Fun and the Environmental Agenda | Jonathan Glatfelter

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As we all know, many design and advertising firm offices are all spruced up so that the people working there have more fun working in a much more exciting environment. Many other companies have pulled on to this trend and have really put great thought into the design and the architecture of their workspaces in belief that their employees will produce better work. Companies will go at any length to make their employees happy while at work. I found a post at Positivesharing.com that discusses the way a fun, killer environment can really influence the work ethic of the people within that space (http://positivesharing.com/2006/10/10-seeeeeriously-cool-workplaces/).

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There are many elaborate offices across the world. Today, it seems like every single one of them have a pool, numerous amounts of pool tables, vending machines, sofas, and anything else you could imagine. Is there a limit when it comes to what companies spend on interior space? Can it get to a point where it becomes too much? I guess it depends on what kind of person you are. I personally feel like some of it could get a little overboard for me. While I think many of these offices can look very pleasing, I feel like sometimes some of the "extras" could get into the way. It almost is the question of what the fine line of work and fun is. I think work should be fun, but should the extracurricular activities that surround us at the office distract us from the true reason that we are there for?

A great website to view many awesomely designed offices is The Cool Hunter (http://www.thecoolhunter.net/offices). The design of some of these office environments is simply incredible. These rooms don't even look like offices! I think that it is important to put someone into a comfortable working environment, but again, do the "fun factors" of these designs get into the way?

References:
The Cool Hunter. Retrieved November 30, 2010, from http://www.thecoolhunter.net.

Positive Sharing. Retrieved November 30, 2010, from http://www.positivesharing.com.

5 Comments

What a cool find! I think that the environment helps a lot to make people more productive. I know I don't get as much done when I'm at my apartment because the set-up of my couch and coffee table is not at all comfortable or conducive to working as being at school or somewhere that actually has a desk and chair. I think what's distracting is more our computers and the internet but then again we need those to work....

I agree with Christine. This is SO AWESOME. Why can't McNeal be more like this? Painting the walls alone would make it more inviting and not so boring. I struggle working at home. My four roommates are always around distracting me, which is fine, except when I have 854757345 things to do before next week. My desk is too small (and let's be honest, too messy) to work on. I always end up sitting on my bed. Half the time I'm productive and the other half, I, well, end up taking a nap. Integrating more interesting environments in McNeal I think could be really inspiring. If nothing else, a breath of fresh air.

That office building is amazing. I would have to agree that the environment I am working influences my work and how much work I am able to get done. I have found that I am not able to get nearly as much work done and come up with ideas at school, that I am in other places such as home, coffee shops, etc. It's hard to describe what it is about the school environment that doesn't allow me to be as creative as I would like, but I can definitely tell the difference. I also think that designers need to be out in the world taking in information constantly, and being in school kind of hinders this, because we have a tendency to rely on the computer more than we should.

This blog post got me thinking about the idea of power. Power is not necessarily about conflict between people, but instead it is about managing people and oneself. After reading this, I found myself exploring and thinking critically about power spatially. I began to wonder about specific environments and how their physical set-up in itself can be a means for power to be silently enforced without even the slightest acknowledgment from ourselves. For example, when building a new structure, a lot of time, money, and psychology goes into deciding who this is being built for and what type of people you want that specific structure/space to attract. This can be very beneficial for individuals who find themselves in this productive type of workplace.

However, this power can also be exercised in a slightly more negative way. For example, the Mall of America has specific music playing during specific times of the day in order to urge people to spend more money. Certain times during the day where people have a tendency to feel more restless while shopping or browsing the mall, they will play more upbeat music that has been proven to make people “liven up” and therefore spend more money. Also, casinos are notorious for using bright lights, loud noises, specific set-ups, and other psychologically proven tactics in order to make it’s inhabitants spend more and stay longer. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I believe our world has power down to a science; to the point where most don’t even realize that power is being exerted or practiced upon them. To me, this is the point at which it can become scary.

First of all, I love the url for that first link you post. seeeeeriously cool work places :) Made me happy. When I got my current job I was really impressed with the office space. It wasn't half as amazing as these you're showing, but it made me feel like I was a real designer. After about a week, however, it kind of wears off. I think it's important to have that impression and a nice environment versus something cramped and nasty, but I do think there's a stopping point where it doesn't really matter. When I'm wrapped up in my design projects and am rushing to get it to the printer on time, I don't even look twice at the pretty pictures on the wall. And sometimes the really pretty lights are a huge pain because they turn off and on randomly. Just saying, for me personally I think a good work environment has more to do with the people in it than the interior design.

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This page contains a single entry by glatf002 published on December 2, 2010 11:12 PM.

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