How Playful Workplaces Will Change The Future Of Work

How Playful Workplaces Will Change The Future Of Work

PSFK's Consulting team looks at how businesses are designing their work environments around the philosophy that play and fun can help inspire their employees to design more innovative ideas, products and services.

Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 9 june 2012

After analysis of hundreds of data points collected around the evolution of work and collaboration, the PSFK Consulting Team noticed that businesses are designing their work environments around the philosophy that play and fun can help inspire their employees to design more innovative ideas, products and services. Companies are filling their spaces with vibrant colors, games, interior gardens and, in some cases, large slides as a way tomstimulate the imaginations of their employees and reduce the stresses associated with meeting goals and deadlines.

Below we’ve included several of  the best examples that supported the theme of ‘Playful Workplaces.’

Office Design Promotes Spontaneous, Playful Interaction

Toy manufacturer LEGO’s new office in Denmark is a mixture of creativity, imagination and innovation in the workspace. The office’s floor plan encourages social encourages social interaction and idea exchange by sprinkling lounge areas and informal meeting spaces between individual work spaces. Eight glass-fronted meeting rooms, each painted with a different bright color, overlook a large open sitting area below. An existing walkway was transformed into an oversized sitting area, with light-blue cushions turning the walkway into a cloud which unfolds and expands into sofas and informal meeting space.

Game Company Creates Office That Is A Playful “Fantasy Land”

Zynga, the developer behind social games like FarmVille, Pioneer Trail and Mafia Wars moved into their new office in San Francisco last year that features many playful perks for their employees. The lobby is entered by walking through a glowing tunnel, with large reflective arrows pointing you in the right direction. Inside, chairs and tables are laid out in flexible arrangements, along with food stations, even a converted camper dubbed the ‘Zyngabago.’ The building also accommodates a dog run on the roof, as dogs are encouraged in the building. Additionally, employees are encouraged to “do what’s necessary” to liven up their surroundings including painting murals on he walls and decorating their surroundings with inspiration for the various types of games being developed.

Search Giants Boosts Worker Productivity With Office Space Design And Amenities

Tech company Google designed their Zurich office to feature playful and unusual workspaces in an effort to boost the creativity of their employees. Some of the office’s more playful features include an indoor slide, a pool table, colorful furniture, a fireman’s pole, and an air hockey table. The office is also filled with quirky interior design elements such as a half-capsized boat used as a couch, sci-fi-esque pod-style offices and meeting rooms made out of old trolly cars that have been painted to look like New York City taxi cabs. The office also houses a massage parlor/aquarium where employees can escape to during a hectic day.

Opportunities Created By These Innovations:

  • Companies can implement games and playful interior design elements into their office as a way to inspire and boost the creativity of their employees. These activities can also encourage more interaction and conversation among employees.
  • By introducing playful elements into their workspaces, companies can offset the stresses of everyday work which can combat absenteeism and increase the overall mood and productivity of the workplace.
  • An organization’s office space says a lot of its values and workplace culture. By incorporating playful elements and design into the work environment, a company can differentiate itself from competitors, helping retain talent and attract new employees.

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