By Vanessa De Groot 10 April 2017

The word ‘office’ usually conjures up images of rows of desks, with people in professional attire perched atop swivel chairs tapping away on their desktop computers.

The walls are plain white, the carpet dark grey and the lights fluorescent. And the facilities are limited to toilets.

But while this might be the traditional workplace, there are now plenty of offices that significantly deviate from this mould – both in terms of design and the amenities they offer.

Picture an office instead where people lounge on brightly coloured couches or engage in a game of table tennis before sliding down a fireman’s pole to reach the fancy cafeteria on the lower level for lunch.

It’s all designed to nurture productivity and creativity by making the workplace a fun place to be.

So where exactly do these offices exist? They’re all around the globe! Here are 10 of the coolest:

Lego - Billund, Denmark

Being able to play with building blocks is many a child’s idea of heaven. But imagine doing it as an adult, at work no less! In Lego’s Danish head office this is exactly what workers can do, with Lego in every room.

This office is colourful to create a playful environment and boost employee morale.

It’s soon to be expanded to include another 52,000 square metres with a large park, green space inside, more sofas than desks and a ‘Lego People House’ – basically a hotel for travelling employees.

InventionlandPittsburgh, United States

As the world’s largest invention factory, Inventionland’s office design is perfect to get the creative juices flowing.

Employees – or ‘creationeers’, as they are known - work in 16 different sets, each with a theme, including a pirate ship, faux cave, giant shoe, cupcake kitchen, a castle with turrets and drawbridge, and a giant robot.

It’s an imagination station, with running waterfalls, life-like trees and butterflies, and grass-lined sidewalks.

The unique 70,000 square foot facility also has a state-of-the-art audio, video and animation studio and workshops for creating prototypes.

Inventionland office space
Credit: Inventionland

Corus EntertainmentToronto, Canada

The 1000+ workforce of media and broadcasting company Corus Entertainment are housed in 4,600 square metres of largely open space across five storeys in this fun office.

The atrium features a three-storey slide and lounge with a vertical garden and large screen TV, and the office has boardroom tables in the shape of ice hockey rinks.

The atrium features a three-storey slide and lounge with a vertical garden and large screen TV, and the office has boardroom tables in the shape of ice hockey rinks
cool office space with a slide
Credit: Richard Johnson

Missing LinkJohannesburg, South Africa

Even though their work is mostly serious, the owners of this presentation firm wanted to make their workplace fun.

And that they did – this colourful office, described as ‘organised chaos’, features a tree house, shooting range, tattoo studio called ‘Missing Ink’, a deli caravan and a fireman’s pole that you can slide down to reach the lower level.

Missing link cool office space
Credit: Missing Link

ComvertMilan, Italy

What better way to create a uniquely cool office but to start with the shell of an old abandoned cinema?

Italian alternative clothing company Comvert transformed the building into its headquarters, housing its design offices, warehouse and flagship store.

It also built an indoor skate bowl suspended above the warehouse to fill the unused space in the building where the cinema chairs used to be.

Airbnb - San Francisco, United States

One of the most fascinating things about this office is that its meeting rooms and cafes replicate real Airbnb listings, including a mushroom cabin in California, a Shanghai loft and apartments in Hong Kong and New York.

The rental accommodation’s site has plenty of food options, including Mumbai and Cairo-themed cafés.

As one of the coolest offices in tech, it’s also dog friendly.

Banhof - Stockholm, Sweden

You can’t get much cooler than an office housed in a former nuclear bunker.

With the help of architects, internet service provider Banhof turned this space, buried more than 30 metres underground in the White Mountains, into a very unique office.

It’s accessible through a tunnel and features caves, shrubbery and glass offices.

Hosting around 200 gigabytes of data, it also used to host WikiLeaks.

DtacBangkok, Thailand

The headquarters of this telecommunications company reflects its ‘play and learn’ ethos, with plenty of fitness facilities including an indoor running track and soccer pitch.

The 62,000 square metre offices spans more than 20 floors and also features a circular library amphitheatre and concert and performance spaces and is topped off with a rooftop terrace overlooking Bangkok.

SelgasCano - Madrid, Spain

The interior has all the hallmarks of a traditional workplace but the office of this Spanish architectural company is renowned due to its unique relationship with the environment.

Its set half underground and in the woods, and the stunning views and access to natural light are optimised with the office’s curved glass walls running the length of the building.

Google - Tel Aviv, Israel

A list of the coolest offices around the world wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Google. One of its most noteworthy offices in Tel Aviv spans 8000 square metres across eight floors of the Electra Tower.

It has nearly 500 work stations, but the facilities are the clincher with three restaurants, games rooms, a slide, a Lego room, a music room and an orange grove.

The rooms are themed, showcasing different aspects of Israeli culture and have incredible views over the city and Mediterranean.

Tel Aviv coolest office
Credit: Tel Aviv
A list of the coolest offices around the world wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Google

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