We have all heard the stories of innovation and corporate on-site perks offered by Silicon Valley based companies like Google, Amazon and Yahoo. These stories are quite true and the changes they are bringing to the traditional work space is quickly spreading across the nation.
Even more traditional companies like IBM and Pfizer are implementing some of these innovations in their office redesigns. While these innovations can be claimed as a recruiting strategy for young talent, it can also be argued they serve to create an environment which is more productive.
Break rooms, for example, are being modernized to be more colorful and more comfortable. Drab walls now have murals and tables-without-chairs are being replaced by couches and coffee tables. On a larger scale, corporate cafeterias are now being constructed with private meeting rooms where teams can eat and collaborate.
Meeting rooms that were once filled with uncomfortable chairs, a large table and a credenza, now incorporate a mini-fridge and a large-screen TV. Groups from some organizations gather here during a championship game to cheer for their teams and to often discuss creative ideas and opinions with their peers and management in a more social setting.
These larger areas which lend themselves to group interaction are also set up to be a comfortable and convenient work environment. It is very common in many organizations to see an employee working from their laptop in either a break room, cafeteria or conference room. Traditionally, when employees needed to take a break from work or from sitting at their desk, the break room lacked that inviting quality of being a place to escape. Therefore, employees would use their breaks and lunches to physically leave the building and get away for a while.
Now, with areas of the work space decorated and furnished as an inviting place to not only break away from the desk but to also work, innovative companies are finding their employees are more productive and less likely to leave the office during the day. These types of innovations are also attractive when providing a company tour to new recruits. Seeing employees taking advantage of alternate work spaces presents a comfortable and collaborative picture of your company’s corporate culture.