If you’re going to spend five days a week at the office for the rest of your working life, why not find the coolest company that you can?
The New Daily has scoured Australia for the most innovative offices around – and has found a handful of contenders who are thinking well outside four walls.
More like an adventure playground than a place to go to work, Google is continuing to do its bit for every nerd’s occupational fantasies – even managing to squeeze two retired monorail cars into its Pyrmont building last year for use as office space.
Never the sort to do anything yawn-worthy, Google’s fun-chasers have also added a host of other imaginative features, installing an ocean-inspired chill out room, hammocks and a company-themed electric drum kit to bash out those coding dilemmas.
Sydney Googlers can also hop on a tyre swing, borrow a kayak or whiz around in one of the office’s two electric cars.
With so much entertainment on offer – there’s also a photography club, a Toastmasters chapter, pinball, table tennis and bootcamps – there’s probably no need leave the Google wonderland at all, unless of course a job comes calling at Atlassian…
Forget Google just for a moment – and check out the Sydney offices of software success story Atlassian, founded by Aussie rich-listers Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes.
No, it’s not a brewery, but there is beer on tap. There’s also a fully-stocked kitchen with free breakfast, snacks, espresso and energy drinks to keep those sharp minds at their peak.
If you’re lucky enough to work in the company’s Martin Place offices, you can let out your frustrations out with a nerf gun shoot-out across your desktop, or hold a meeting over the pool table.
Long days at the technology coalface are made more comfortable in Aeron chairs (an Aeron chair features in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection). There’s also Xbox, lunchtime sports and poker nights.
If that all gets too same-same, you could always relocate to the company’s remodelled warehouse in San Francisco, or its offices in Amsterdam, located in a converted home on a canal.
Comparison website iSelect is known for its quirky ads, but the company’s quest for individuality extends to its offices in Bay Road, Cheltenham.
Coffee-loving call centre staff can shoot down a slide that leads outside the building and back inside to the ground floor cafe, via a soft landing in a ball pit.
Meetings are a carnival-like affair, with attendees able to sit atop a bright orange pony or dog. It’s all part of the young company’s ethos to be able to be yourself at work.
Each level of iSelect’s offices, designed by V Arc, has a faux running track around its perimeter.
But if the pace gets too much, there are plenty of spaces to take a load off. There’s a sleep pod where employees can recharge for 15 minutes, hammocks, free massage chairs and an outside BBQ area where staff can sizzle all the sausages they want.
Speaking of slides, Seek’s chic headquarters in St Kilda Road has one too, whizzing staff and visitors from Level 4 to Level 3. Hopefully this bears no relation to the direction your career will take.
Meanwhile, slides have also proven a hit with fun-seeking companies across the world, including Google’s offices in Zurich, Detroit and San Francisco, Red Bull in London, LEGO in Denmark and YouTube in Silicon Valley.
Commonwealth Bank, Sydney
Banking and cutting-edge excitement aren’t two concepts that naturally go hand-in-hand, but the Commonwealth Bank’s Darling Quarter offices in the heart of Sydney are setting out to change all that.
The staff at Darling Quarter are now housed in one of the country’s most eco-friendly – and colourful – buildings.
Ditching the concept of a permanent desk, staff work in a ‘home zone’ of 70 to 100 people, but can also choose to work in many other parts of the innovative building, such as the mobile phone-free library, cafes and meeting rooms.
Forget the corner office: no one has one here, and all staff are judged on their output, rather than being clock-watched. Not a bad way to work indeed.