The offices of global technology giant Google have been the subject of conversation among office workers and designers alike ever since they first began the trend of creating offices somewhat reminiscent of a playground or leisure park, with additional offerings ranging from on-site gyms, custom-made sleep pods, and the provision of free meals and refreshments becoming commonplace throughout the company. With Google being recognised around the world as an undisputed leader in the field, their design ethos has crept over to many other firms both small and large as they attempt to present themselves in a similar light. Whether this should be considered a positive effect or not is up for debate, but at least one notable company is now bucking the trend and moving in a very different direction when it comes to office design.

The company in question is Bloomberg, who are currently in the process of creating a brand new London HQ which takes a very different approach to that of Google. Gone are the elaborate slides, rooms full of ping-pong tables and extensive on-site restaurants serving up hot meals for employees each lunchtime; instead, Bloomberg’s new HQ is being kept intentionally minimalist in an effort to encourage workers to step outside during their breaks.

Img: Bloomberg
In fact, company founder and chief executive Michael Bloomberg has declared the new HQ a “no-cafeteria zone”. While the sixth floor of the building will include a communal pantry area as seen above, full meals are off the menu with workers instead being offered small snacks and refreshments to pick at through the day while being encouraged to leave the office to get their lunch.

“We are going in the opposite direction to Google - we encourage people to go outside,” commented Mr Bloomberg.

Mr Bloomberg further stated that as “a guest in your city”, he disliked the idea of providing facilities which would draw custom away from local businesses such as sandwich bars and gyms.

Aside from sending a little extra business the way of local traders, Bloomberg’s efforts should also provide some additional benefits in regards to the wellbeing of their workforce by allowing increased access to sunlight and fresh air.

Norman Foster, the architect responsible for the building’s design, spoke of how he wanted to create something which would stand out from existing buildings in the area, stepping away from the glass skyscrapers which now dominate the skyline. He said of the exterior design, “There was an absolutely conscious attempt not to create another glass box. This is the biggest stone building project in the City for the past 100 years.”

Img: Bloomberg
The interior of the HQ has been put together with collaboration in mind, utilising an open-plan approach complete with circular pods specifically designed to encourage conversation and collaboration between colleagues, as seen in the above image.

An initial 4,000 workers are expected to move into the new HQ by the end of autumn.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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