In recent years, corporate offices have become a lot less corporate. Gone are boring white walls, furniture purchased from the same store that sells pens, and that dreadful linoleum flooring. New offices are now thoughtfully designed to be more conducive to collaboration and places where employees look forward to going every day.
Another element in the evolution of office design is social media. Companies want to provide spaces for visitors to do everything from snap a selfie to facilitate true content creation. From large corporations to small businesses, here are some of the most stylish offices as well as tips on how to achieve a similar look.
Based in downtown San Diego, Eckis Marketing is an all-female run agency with a focus and vision to inspire and empower women in the workplace. Because much of what they do involves social media, it’s only natural to have an Instagram-perfect office, including a stylish custom neon sign.
“We wanted a place for both our team and clients to be able to enjoy. So, we designed each space of the office around the brand—black and white with splashes of neon pink! We also specifically chose white furniture for the purposes of being able to create content within our office,” explains Whitney Eckis.
The Penny Hoarder
The whimsical concept for the design of The Penny Hoarder offices is highly intentional. Lisa Gilmore, creative director of the project says the purpose is to make finances feel more fun and “less stuffy.”
While the office is an extension of the company’s branding, Gilmore’s approach was well-calculated. “I don’t believe in plastering your logo and brand colors everywhere, so instead we sprinkled it in throughout the space and didn’t let it overpower. Really, no color was off limits.”
For others trying to create a similar look, Gilmore suggests taking small risks. “Use colors that maybe step away from your brand a little bit. Don’t be afraid to put some whimsy in your space—cheeky artwork, mixing modern with traditional, etc.”
Truly unique, the 60,000 square foot space that Toymakerz occupies isn’t just an office, it’s also a custom vehicle workshop and set for the History channel television show. So, it needs to be functional in multiple ways. According to CEO of ToyMakerz, David Ankin, “The space is forever evolving.”
“Every week, the room changes depending on our builds and projects. It truly is an on-going process depending on what we are filming or not,” he says. “We needed a big enough space, as we do six to eight builds at a time. It’s important to adapt as well as to inspire the staff’s creativity.”
Working within a space that needs to be a workshop, offices, and as Ankin calls it, “a living museum,” can be challenging, particularly when it comes to safety. But both Ankin and president of Toymakerz, David Young, make it work. “By having the workflow space on the floor and the offices on the second floor but all open allows me to everything at once! I can sit at my desk upstairs and see the entire floor.”
Sometimes, a home office is even better than a corporate one, especially for Jay Hartenbach, who is the CEO and co-founder of Medterra CBD. Located in Laguna Beach, California, the room features jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean.
But it isn’t just about having a prime piece of real estate, Hartenbach says the impact of the ocean goes deeper. The water (and perhaps a few drops of CBD oil) help him do something that many entrepreneurs cannot—relax. “Having a view of the ocean really breaks up the grind of being in the office, helps put into perspective how small you are in the grand scheme of things and realize that even on rough days the world will keep on spinning.”
The abundance of windows also floods the office in natural light, creating an energetic ambiance. Hartenbach also keeps a Peloton in the space. Exercising allows him to maintain his focus, riding three to five days per week. “It’s a great way to start my day and come into the office full of energy with a work out already accomplished,” he says.
Boies Schiller Flexner
Law office design is usually uncreative to say the very least, but not the new offices of Boies Schiller Flexner. Designed by Schiller Projects, the 100,000 square foot space, which spans four floors, has very little in common with most law office builds found in New York City.
Located at 55 Hudson Yards, the office feels like the most sophisticated co-working space ever built, as opposed to an upscale law firm. Closed corner offices have been replaced with semi-open rooms featuring panoramic views of the Hudson River.
The space has twenty-two rooms designated for the attorneys to collaborate, which is an important part of Boies Schiller Flexner’s corporate culture. However, private calls can be made in one of twenty-four private phone rooms.
To keep productivity at a maximum, no detail has been overlooked. The 19th floor even has a private 4,000 square foot café and full-service coffee bar, giving employees one less reason to leave the building.
Carpeting and white walls, which are typical of most law firms are also nowhere to be found. Instead, there is black terrazzo flooring as well as curved concrete walls throughout.
But, the most noteworthy feature is The Ribbons, an art installation made from metal beads connecting the common areas over three stories. It is adjacent to a jaw-dropping three-story curved steel staircase that’s impossible to miss.
While open office space is a relatively recent trend, HL Group has had open offices for nearly 20 years. Co-founder and CEO, Lynn Tesoro believes this is the ideal setup for collaboration. “This current space was designed to foster camaraderie through the sharing of information and knowledge amongst our employees. Simply put, no walls, no barriers. Our teams work seamlessly across function and support one another in ways that create a dynamic and productive environment.”
There is also an outdoor terrace, which is a rarity in New York. “During the warmer months, it is not uncommon to see our teams having brainstorming meetings on the terrace—nothing like the sun and fresh air to stimulate the mind,” she explains.
Founder and CEO of lilah b. cosmetics, Cheryl Yannotti Foland wanted the aesthetic of the company’s office to reflect their branding. Located in Sausalito, she says the look of the space is, “Functional [and] minimalistic in line with the brand ethos of ‘less is more’.”
The clean and modern office might be high in style, but it’s surprisingly low in budget. The furnishings were sourced from a variety of stores including Room & Board as well as Amazon. “Working within a tight budget, there were lots of ‘copycat’ pieces that I was able to find to achieve the look and feel I wanted for my team,” Foland reveals.
She also says decorating on a budget is possible, as long as you take your time and avoid rushing or impulse purchases. “Start lean. You can always add [additional pieces].”
- Originally posted on Forbes