Pictures of Insanely Cool Creative Workspaces

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I’m fascinated by workplace design. Not humdrum gray carpeted rows of cubicles, but seriously cool, built to inspire, visionary work spaces. That’s why, a little while back, I shared a video of my own “war and peace” workspace.

Your physical environment can make a huge different in not only how you perceive your job, your mission and your company, but the way you do your work, the solutions you create and the people you bring into your process. Which is why I loved the new book, I wish I worked There, by Kursty Groves.

It’s a big, hardcover book, wall-to-wall with pictures reveal some of the coolest, most creative, offbeat, designed-to-inspire workplaces in the word. And, we’re not just talking home-offices, we’re talking some major companies with huge multinational offices. It gave me a ton of ideas for Renegade HQ.

Here’s a taste…


Google used reclaimed Antarctic expedition igloos for meeting pods in Zurich


Virgin spices up a meeting room


T-Mobile’s !Creation Center

You can see hundreds more like these in Kursty’s book, where she also shares a lot of insights about how the physical setup of your working space impacts output, collaboration and creativity. One of the things that surprised me, too, is that some of the biggest, “stodgiest” brands, ones I never really associated with creativity or playfulness had some of the most interesting, offbeat workspaces. And, my favorite by far was the office with the equivalent of an indoor park in the middle, where a lot of the people seem to hang out barefoot and in shorts and t-shirts.

Anyway, if you’re looking for ideas to create a very cool workspace, you’ll find plenty in I Wish I Worked There.


[FTC Disclosure: I got a review copy of this book comped. Didn’t pay a dime. And, I feel kinda bad about it, cuz I’d have paid for it at the local bookstore if I’d know it was so cool. Oh, and those links to the book on amazon, they’re affiliate links. If you buy the book using them, I get stupid rich, start eating foie gras and slamming back all sorts of other foofy-fare, wearing ascots and speaking in third person! Consider yourself warned!]

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24 responses

24 responses to “Pictures of Insanely Cool Creative Workspaces”

  1. Amy Harrison says:

    Awesome looking workspaces.

    They’re the kind of offices I’d try to get into and pretend I worked there just to hang out. 🙂

  2. Bridget says:

    You can always buy another book and give it to a friend. 🙂
    I love the arctic pods. A warm secure place to create without the cold winds of the world creeping up your back.
    Hey, Jonathan- show us a picture of your workspace?

  3. Hi Jonathan, I saw the video you made of your office and was suitably envious, but these examples are too good to be true! I can’t imagine having a workspace like yours, let alone like the examples you show here.

    I’m afraid it’s the kitchen table for me, with no prospect of an upgrade any time soon 🙁

  4. I always love taking a look inside these mega companies to see how they take care of their own. I have a friend of mine who recently got a job working for Google. Of all the things I could have thought of for Google to do for their employees the one that surprised me the most: heated toilet seats! =) I wonder if I could use some of the ideas from he book you mentioned to spice up my home office workspace?

  5. […] Wish I Worked There! [Kursty Groves via Jonathan Fields] […]

  6. Andy Hayes says:

    Wow – what a cool (and inspiring book)!

    But what’s with the wearing ascots thing? =)

  7. Topi says:

    Ohhhh, I wish I worked there (well, I would if I wasn’t so keen on working for myself!).
    Topi

  8. Working in such vibrant and creative spaces definitely makes you want to work harder because it translates to you having even more fun.

  9. Tom says:

    I already have a place I wish I worked: home.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Tom – I love my home office, too, but even looking at all the pics gave me a ton of ideas for things to do in my home office to get my creative juices flowing even more.

  10. Wize Time says:

    Human places to work! Wow! These are fantastic – what a contrast to the dull, boring and uninspiring “normal” workplaces! How anyone can think that the best work can be done in “cells” as opposed to “color and shape” is beyond me but, I guess, it boils down to money and forgetting that people are your most important resource.

    Thanks for showing us that there are businesses out there thinking “inspire”!

  11. Paul says:

    very cool – 2 experiences that stay in my memory are Innocent drinks in W London, UK (typical exterior but inside is like a Willy Wonka playgound with grass for carpets) and the Unilever HQ in Rotterdam, NL – a retro warehouse feel with meeting rooms themed around their consumer segmentation – relevant and cool..

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Paul – Yeah, they actually have a bunch of shots of the Innocent offices, loved them, that’s the office with a faux picnic are and park in the middle where half the people walk around bare foot.

  12. Sean Aiken says:

    Love it!

    I wonder how having a themed room impacts the sentiment, tone, or pace of the meeting. With a relaxed setting like the Antarctic igloos or the Virgin’s love theme, I’d guess it leads to more authentic interactions.

  13. Barbara Winter says:

    I share your fascination with work spaces and enjoyed the tour of yours. Now I must track down this book at once. Thanks for the alert.

  14. Howard Karp says:

    I’ve always heard their are basically two types of companies, operationally execellent (very staid, rules oriented, give lots of plaques, replicate successful operations well, lots of x-military types), and intellectually excellent companies (out of the box thinkers, intra-prenurial, less structured, typical of a start up culture).

    When I worked for a large transportation company, they created a innovation center that had very creative workspaces and tried to foster intellecutual excellence. They couldn’t handle it, the management culture of the organization was not ready to accept that type of “counter culture” and they eventually shut it down.

  15. Nancy says:

    T-Mobile’s !Creation Center reminds me of SparkSpace in Columbus, Ohio. Such environments are valuable in sparking new ideas on any topic. Only one word describes my grey box: hurtful.

    Thanks for sharing the book.

  16. Trever Clark says:

    I love these! Unfortunately, every place that I’ve ever worked has been more in the realm of grey cubicles that look like they’ve been there since the 60’s. My current space is my livingroom couch with my laptop on the ottoman, while my 4-year old stepson watches spiderman for the millionth time in the background. Maybe someday I’ll get to design a bitchin’ workspace. For now, I’m just happy to no longer be in a cube farm!

  17. Shannon W says:

    My sister works at EA Games and I often envy her going to their creative , funky, human-centric campus. Then again, I get to wear my pjs to work and commute
    by walking down the stairs, so who am I to complain?

  18. Mark Frisk says:

    Great stuff.

    I wonder if the book covers the Macquarie Group building in Sydney. I just stumbled across it recently:

    http://www.clivewilkinson.com/feature/mac_description.html

  19. Nicole says:

    You should check out the office space of GRIP, an advertising agency in Toronto. They have a giant slide between their first and second floor and you CAN (and they DO) slide on it (it’s faster too).

    http://bigorangeslide.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/gripSlide3.jpg

  20. J Weaver says:

    There some pretty nice workplaces, one day I hope to have something that good.
    Or, ill just stick to my desk in the corner of my bedroom.

  21. RalfLippold says:

    Cool places to work are often hidden. There is one in Dresden, where a bunch of crazy social entrepreneurs are prototyping the future.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4260825&id=753188332 (for all of you who are not on Facebook, check out http://bit.ly/a78ZzJ)

  22. Wow, what a creative workplaces!

    Such vibrant work area will definitely have a positive impact on employees productivity.

    Thanks for sharing.