It's not news that the offices of big, multimillion-dollar tech companies like Google and Facebook have fueled the fervor across industries for open-plan offices with ball pits, slides, and other childlike accoutrements. Though they're meant to encourage a sense of playfulness and, we'd guess, foster creativity, some have argued that this kind of big-kid decor is, well, infantilizing. In New York, the professional social media network Linkedin's HQ (in the Empire State Building, no less, a symbol of commerce and industry in the city and state) has a speakeasy. In London, a creative design and branding agency filled an open space in their office with a temporary ball pit to encourage a little fun. And at Facebook's NYC offices, designed by Frank Gehry, you can play table tennis.
There are also offices with faux log cabins for cafeterias and climbable timber clubhouses. While we think offices everywhere could use a little levity, we're not sure what is more beneficial to workers: Changing the culture of an office so that creativity is encouraged and people feel they're operating in a productive, open environment or adding elements reminiscent of the halcyon days of childhood to get the imagination going. So, what do you think?
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