Imagine working in an office that looks like a kindergarten play area, but for adults. At companies like Facebook, Google and Apple, you’ll see cheerfully colored and brightly lit workspaces filled with desks, monitors and conference rooms as well as couches, foosball tables and ‘chill out’ pods. Interestingly enough, it’s been noted that productivity and creativity at such non-office looking spaces is extremely high.

However critics pose a valid question: Are modern workplace interior designs undermining the credibility of professionals of today? Would all other professions also benefit from a ‘hip-ly’ designed, communal, collaboration-oriented space? If the interior design of office spaces were to shift, and the modern standard spread into all of the various professional sectors, it could drastically change the workforce and how we perceive businesses. Such work spaces would be the beginning of the end in terms of professionalism.

The author also posits a bigger question: “…does optimizing this kind of hedonistic work-style truly infantilise [sic] workers, especially in an era when young professionals are known to be later starters in the first place?”

Fans of this new work style instead point out the success stories; namely Google, whose creative ambiance is a hotbed for innovation and growth. Ultimately, it’s all a matter of context. While creatively designed space may inspire innovation, it may not be practical or productive for certain professions.

Source: Jane Parkins | Interior Design for Trendy Workers – Productive or Infantile? DesignBuildSource | September 2012

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