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Office Design Trends: The Google Effect

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Rap Interiors

The workplace is often deemed as a grey space of work and no play, however this has begun to change in recent years. Instead offices have tried to incorporate a perfect balance between relaxation and productivity, in order to make sure that employees are energised and happy in their current workspace.

In our recent blog on the latest office fit out trendswe discussed a particularly noticeable trend known as the ‘Google Effect’ which has taken the modern workspace design by storm, however why do so many offices aspire to be like the search engine giant?

 

The Google Head Office

Who Are Google?

Originally Google was a search engine known as ‘BackRub’ (Created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin), which was run on Stanford servers in 1996 for well over a year (Consuming large quantities of the universities bandwidth). In 1997 however the name Google was founded, with the domain ‘Google.com’ being registered on the 15th September.

Google was originally a play on words for the term ‘googol’, which is a term used in maths for a number that is seemingly infinite (a one followed by one hundred zeros).

Fast forward nearly two decades and Google has become a worldwide known name. They have broadened their horizons by buying YouTube, investing time and resources into developing technology further and even trying to develop the health and wellbeing of others.

 

Google Office Interior Design

What Is The Google Effect?

The Google Effect is all about creating a workspace environment that fits the style of the brand and injects personality into the office. It focuses on making sure that staff are well driven and innovative through the medium of their office design, incorporating bright funky colours and breakout areas tailored to employee satisfaction.

Why Is It Called The Google Effect?

The London office for Google became a big sensation this year due to scale and magnificently quirky design of the office space. It incorporates a feel that is incredibly unique and has not been replicated by another office. Although it is yet to be complete (With the approximate completion dated for 2017), the design ideas so far look amazing and further ideas that have been put forward sound even more exciting.

Gym at the Google Head Office

These large scale ideas and innovative designs come from Architect Clive Wilkinson,who convinced Google to ditch the isolating cubicle layout for a funky and employee friendly space plan and design in 2005. Wilkinson describes cubicles as humiliating, disenfranchising and isolating as they don’t address the psychological issues that can come about in a small compact workspace. Google’s offices were not nearly as amazingly designed back then, but thanks to him Google’s office interiors are perhaps the most exciting offices to date.

The design for the London headquarters plans to live up to the hype, potentially topping their Mountain View in California, which features:

  • Sleeping Pods
  • Bowling alleys & volleyball courts
  • 19 restaurants
  • 60 snack kitchens
  • Yurt shaped meeting rooms

Although this wasn’t the first glimpse at the idea of the Google Effect, it was certainly the one that caught most peoples’ attention.

Google Headquarters Office Design

What Defines The Google Effect?

The Google Effect is all about open plan layouts and recreational areas for employees, while still feeling like an office. The balance can be easily solved when taking these points into consideration:

Noise Control: Noise can often be resolved through acoustic solutions that prevent the likelihood of interruptions. If the right solutions are used correctly it will not only greatly benefit employees but also look amazing in the office design. For a balance between silence and a loud office, however, pink noise systems are worth looking into as they help find an optimal sound solution for all employees.

Lighting: Due to the cost of lighting it is incredibly important that the lighting is just right for employees. Too bright and it becomes blinding and can cause damage to the eyes. Too dark and it becomes a dark and depressing workspace; find the balance.

Space: Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as too much space. If there is too much distance between employees and departments it can create some isolation and will therefore cause employees to be less productive. This can also be the case if the workspace is too cramped, as employees need some space to avoid frustration in the clashing of departments.

Temperature: Getting the right temperature is difficult due to every person being different. However workplace regulations recommend that during working hours, some form of local heating and cooling system should be used, as long as it does not emit dangerous fumes.

Privacy: In order for the workplace to cooperate efficiently, there must be at least some occlusion that can assist in avoiding confrontation between department collaboration. However this doesn’t mean that employees should completely occlude themselves from their co-workers, but rather a blend that gels well with all.

As you can see, the Google Effect isn’t all focused on recreational activities in the workplace, it’s not about creating a funhouse without substance and calling it a working area. It’s all about creating a dynamic workplace that perfectly fits the style of the company and doing it in a unique way.

Could this be the future of all offices? Perhaps not right away but it has definitely played a huge part in influencing office design and fit out trends of the future. We’ve had the pleasure in visiting Google’s amazing London office ourselves and have to say what an amazing workspace, no wonder businesses aspire to be them.

Want to Implement the Google Effect Into Your Own Office Space?

Contact us today on 0333 600 1234 to find out how we can help you get your dream office space.

Disclaimer:  Thank you to Sleeping Giant Media, Google Partner for allowing us to use some of their images.