Off-Beat Office Design Ideas


Silicon Valley is the nation’s trendsetter in many ways. Not only do they introduce new technology seemingly every week, but they have enabled us to embrace tele-commuting, foster collaboration and turn every day into casual day. I just read a couple of great articles about companies sharing their innovative office design ideas, so let me reveal some of their ideas. The first ideas came from an article on

1) War Rooms. I have clients that have these in their offices and it’s a great idea. It’s a meeting space with where the walls have been covered with white board material. Clients are not allowed typically because it is where staff can strategize. I have seen companies from technology to law firms incorporating them into their office space.

2) Ping Pong tables instead of conference room tables. When I worked for CBRE, we had a foosball table in the kitchen. It was awesome. I was terrible at it, so I mainly watched. We experienced the same results that the ping pong tables achieved – higher energy, increased productivity and happier colleagues. I have been in offices with ping pong tables, old school video games like PacMan, pool tables – don’t beat it until you try it.

3) Treadmill Desks and Standing Desks – If you have a back problem or have a desk job, your life can be turned around by using these desks. Perhaps not all the time or every day, but I have quite a few clients that use standing desks and they love them. I have used them and enjoy them as well, but sometimes I just want to plop into a comfortable chair and crank out the work.

My final example from the Harvard Business Review really shows how corporate America can evolve and grow.
4) Move the Coffee. Office designers now talk about creating spaces that increase “collisions”. No, not knocking into someone and spilling their coffee, but collisions are interactions with people from different departments or even the same department. The example the HBR article used was a pharmaceutical company that found when the sales staff bumped into folks from other departments, their sales increased. The company had one coffee machine for every six employees. Yes, corporate real estate can be that precise. The company ripped out those little coffee stations and built only a few big ones for every 120 employees. They also built one big cafeteria for everyone. In one quarter, sales rose by 20% or $200 million – an excellent ROI for the construction costs.

If you want to read these two great articles, click on their links.  If you want to move your office or just renew your lease but create a new look and energy, give me a call. I have helped many companies through this process and can help you as well.


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