What can we learn from Facebook and Google’s office designs?

What can we learn from Facebook and Google’s office designs?

In the world of office design, it’s fair to say that Google and Facebook have really raised the bar. From the largest open working space in the world to an office games room, is there any way we can compete? The answer, of course, is yes. Matching this standard could be seen as a mammoth task, but there is actually a lot we can learn (and ideas we can steal) from some of the most luxurious offices. Let’s take a step inside their world… 

Employee happiness

Google’s wacky world: Their balloon break out pods are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Although Google and Facebook’s office designs are totally different to one another, they do have one very important thing in common. They revolve their offices around their employees’ wants and needs. In what working world would you walk into a meeting room and be met with balloon break out pods and a model of an alien, or have the choice to engage in a multitude of sports in the games room? These playful design choices are guaranteed to inject happiness into any office, encouraging a happy (and healthy) balance of work and play. Although some directors may turn their nose up at an office games room in fear that it may create distraction, studies show that taking microbreaks significantly improves concentration. What’s more, happy employees are 20% more productive, so setting up an Xbox or office table tennis may just be the best thing you ever do. 

Colour psychology 

One of Facebook’s commissioned graffiti artists, David Choe.

Facebook often branches away from their simple logo colours, instead opting for the occasional colour explosion in the form of their art murals. These works are custom made, featuring anything from professional, urban graffiti to psychedelic patterns. Incorporating artwork into your workplace is a guaranteed conversation starter and mood booster, thanks to colour psychology, or simply giving your walls a fresh lick of paint could be just what you need to bring your space back to life. Just unleash the inner artist and let your creative juices flow!

Team work makes the dream work

Google employees engaging in a good old brainstorming session.

Team work really does make the dream work, as backed up by studies that highlight the boost in productivity and motivation when collaborating with your peers. Google and Facebook are all about that collaborative company culture, breaking away from the traditional cubicle style office design and transforming spaces to be more open. Facebook’s new Menlo Park campus spans an impressive 430,000 square feet, making it one of the largest open office settings in the world. The company’s Chief People Officer, Lori Goler, comments on the working environment, stating:

“It really creates an environment where people can collaborate; they can innovate together. There’s a lot of spontaneity in the way people bump into each other, just a really fun collaborative creative space.”

The open office has become a modern day trend, and when bearing this in mind, it’s easy to see why. When complete with comfortable meeting rooms and collaborative work spaces, you can really start to embrace your company culture. 

Embrace the natural world 

Another breathtaking feature that Facebook’s Menlo Park campus has on offer is a nine-acre green roof, home to 400 fully-grown trees and over 100,000 native plants that act as a natural insulator for the giant building. Bringing the outdoors in and fully embracing the wonders of biophilic design has been shown to positively impact staff performance, well-being and happiness, due to an innate desire to be close to nature. Obviously you don’t need to start planting hundreds of trees around your office (amazing as that may be), but you could use a plant wall or add a few desk succulents. 

Have Google and Facebook’s offices sparked some ideas? If so, our friendly team of design experts would love to hear from you! We’ll get your office looking just as good (if not better) in no time.