London is home to some of the most inspirational and innovative companies in the world. Successful brands are powered by creative people with unique ideas, and innovation is borne out of truly inspiring working environments. Having the space to collaborate, to focus, to experiment and to share ideas; all of this creates a happy, focused, innovative and motivated workforce. The output? An awesome brand, product and service. We’ve spoken to some of London’s leading companies who are making their workspace work well for their workforce.
1. Innocent Drinks
Innocent is known for creating delicious tasting drinks for kids without nasty additives. Since it is such a major brand, you probably wouldn’t expect its offices to look like a playground! There are vast open spaces to chill out in and games such as table tennis and table football to keep employees entertained. We love the massive slide that is inside the compound!
We moved in to our office on Ladbroke Grove in 2011. We had a blank canvass to play with, so we took the chance to reflect the innocent identity within the space. We wanted to keep things simple, using few materials but using them well and staying natural – white walls, solid oak, steel and glass. The only thing that isn’t natural is the grass on the floors (and in fact only started using it in the old days because it was cheaper than carpet. It just stuck with us). We use our in-house creative team to work on manifestations around the office. You’ll find some of the artwork on our bottles from years past.
How does your creative office space impacts the work and company culture ?
Our drinks are entirely natural and we don’t hide anything in them. We wanted this transparency to be the reflected in internal culture so we use a lot of glass instead of thick walls. There’s a chance you could see something in a meeting room that a company our size would usually keep in tight circles but we’re really good at being open with one another. It keeps us little.
Which parts of the office have been the most popular with staff?
When you walk through reception, you’re immediately in the gem of Fruit Towers – our Chillout. It’s the space that brings 270 of us all together – whether it’s our weekly company meeting, beers on a Friday, or sitting down to eat lunch together. In the day, the Chillout is full of small one-to-one meetings but the centre of the room is filled with picnic benches, meaning we can empty the room for bigger parties and get-togethers; in fact, just the other week we had a Christmas party where everyone bought in their kids. It was great fun and makes great use of the dynamic space. Santa was there too, of course.
David, Environment & Culture Manager at innocent
2. Mind Candy
Mind Candy specializes in creating worlds that fuel your imagination and its impressive offices certainly help to inspire employees. Elements of it resemble a video game like Zelda, with lush green forest creating a really vibrant feel. Add in the bright colours and games and it’s hard to see how anyone could not look forward to arriving at the office each day.
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MIND Candy is the entertainment company behind Moshi Monsters, so it’s no surprise that its Shoreditch offices are filled with cute features. Staff get around via slides or scooters, and drawing on the walls is actively encouraged! The office also features a treehouse themed meeting room and beanbag chairs for ultimate fun. https://www.agent.media/life/10-of-the-coolest-offices-in-london/ #mindcandy #londonoffices #cooloffices #officespace #agentmedia
3. Red Bull
Red Bull’s offices are designed to give their employees wings (and brand new ideas). Everything looks sophisticated and state of the art in terms of design but crucially, the offices avoid that dreaded ‘stale’ feeling. The enormous open spaces allow employees to go skateboarding or else they can relax on a sofa and watch their favourite programs on a giant TV. Where do we sign up?
Google is the world’s most used search engine, is among the biggest companies on the planet and its employees are expected to be at the cutting edge of their field. The corporate giant also knows you can’t throw staff into a dull office and expect inspiration which is why it has pulled out all the stops to create a luxurious work environment. Employees can boost their endorphin levels with the fitness centre or catch a few Z’s in one of the soft and beautifully designed sofas.
Net.Works. is more than just an office space, it’s a creative community for entrepreneurs. With 379 members working across 17 industries, our space is a hub for networking and collaboration. Our members include freelancers, startups and scaleups.
Net.Works is all about helping companies become more creative so you would expect it to follow its own rules. It turns out that its Islington office is somewhere you’d definitely want to hold a party. At least one of the rooms looks like it could be your living room and this sense of comfort unquestionably helps employees relax and work productively.
The concept started by looking at the history of the use of the building, it used to be a book binders so we wanted to incorporate that into the interiors. We wanted to create a sort or library/coffee shop feel, a calm and warm environment where you could get lost in your work. The layouts and arrangement of the main spaces (SL28, break out spaces) were inspired by thinking about a hotel feel and the variety of ways a hotel offers to sit, work and enjoy the space. We understand that everybody is different and that also within a working day it can be beneficial to have a change of environment/position, so we wanted to offer a real variety of ways to sit and use the space. The lighting was also key in helping to define the different areas of the space and to create the cosy, warm ‘library’ environment.
Our main coworking space is a base for our hot-desking members. However, all our members – those with dedicated desks and private offices – make the most of the vibrant open-plan space. The coffee shop and café, SL28, makes it the perfect place to take a break, have a meeting or brainstorm some ideas away from your desk. The relaxation area in the upper level of the building is a very popular part of our space. It’s often used for a break – usually a quick nap or a place to gather your thoughts so you can return to your work feeling refreshed. Our outdoor courtyard is also a great place to take a break.
6. Mother London
Mother London is a tremendously creative agency, and have produced some incredible campaigns for leading UK brands. We were delighted to see that its offices lived up to expectations. There’s a wonderful quaintness somehow about the design and with so much open space it’s easy to see how that employees are give the freedom to collaborate, relax and be inspired.
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We've got more knits coming! Check the link in our bio if you like any of our naughty knits ——————————————————- #grandmother #motherlondon #AgeUK #Christmas #Christmasspirit #knitting #naughtyknitters #instaknit #iloveknitting #knittinglove #knitting_inspiration #knittingproject #knittingyarn #knittingclub
7. Impact Hub
In April 2011 renovation began on an empty first floor of New Zealand House, Haymarket. Just 6 months later Impact Hub Westminster was born, providing 12,000ft² of workspace and a vibrant programme of events to inspire and encourage connection and collaboration. It was created in collaboration with architecture company 00, Westminster City Council and Simon Kirkham. The space is flooded with natural light as windows stretch across the entire space, and wherever you sit you can see inspiring views of London. The design reflects a sense of openness, transparency and limitless creativity. With glass meeting rooms, open desks and shared hot desking, the space is designed for collaboration and shared values.
Impact Hub offers collaborative working spaces; its space in Westminster appears to be a variety of designs thrown together but it works incredibly well. The luxurious conference room is the ideal place to issue a presentation to blow away your bosses and the gigantic open space makes you feel like you’re at a fair rather than at work. We love the small greenhouse structure in the middle too.
With over 200 hot-desking spaces and fixed desks, a DIY kitchen, library and dedicated meeting rooms, the space is built to be flexible, dynamic and to encourage collaboration. Part of creating a flexible and collaborative workspace is having clear zones, creating different functioning areas that flow into each other, to suit a diverse community.
As you enter the Hub you are greeted by our hosts in the café area. This space is the most public facing and lively space, where members can greet and host guests, take a break with other members, relax on the sofas, or even have informal meetings. This then flows through to the hot desking space, which is designed to encourage discussion and collaboration. The next section is more for dedicated desks and teams. leading into a quiet zone.
Impact Hub Westminster is also filled with Open Desks – created by a company who were originally members of our hub. The desks make collaborative work easy; with no corners, screens can easily be seen by all, inviting dialogue and idea sharing. OpenDesk is a global platform where users can download, make and buy customised furniture customised and made local to you. OpenDesk turned their furniture into software so that it could be made remotely, wherever needed.
We see our architecture as integral to our vision. We think that inspirational architecture and design really does have the power to impact creativity, productivity and innovation. We never, ever, want our architecture to be obvious. Each Huckletree should surprise you as you walk in.
Huckletree is a place for problem solvers and creative minds to collaborate and each zone within its Shoreditch space enjoys its own vibe. Whether your mood sees at working at our desk or from the conversation pit, in the library or in one of the outdoor spaces, Shoreditch you covered. With lots of open space, ample natural light and easy access to creatively minded peers, Huckletree is definitely a place that helps you think.
Having a choice of places to work from is integral to our wellbeing and there isn’t a corner of our Shoreditch space that doesn’t get used. We are very careful, in the design phase, not to include areas or designs that are fun and kitsch, but not functional. Our design is fun, but the though process behind each space is functional.
9. Bathtub 2 Boardroom
Bathtub 2 Boardroom helps start-ups get on their feet and the office space it offers has a quirky yet relaxed feel to ensure you wake up each morning in a productive mood. It has helped over 100 start-ups to date so if you want to be inspired and work alongside other entrepreneurs in a communal and fun atmosphere, give these guys a try!
We are all about building community amongst our diverse bunch of early stage start-ups. This means we encourage open space and opportunities to engage in relaxed environs. Because our building is full of “faded glory” and a little tired around the edges, the acceptance of this by our members reflects the more relaxed environment that this necessarily embodies. We don’t take ourselves too seriously (note the name!) and this theme stretches right the way through our communications and our general style. Entrepreneurs are by their nature resourceful and as a relatively new organization ourselves we are all about sharing the journey and the lifestyle!
We design our spaces to be light, simple and inspiring. We create them with our members’ needs in mind. Our members are busy, ambitious tech entrepreneurs with fast-growing businesses so the space has to be fuss-free, functional and designed so it can flex with their team size quickly. They like it to be design-conscious and aesthetically pleasing too so we tend to make use of the industrial features of the space, and juxtapose this with some contemporary features.
As a result of using the raw features of the building, each of our locations’ designs is a little different. Also, members who take on private offices can customise their own self-contained space, so we have the interesting design challenge of creating fully customizable spaces that complement the building.
Techspace claims it is the right place for ‘Big Ideas’ and we certainly agree that its offices in Shoreditch are designed to inspire. It successfully achieves a ‘boardroom’ feel while still avoiding the more stale aspects of corporate workspaces. It also combines open spaces with privacy so you can network one minute and have peace and quiet to work on your big project the next.
The Techspace team work in-house, so we live and breathe the spaces we have developed every day. It’s so important we understand our members’ needs and experience of the space. So it has a huge impact sitting alongside them, seeing how they are within the space and talking to them daily.
For our members, they tell us the office space has a huge impact on creating the company culture they want. Being able to take ownership of the space is the biggest selling point of our offering. Being able to call the office ‘home’, and feed the company’s culture into the physical space is important, which is something not many serviced office providers can do.
11. BMB Agency
BMB is an advertising agency who creatively solve business problems for consumer brands such as Rubicon, Rowse and Pom-Bear. Constantly dreaming up innovative ad campaigns is tough work so fortunately, BMB employees are treated to a workplace that is colourful, energetic, quirky and absolutely gorgeous. From the tropical forest in reception to the homely dining room and the botanical paradise BMB calls a garden, we are amazed.
Gyro is all about innovation and behind its giant front door near Drury Lane; you’ll find an enormous amount of space and beautiful furnishings. Once you’re fed up sitting at your desk, you can collaborate with others around a massive oak table and bounce ideas around. Alternatively, you can enjoy a refreshing drink on the terrace on sunny days or stay indoors, sit back on a cushy sofa and dream of big ideas.
Karmarama is the largest communications agency in the UK but when you step into its London office, it seems as if you’ve been transported into a different time zone! Along with the more contemporary décor, there is definitely a retro feel. The neon signs are great but we adore the conference table that’s located right in the middle of a 1970s dance floor.
Droga 5, also known as D5, is a very slick independent advertising network. We were stunned when we saw its New York HQ as it looks like something straight off a Hollywood movie set. Everything is pristine clean and this futuristic look certainly rubs off on its employees who continue to win big contracts and wow their clients.
15. Wieden + Kennedy London
W + K is one of the world’s top ad agencies and its London office is absolutely fantastic. In some places, it looks like a delightful little arts and crafts store thanks to the great décor while it has a contemporary look in other parts of the building. Employees are explicitly encouraged to cycle as there is a dedicated indoor bike storage area and while the main work area is a hub of activity, there are plenty of places to relax.
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There are some Wiedenisms that help explain what really goes on within our walls and, in particular, on this wall. These two sentiments, "find people who make you better" and "a white wall is a missed opportunity," come together in W+K New York. Here, there once was a white wall, but now it's adorned with six-inch replicas of all the people who make us better. @wknyc #creativityisaplace
The coworking spaces offered by Interchange are designed for creative companies looking to scale up. Its office in London resembles a fancy restaurant and you could just imagine yourself ordering a steak and glass of wine while you work! The futuristic design and open space gives you a sense of freedom; just don’t relax too much when you have work to do…
17. Jimmy’s Iced Coffee
Jimmy’s Iced Coffee is a hip brand that has enjoyed great success in the iced coffee market. A quick glance at its website shows that the company’s employees are a fun-loving bunch so you would expect its London office to follow suit. We were not disappointed as it looked more like a trendy bar than a place of work. The skateboard ramp is pretty amazing although the employees tend to have meetings there rather than perform dangerous stunts.
Whether you want a ticket to a concert, sporting event or the theatre, Ticketmaster is the place to visit. It prides itself on being a passionate and dynamic company and its London office space seems like a great place to work. It includes a Fitness Studio, a place to have massages, a pool table, and a host of great artistic pieces to inspire staff. They even get to watch live sporting events and concerts on TV, which is also very in-fitting with the brand.
The social media giant is another corporation that encourages employees to have fun at work. Its office seems to have everything from a massage table to a private dining area. It has the look of a high class hotel in places and there is even a giant model of a Dalek! Certainly, Twitter knows how to exterminate boredom.
According to Thomas Edison, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. The companies on this list understand that the 1% is incredibly hard to find and they do everything possible to inspire their staff with remarkable workplaces. If people are happy at work, the perspiration thing takes care of itself as we all work faster, harder and better when we love what we do.