Five fun and clever office ideas to inspire your small business

More than ever, young companies are putting a lot of effort into coming up with dream office spaces in a bid to attract the most talented professional out there. Here, we look at five international offices and how they benefit staff.

Earlier this year, the New York Times published an article that revealed one of the largest companies in the world, Amazon, was giving away treehouses to its employees. Located in downtown Seattle, the truly revolutionary and iconic working space acts as a high tech greenhouse, packed with an enormous plant collection and featuring an indoor creek.

The project’s architect, Dale Alberda, believes that the whole idea behind the insanely innovative structure is to get people thinking more creatively and helping them come up with ideas that wouldn’t have crossed their minds otherwise.

It’s true that that office environment can have a great impact on staff performance. More than ever, young companies are putting a lot of effort into coming up with dream office spaces in a bid to attract the most talented professional out there. By making employees feel valuable and encouraging creativity and relaxation in a suitable office space, very positive results ensue.

This is also what encouraged entrepreneur and CEO Jerry Jao, co-founder of marketing start-up Retention Science, to invest considerably in a nicer office environment, after discovering a survey by the American Society of Interior Designers. The survey itself revealed that most employees cited their ‘physical environment to be one of the most important factors influencing their decisions to accept or leave jobs, tying for second with benefits’.

What’s more, looking the part is also crucial when attempting to impress and gain new clients. And it’s not just about setting the space up with new and interesting furniture: a prime location that is going to reflect your business is a very important factor to consider.

Amazon’s treehouse office space, Seattle, USA

Built with the idea in mind that greenery in an office space helps improving the employee’s well-being, these futuristic treehouses are set to open in 2018 and are already hailed as some of the most genius offices ever created. No small casement windows there: the luminous building will be mostly made of glass to help with plants’ growth, just like in a traditional glasshouse.

Corus Entertainment, Toronto, Canada

One of Canada’s top employers in 2016, Corus Entertainment goes well beyond expectations with a physical space that features an incredible three-storey indoor slide, a green rooftop, onsite café and two movie screening theatres.

Hootsuite, Vancouver, Canada

Another Canadian top company, social media management specialist Hootsuite has opened two offices in Vancouver, complete with chalet decors, lodges to relax in, a fishing lodge inspired lobby, indoor cabins based on the one that may be found in ski resorts, a library, and outhouse, and a bistro kitchen.

Missing Link, Johannesburg, South Africa

Missing Link is a presentation and conference organising company whose headquarters have often been described as fun and completely ‘off the wall’. It features a treehouse, a shooting range, a tattoo studio called Missing Ink, a music stage and a food truck. It was conceived with the idea that staff and clients alike should want to come and spend time in the office space.

Airbnb, San Francisco, USA

Each room in Airbnb’s headquarters has been designed to look like a real-life Airbnb listing: a fun and colourful concept that also contributes to emphasise the company’s culture and values. It features notably a Mumbai-style café, camping meeting rooms and a mountain lodge-themed cabin acting as an office.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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