I've been thinking about how if you look at our culture as, well, a culture, then it's pretty sad how the places where most of us spend 8 hours a day are these miserable, depressing, stupidly ugly dungeons, with plastic fruit and noisy robots making battery-acid coffee. I imagine some future historian talking about the corporations of the second dark age to a horrified classroom. Then I have a cup of coffee and cheer up. Wouldn't mind working in this place.
I love the fact that their work environment is not limited to their desk and meeting rooms. You can select the environment that works the best for you, and that stimulates the qualities you require for a specific task (or just pick the one you like the most).
I agree... it seems like the fixed office could become a relic of the past. it used to be important that you were generally in your office... so people could find you or reach you on your extension, but with chat and email.. it seems less relevant.
More importantly, with the portable work stations available today. It used to be a big event to move desks. Now you can work in another floor, no need to take your bulky computer and all the cables and network configuration with you.
My personal office has a private bathroom, a flat screen TV, a couch, microwave, fridge, balcony, bar and barstools. I can bring my dog every day. Best of all I sleep in whenever I want and take naps during the day. Did I mention I think working from home is the future?
I must disagree. While technology has certainly enabled remote working I do not believe that is the future. Google, for all of it's whimsy, is on the right track.
Though many dot-com and ad agencies may make their offices look like adult day-care, I think the underlying ideas at play are the future:
* Physically and emotionally warm environments
* huddle spaces for face-to-face collaboration
* low ceilings create a quiet conference and intimacy
Google has made multiple living rooms in the building. They've taken what you love at home and brought it into a professional settings. In many ways the Silicon Valley startup houses have done the opposite to equally great effect. They brought the office into the home.
I don't know. I'm just pulling from personal experience. The best spaces I've found have actually been dim, warm, and cozy. I find that my best development hours are late at night, wether in the office or at home.
But for other parts of business (research, email, document editing, etc) I have found the war-rooms and coffee-shops to be a better fit.