Words by Carlie Tucker
The average person spends roughly 90,000 hours at work in a lifetime. For most, that's 90,000 hours in a stark white cubical, hammering away at a keyboard. Sure you can add a personal photo here or maybe an inspirational phrase there, but office spaces on the whole leave a lot to the imagination.
Luckily, as studies continue to show that employees surrounded by engaging workspaces are more productive, companies are starting to integrate innovative layouts. These particular offices have taken the concept to a whole new level. From pirate ships and ponds to game rooms and sleeping pods, these are the world's coolest office spaces:
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Located in Sunnyvale, California the offices of this tech giant are big, bright and engaging. Designed by DES Architects + Engineers, just some of the highlights include racetrack-themed corridors complete with push-pedal go-karts, gaming areas for downtime, a Treadwall rock wall, height-adjustable desks and movable seating pods.
This enterprise cloud company calls San Francisco home with an incredible office that spans a number of buildings in what they deem an 'urban campus'. One of the coolest features is found in the Lobby – a 106-foot-long video screen that plays various ultra cool videos. From rainforest scenery and Pacman to a gushing waterfall, it's an apt representation of the innovative spaces found throughout the company's offices.
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White Mountain Office
Definitely not your typical office space, the home of this internet provider sits 30 metres below the ground in an anti-atomic shelter in Sweden. With science fiction films providing inspiration, Albert France-Lanord Architects created a functional and highly visual space reminiscent of an underground lair complete with floating glass-encased meeting room. It's enough to make the best Bond villains green with envy.
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Once a navy shipyard in Philadelphia, the head office of this clothing conglomerate refurbished 100+ year old buildings into a campus of innovative and visually stunning work spaces. When designing outdoor clothing it only makes sense to be surrounded by the outdoors, which is why these offices feature hanging gardens, ponds, trees and more, breathing new life into the architecturally stunning industrial buildings.
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Another tech company that calls San Francisco home, Dropbox has created a flexible and engaging space that will grow with their ever-expanding team. The design integrates a special LED lighting system as well as experimental art pieces such as the Ping Pong Wall. There are plenty of open spaces for team collaboration as well as cleverly titled meeting rooms. There's even a music room with grand piano because why not?
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Inventionland Design Factory
Based in Pittsburgh, these offices take the cake when it comes to unique design. Would you expect anything less from the world's largest invention factory? It is divided into 'sets', which include recreations of pirate ships, race tracks, caves and castles to name a few. State-of-the-art sound, video and animation studios feature throughout as do fully-equipped workshops for creating prototypes.
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It wouldn't be a list about cool office spaces without giving Google a mention. With headquarters located around the world, each offers up incredibly designed spaces that integrate everything from themed meeting rooms and murals to game rooms and massage chairs. For example, Google New York takes up an entire city block, with hallways featuring subway grates and fire hydrants, while Google London offers up quintessentially British spaces paying homage to pubs, Granny's Flat and more. It's all about spaces that promote fun and creative thought as well as collaboration.