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#HCAwarenessWeek: Creative Office Spaces Lead to Creative Ideas

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WVU chapter.

For many Americans, “the office” is not their favorite place to be. More than 50 percent of America’s workforce is unhappy with their work, according to the Conference Board. Those numbers are concerning as they represent half of the country’s working population.

Most people work around 34.5 hours a week, according to The Balance Careers, and the stress of work simply doesn’t go away when they leave the office. Whether school, family or bills are on people’s minds, there seems to be a never-ending wave of responsibility overwhelming many Americans.

So, how do we fix this problem?

To create better working environments, many companies are turning to modern technology and modern ideas for inspiration as we continue to develop into the 21st century.

Forbes provides an inside look into the workspaces of Google and TBWA Worldwide, an advertising firm founded by William G. Tragos, Claude Bonnange, Uli Wiesendange and Paolo Ajroldi, both are companies shifting “toward dedicated creative spaces, molded to induce focus and energy, to allow for rest and recovery, to balance work and play, and to defy the traditional 9-5 work mentality.”

1. Google

Possibly the most well-known creator of innovative spaces, Google offers its hardworking employees designated napping areas, recreation hubs, movie rooms and so much more depending on the location. Its spaces are decorated with vibrant colors to create a more pleasant and exciting working environment.

“One of the key features of any Google space are the casual seating areas – or third spaces,” explains Office Snapchats. “These spaces are essentially alternative workplaces that aren’t your desk. Oftentimes they are a small enough for 2-3 people, while others are built for groups of 10-20.”

2. TBWA Worldwide

TBWA Worldwide is an unconventional company ready to take what is old and revive it into something new and innovative.

Patrick O’Neill, creative director of TBWA\Chiat\Day, a subsidiary of TBWA Worldwide, explained to Campaign that he is reluctant to change the architectural design of the company’s Los Angeles office, with its “big, open, warehouse-like space filled with flexible environments” because it helps promote the company’s preferred open setting—but the company is more than happy to show its appreciation for the modern digital world by incorporating technology and exploring new methods of working.

No more assigned seats for this advertising agency. Employees are encouraged to switch desk spaces every day to “diversify workflow, increase office rapport and promote impromptu collaborations and discussions”, according to Forbes. Some employees can even bring their dogs to work.

Large, well-known companies are not the only employers providing workers with a comfortable space to call “the office”. Marginalia lists a few under-the-radar companies and explains why people should be sending in their applications. According to their list of fabulous spaces, Dropbox’s office in California offers a music room equipped with a grand piano.

Etsy has tiny rooms decorated with little toys to give employees a private, secure place to make phone calls.

At Living Social in Washington D.C, workers are encouraged to enjoy a bike rack and colorful mural.

With so many American workers unhappy, it seems like these forward-thinking spaces are exactly what people need to not only become content but excited about their jobs. Of course, there are days when going to work at Google is probably rough, but using resources in this digital age in new, innovative forms may make the day more tolerable, and possibly even fun. A positive environment leads to a positive attitude.

Mary Madeline is a junior at West Virginia University majoring in advertising and minoring in interactive design for media. She works for the university's Arts and Entertainment department as an Artist Services Intern. Mary Madeline enjoys reading, creating and is especially in love with Morgantown's chilly fall weather.
Her Campus at West Virginia University