They certainly make our break room look pretty dull . . .
The 800-pound tech gorilla is famous for its 70 quirky offices dotted across the globe, and Sydney’s 12-month-old HQ in harbourside Pyrmont is no exception. Housing 350 workers, the office boasts four kitchens and cafes packed with goodies, video games rooms, chill-out zones lined with hammocks, treadmills while you work, a rock-climbing wall to unwind, and even an aquarium for that much-needed Bond villain aesthetic.
You’d expect an architecture firm to build a nice office but this is ridiculous. Spanish duo Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano designed a cutting-edge workspace in the woods near Madrid: a tunnel made of clear acrylic to let in sunlight alongside a 110mm-thick fibreglass-polyester combination to provide some shade. Submerged beneath the earth with your eye level meeting the forest floor, the below-ground capsule keeps temperatures cool in summer and warm in winter.
The ride-share giant has moved into a swanky new home in Manhattan, a converted red-brick warehouse that gives its 230 employees sweeping views over the Hudson River. There’s a wall to hang bikes (if you don’t commute to work using your complimentary Uber voucher), scooters to glide around the enormous 5000-square-metre office, and a fully catered kitchen complete with craft beer and a seasonal selection of wines.
More theme park than office, Inventionland is a self-described “idea incubator” for Pittsburgh technology firm Davison Design & Development, designed to inspire the creative juices of 250 inventors. It’s split into 16 themed areas, including a pirate ship, a tree house, a cave beneath an indoor waterfall, a giant shoe, a castle with a moat, and a giant robot named Inventron.
That 2 o’clock meeting dragging on a bit? If you work at Lego, you can make your escape down a two-storey metal slide. Another design company that prides itself on innovation, Lego’s Danish HQ has been fertile soil for creativity and imagination since 2010. The open-plan ground floor boasts a Lego piece library and model-building tables to encourage interaction and idea-swapping, and the meeting rooms on the first floor balcony are linked by that chute, your perfect escape route.