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Bean bags and office dogs.

May 12th, 2017


I’m getting really bored of media coverage of start ups that focuses more on the bean bags, ping pong tables, coffee machines and obligatory office dog than it does on the business. Why is it such a big deal?

Is it because the people doing the reporting are jealous (“wish I worked somewhere like this”)? Or is because they can’t get their heads around what these businesses do, so it’s easier to focus on what they look like?

The workspaces we create for ourselves reflect the way we want to work and the hierarchies that exist within the workplace. Think back to the times of wood panelled offices for the bosses, while the clerical staff sat outside at rows of identical desks. Or the vast floors of cubicles, with plush corner offices with windows for the execs.

Today, businesses are trying to operate in collaborative, loosely organised teams with minimal hierarchy. They want work to be somewhere where people can also be playful, where creativity is encouraged and where the individual is valued. Those wacky spaces with big tables, glass walled meeting rooms, places to socialise and relax are simply a reflection of this new approach. Stop getting excited about the slide and start understanding the work that’s happening.

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