanghai features an “information age” motif and co-working spaces.
  • Instagram: The company’s New York office has a juice and gelato bar and a two-story wall covered in living plants.
  • L’Oreal: Overlooking the Seine, L’Oreal’s Paris office offers a warm atmosphere with soft pinks and blues, as well as ample relaxation areas, such as patio gardens, digital detox rooms, and a beauty parlor.
  • NewDay: Contrast is the name of the game at NewDay, which is located in a Victorian-era building but features a contemporary design internally, including “open plan desking” with 300 work stations.

These unique workspaces undoubtedly make the 9-to-5 grind much more interesting. What innovative workspace design would most inspire your daily work?