After I wrote my post on the new Facebook office spaces, my friend Andy made me put my money where my mouth was and invited me to Facebook to tour the offices for myself. Since that was one of my most commented upon posts I couldn’t pass up the chance to see the campus for myself.
Was the campus overwhelmingly large? Yes. So much so that there are shuttle buses and bicycles to get people from building to building. But is also filled with light and art and posters and a sense of play. It was also a lot quieter than I expected it to be. People were very respectful of the open seating and kept their voices down in the open areas. They used the closed conference rooms and outdoor areas, the coffee shops and other communal areas for conversations. It was actually a very congenial environment and not at all what I was expecting.
There was so much art. And posters and graphics all pinned haphazardly to the walls which gave the space a casual vibe and made it feel partially like a college campus and partially like Disneyland for coders.
I also work in a large office with tons of cubicles and an ongoing attempt to have “open seating” despite the photo from the previous post, Facebook’s space actually has a warm comfortable vibe of a loft apartment rather than a corporate office that stripped all the walls out of the cubicles. Each employees space has personal touches that show their personality, some more than others, of course. Some folks work on large desktop machines while others work on laptops to be more mobile. Some people work on mobile apps and just wander around with their phone in their hands. What a way to function!
All in all, it was an inspiring day and I feel quite differently about the landscape, both inside and out, of the Facebook offices. And I’m supremely jealous that the weather is such in California that Facebook employees can essentially work outside in the roof garden 11 months out of the year. Makes me dread January in KC.
For even more photos, check out my full Facebook HQ album on Flickr. And yes, I’m eating my words a little now. At least they taste like asian noodle bowl and mint chocolate chip ice cream.
I was listening to Cortex yesterday and Myke and CGP Grey were mentioning the new Menlo Park headquarters for Facebook and the large, open-plan work space. This space is not a trend unique to Facebook. Many companies and office spaces are transitioning to open-plan work spaces for more “open communication” and collaborating. But is this type of space really the solution to that? Do people really collaborate more and do critical thinking in a space like this or do they end up trying to drown out all the distractions with headphones or go hide away in a closet somewhere to get some actual work done?
I find the interior space of the new Facebook office neither aesthetically appealing nor engaging for working or collaborating. It just looks cluttered, messy and noisy. The fact that no one is given any storage space nor are they encouraged to have personal items on their desk seem to only make it more disheartening and cluttered. The overly high, unfinished ceilings with cables descending down are even worse! I think of something Trevor Noah said about not moving into Jon Stewart’s office after he left the Daily Show… he talked about how the whole point of moving up in the worked and getting out of poverty meant he didn’t want to have to live in a space with exposed brick walls again and what was it with white people and exposed brick? I feel the same way about wealthy tech companies and exposed wiring? You can afford to have that sh*t covered up! This whole space gives me a case of the hibby jibbies!
I really hope that the pendulum of the open floor plan office starts to swing back the other way because I don’t believe that this much openness is genuinely conducive to non-distracted working and thinking. I believe it leads people to seek out other places to work, or they choose to come into work either early or stay late in an attempt to avoid distrations. I think the myth of multi-tacking needs to stop. It makes people sloppy and tired. We can multi-task for a little while but, in the end, I don’t think its effective, efficient or healthy. I don’t think we, as idea workers, can come up with our best ideas when we are constantly distracted by co-workers, bleeps, or other disturbances. Yes, its nice to have a way to bounce ideas off other people, but we need to find a better way to do it other than forcing people to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with headphones on while they madly type into their laptops and mobile devices. That’s not really collaborating, is it?
I loved seeing these pastel bright desks full of great organizational and storage ideas. I particularly like the the pegboard is just propped up behind the desk instead of needing to be mounted to the wall making it a good solution for renters and space to hide cords. While originally designed for a kid’s room, it doesn’t look all that different from my desk, I have my own stash of ponies and dolls too!
I found some beautiful work spaces today. Lots of natural wood in this week’s Desk Set plus the requisite white workspace — but this white space is a bookshelf with built-in desk and doubles as a room divider.
I found two lovely desks this week. The first is a unique purple and gold accented desk that has a vintage-luggage-meets-modern sensibility. I love all the geometric patterns in the room.
The second is a lovely, wood roll-top desk mixed with a bright, mid-century chair for an eclectic look. Of course, its from a home in Paris. Parisians have an innate ability to mix and match everything for a perfect blend of chic and lived-in.
I hope these spaces feel colorful and inspiring. So many of the images I find around the internet of workspaces lately have been stark white and barren and don’t feel like inviting workspaces. These spaces felt tidy but productive with evidence of people actually utilizing the space for a variety of tasks.
There are lots of great detail photos and “where to buy” guides interspersed in this office tour of fashion blogger Caroline Harper Knapp of House of Harper. Also interspersed are other workspace and office tours previously posted on My Domaine. Eye candy galore.
Portland-based, Hand Eye Supply has created the site Desk Inspired to feature short interviews and photos of workspaces of some very interesting creative folks. The articles feature the tools and methods they use in order to be creative each day. The photography is gorgeous and many of their favorite work tools are available for purchase through Hand Eye Supply.
I’m loving reclaimed wood or deep stained wood desks lately. Whether the look is rustic, mid-century or ladylike, I love them all. Maybe its a desire to have a work surface that’s not made of MDF or faux wood veneer.
Click on the photos to link to the original posts.
Is your desk wood, metal or some other material? Are you thinking about upgrading?
There are ten great (if sometimes obvious) tips for keeping a clear desk and a clear head over on Remodelista. Clean, sort, organize and manage your time are things we all need to be reminded about occasionally. I’m particularly fond of the advice to use Unroll.me to remove your name from slews of subscription emails and SelfControl to forcibly block sites from yourself for certain windows of time (hello, Pinterest!) for we of little self-control.
In my search for woodsy, natural feeling workspaces, I stumbled upon the idea of building desks, tables and shelving out of reclaimed shipping pallets and wooden crates. There was an extensive article on MyInteriorDesign.it where I found many of the photos shown above. Some refinished the pallets, sanded or stained to a lovely finish while other options left the material in its raw state with all the stains and wear-and-tear from its previous life clearly visible. The fold-up pallet desk is a good option for those with little space or for the kids to use for homework or craft projects.
Instructions for building your own pallet fold-away desk cane be found at Thistlewood Farms.
With all the grey, bleak weather around these days, I got the itch to redesign my office speace with lush greens and natural woods. I want to create an oasis of greenery, woodsy beauty indoors.
Putting a desk near the window takes advantage of natural light without being distracting.
I love how functional this space is – and crammed to the gills. The Vitra vintage plastic wall (available new from Design Within Reach for a mere $475) caddy is a great way to keep tools handy and makes an office space feel more like a workshop.
Do you string fairy lights across your cubicle wall or put a tree on your desk to get into the spirit of the season? If not, maybe its time to put a little holiday cheer in the office? Hang some decorations from your bulletin board or wall.
I’m feeling like what my work space needs, more than anything, is a view of the outdoors. Does your office or workspace have a window? Is your desk strategically placed so that you can peek out of it every now and then? If not, it might be time to move so that you can see the glorious colors of fall (or if you’re on the other side of the world, the glorious greening of summer).
The folks over at European Paper, an online paper goods shop located in Colorado (not really Europe at all!), have taken some of my desk and office pins from Pinterest and combined them with some of their lovely paper goods and featured them on their blog. Click on the images to see EP’s product recommendations that coordinate with these work spaces.
And stay tuned, their shall be more collaborations between The Desk and European Paper. Are you excited? I am!
Not to usurp the awesomeness of Lucky Magazine’s editor-in-chief Eva Chen’s new office but the once hallowed home decor magazine Domino is back as an online magazine and shopping portal. Just so you know.
Now, back to Ms. Chen’s office. Its a lovely light, bright, colorful space complete with sofas to lounge upon and flowers galore. Its a bit of an ideal ideal but I do love the nice clean, white desk for all the computer equipment. And I really need to keep more flowers and greenery in my workspace. I do think it cheers things up immensely.
I would, however, have put a large wooden table and chairs where the couches and coffee table are. I prefer a good working area to meet or spread out all those pages for review and editing, then couches to veg out on.
My co-worker, Tobe, featured a post on her site, Because It’s Awesome. The article was written by Guest Blogger Emily from Recently the Blog about her home office. The content was so “Well-Appointed Desk”, I just had to share.
Visit Because It’s Awesome for more details about how Emily turned a 70s built-in into a fresh, modern workspace including links to resources.