When you think of office furniture, you probably think of pretty standard stuff: burlap office cubicles, black mesh ergonomic chairs, and long conference tables made of laminate, plastic, or wood. And while those things are the vanilla ice cream of the office furniture world, there are a lot more creative and interesting variations on the theme than you might think.
The following offices have brought their twist on the same old, same old. Here, if you will, are the Peppermint Twist and Oatmeal Cookie Dough of furniture ideas.
1. Real Phone Booths, at Google London
One major downside to open plan offices is that there’s nowhere to go to make a phone call. Google London has solved this problem by installing actual phone booths for employees to use when they need to make a doctor’s appointment or just have a private chat. We especially love these phone booths because they resemble the old-time call boxes you find on the streets of London. The only thing that would be cooler would be if they were shaped like a Tardis, but we assume that’s reserved for the offices of the production company that makes “Dr. Who.”
2. Skateboard Conference Table, at Zappos
In addition to being the only place on earth that will overnight you three pairs your weirdly-sized shoes, Zappos has a pretty cool office décor. Witness their skate-themed conference room, complete with a table that looks like the deck of your high school skateboard. If we worked here, we’d insist that everyone take off their shoes and slip into Vans before being seated.
3. Inspirational Posters That Actually Inspire, at Twitter
We say “inspirational posters,” you say “ho hum.” That’s until you see the ones at Twitter HQ. They work because they’re a) not the usual mountain top with greeting card slogans printed over it, b) cool-looking, and c) actually inspirational. There’s nothing like an actual heartfelt sentiment to get people working harder.
4. Chairs That Look Like Basketballs, Google Taipei
How do you find seating and a video monitor for 20-plus workers without creating a traditional conference room or auditorium space? Use sports as your inspiration. Google Taipei’s “basketball court” is really a meeting space, but we bet people are way more excited about watching those PowerPoint presentations when they get to spend time in such a cool space. Bonus points for the ergonomic quality of the chairs, which are essentially stability balls dressed up to look like basketballs.