Serendipity is the phenomenon of finding something valuable when you weren’t necessarily looking for it. It’s also a major component to creative breakthroughs. Many times our most creative moments happen when we least expect them. That’s why tech companies are starting to consider creative office space design in order to elicit serendipitous encounters among its employees.
Samsung is a well-known competitor to Apple in the smartphone business and one of the companies using creative office space design to position employees for creative encounters. The South Korean-based tech conglomerate’s new American headquarters in Ridgefield Park, NJ was designed specifically with this purpose in mind.
Between floors of the new headquarters are large outdoor areas. These strategically placed public spaces are meant to bring engineers and salespeople together in an informal setting. As Scott Birnbaum, VP of Samsung Semiconductor puts it, “[the office] is really designed to spark not just collaboration but that innovation you see when people collide.”
Let’s take a look and see how other tech companies are using creative office space design to improve their team’s productivity and improve team happiness.
Lulu is an anonymous app that allows women to rate men on a scale between 1-10. The playful app is only available to women and Lulu CEO Alexandra Chong made sure the company’s office design is a direct reflection of the app’s personality.
Lulu has a distinctly feminine brand identity, this is abundantly clear with the many accents of pink that can be found around its Manhattan office (including pink lemonade that’s available to everyone). But the bright colors around the office aren’t just meant to match the brand, they were chosen for their ability to reduce eye strain.
The bright colors adorning the chairs, artwork, and furniture are meant to serve as a reminder to employees to look up from their computers and phones from time to time. These mini-breaks throughout the day greatly help the daily strain employees feel from constantly staring at a computer screen. Complementing the office furniture are green plants, because green is the most soothing color to absorb, and can re-energize your mind.
Like Lulu, you might not have the budget for a massive global headquarters like other tech companies. But take a page from Lulu’s playbook and choose a creative office space design that matches your brand while scientifically improving employee productivity.
Twitch lies on the complete opposite side of the spectrum of Lulu. The Amazon-owned site caters to a more male-based audience (though not exclusively) with the site’s many live channels for watching other gamers play video games.
The San Francisco-based company provides an office atmosphere that caters to the inner fanboy within each employee. There’s a gallery of “bit art,” an homage to video games early 8-bit graphics. There are iconic video game characters and memorabilia scattered throughout the office, like a Fallout laser rifle.
More importantly, there is a PC gaming lounge that is a popular place for teammates to unwind and challenge each other to intense matches.
Twitch’s team are active participants in the gamer community it cultivates. They’ve designed their offices around this singular passion and it’s allowed them to attract a unique type of employee. These small and mostly inexpensive office amenities create an office atmosphere that is loved by every employee, which in turn keeps productivity high.
Twitch proves that you don’t have to spend lots of money on perks to improve employee morale and productivity. Use Twitch as an example and discover what you can do to improve your office to keep your employees happy.
Kitchensurfing is another New York based startup, located in the Soho neighborhood. The company specializes in bringing professional chefs to private dinner parties.
Kitchensurfing has a very creative office space design, as it combines qualities of a kitchen with the feel of a private home. It perfectly embodies the mission of the Kitchensurfing team.
The kitchen at the Kitchensurfing office isn’t like any other company’s kitchen. Since their mission is food-based, they put a great deal of time and effort into making the space feel like home. Pots and pans are hanging from the walls, with shelves of dishes and other kitchen amenities taking center stage.
The kitchen is an open space with a large communal table for team meals; just like what its service promotes.
Kitchensurfing has bucked the futuristic trend startups like Uber have used to create a home-like feel to its office. Its creative office space design perfectly embodies the company’s mission.
Kitchensurfing teaches us that your office doesn’t have to feel like an office to be productive. Stay true to your company’s values and design an office space that adds your company’s unique personality. Kitchensurfing has an extremely creative office space design without adding anything that’s extravagant or luxurious.
If we can learn anything from these companies, it’s that a creative office space design comes in all shapes and sizes. Each company approaches how they want to increase employee productivity and happiness through its office design. While there is no right answer, it’s important to stay true to the personality of your company when coming up with your office space design.