How to take a leaf out of Google’s office design book

Google’s latest new office in Cambridge is a sight to behold. Reports suggest that it’s light, bright and open planning will help make it one of the most desirable places to work in the city of academia, if not the entire UK.

But, how easy is it to introduce a new office design that Google employees would feel comfortable in and, more importantly, be ultra-creative and productive.

“Creating the right office style for your business and employees isn’t an easy thing to do,” said Pimlico estate agent, Andrew Reeves. “But, taking inspiration from your business idols can be as good a place to start as any.”

Introduce a ‘wow’ feature

Lucky early visitors to the Google Cambridge R&D facility were all impressed with pretty much everything. However, details that particularly caught their eye where the miniature rainforest wall installation, a mini gold area in the top floor café and, most of all, the Alexa Wall.

The Alexa Wall was created by installing hundreds of the voice assistants onto a wall. A job that reportedly took a whole week to make. But, if the initial reactions to it are anything to go by, it was time well spent.

Of course, as your business isn’t Amazon, you have two main choices when it comes to selecting your feature or features:

  • One is to opt for a green idea, something that helps bring the outside in and can assist in keeping a good mental balance among your staff.
  • Another is to focus on something specific to your business. Just like the Alexa voice assistant is instantly recognizable as Amazon’s hardware, if there’s something your business is well-known for, be it a product, service or branding detail, then use that as a focus or inspiration to add the wow factor to your new office.

“Bringing the wow factor to your office is a great way to feed your employee’s creativity and productivity,” said Proskips. “It can also help inspire any potential clients by showing them what you’ve already achieved and reminding them what you’re capable of.”

Can informal work for everyone?

One aspect of modern offices, including across Google’s many places of employment, is the inclusion of a more informal layout and space.

But, while that might work for some industries, it isn’t right for all of them. Just try imagining a group of city workers kicking back on an over-sized cushion when they’re much more at home sitting at an orderly desk in a quiet, soundproof office of their own. It’s not likely to work, is it?

However, if you feel your office could benefit from some informal spaces, then you could consider adding breakout spaces. Or, a rooftop café of it’s possible. These areas can help promote more collaborative working processes while retaining the privacy that many of your workers need to achieve their daily work requirements.

“Casual, open plan offices may look great, but in reality, too much open space and more relaxed seating might not have the right effect on your employees,” said Lawsons & Daughters. “Figure out how your employees work best and work around that to create the right working environment that balances their happiness with productivity.”

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