Working in the office is officially ‘back’.
Around 50% of US companies already require or plan to require employees to return to the office full-time sometime this year.
And ironically, it’s technology firms – those that initially sanctioned the work from home revolution – that are now leading the way in asking staff to return to the office.
At Microsoft, for example, employees who want to carry on working remotely for more than 50% of the time have to be approved by managers.
Meanwhile, since April, Google has required that employees work in corporate offices for at least three days a week.
But if you’re going to ask staff to come back, they’d better be a ‘destination‘ – something that’s worth staff returning to.
It’s why millions of dollars are now being spent by corporates re-kitting out their tired corporate HQs.
So who’s corporate cribs are passing muster?
For an insight into which offices are upping the ante, research by tech talent creation specialists, Revolent, has recently revealed the tech companies that boast the most ‘Instagrammable’ headquarters.
Focusing on the top 50 tech companies with the highest market capital, the research was conducted by comparing the number of associated hashtags with each HQ to see which came out on top.
Here’s what they found…
1) Facebook (Meta)
At the top of the list, Facebook has no ordinary headquarters. Forget lines of dull office cubicles, the social media giant embraces natural light and opts for an open plan approach—something that is sure to boost their team’s collaboration and social elements. Sneak previews on social media allow a glimpse of the many creative installations scattered around inside the campus, aimed at inspiring employees’ work.
2) Alphabet (Google)
With swimming pools and volleyball courts, Google’s headquarters could be considered more of a resort than a place of work. Come lunchtime, workers can choose from various cuisines, with an abundance of delicious meals on offer that are far from stereotypical cafeteria food. And it’s not just what’s going on inside that gets people talking. The building’s exterior has become famed for having “dragon scale skin,” created by the roof’s silver solar panels, adding to its magic.
Apple Park has strayed even further from the norm. Leaving behind the classic rectangle office block, the building is built like a spaceship, often referred to as ‘The Ring’. The glass curved windows allow natural light to flood in, giving workers spectacular views of the beautiful greenery which surrounds the HQ.
|Rank Based total number of posts||Company Name||HQ Name||Hashtag 1:
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|Total number of posts for each HQ|
|1||Facebook (Meta)||1 Hacker Way||21,500||3,400||2,500||202||27,602|
|5||Sony||1-7-1 Konan Minato-ku, Tokyo||253||55||5||6,341||6,654|
|7||IBM||1 Orchard Rd||18||39||131||2,424||2,612|
|8||Airbnb||888 Brannan Street||1,708||165||0||44||1,917|
|9||Samsung||Samsung Digital city||389||122||128||329||968|
|10||HP||1501 Page Mill Road||234||0||550||23||807|
Says Ryan McDonough, interior design expert at MyJobQuote: “Modern tech companies are trying all kinds of cool things to make their offices more fun and unique. If an office is a space that looks great and provides something cool and unique, then this is an Instagrammable office space.”
He adds: “Instagrammable offices are often created using various spaces with innovative design features. Most modern tech companies are designed in this way to encourage their employees to enjoy their workspace, which should then lead to higher productivity and make people want to go to work.”
One big question remains though – will these inspirational spaces be enough to lure staff back – and can other companies take a leaf out of their book?
“Although it isn’t realistic to expect buildings like these from smaller tech companies, it is possible for them to follow the likes of Google’s general approach to an effective office environment,” says Jon Flaherty, CEO of Revolent USA. “Yes, as a smaller business owner, you mightn’t be able to add a swimming pool to your office. But you can take note of how the tech companies use open spaces and color to create an inviting environment for their employees.”
He adds: “After such a long time away from the office, it’s no wonder some workers feel apprehensive about returning. Try adding some of the home comforts that employees are reluctant to give up to make them feel more at ease. Even if it is as simple as some more comfortable chairs in the break room, you’ll be surprised by the difference it makes.”
The best of the rest…
Amazon’s Seattle HQ features giant transparent spheres housing an indoor rainforest in the middle of the city. More than 40,000 plants live in three interlocking balls four stories tall.
The space has been designed to enable workers to choose where and how they want to work on any given day. The entire space has an open floor plan, with no private offices, even for the founders.