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Why quirky offices with table tennis and art don’t inspire PR Grouch

22nd May 2013


I don’t deny that a lovely view and a smart office can lift the spirits, but I do wonder at the lengths some office designers go to create quirky and inspirational PR offices. Is it really worth all that trouble?

I have worked in some of the smartest office buildings in NCR, and some of the shabbiest. I have done some of my best work from a tiny basement office with no natural light and terrible decor – but this was when I worked from home, so there were terrific facilities for making tea and pakodas.

I have done my time in buildings with crazy themed meeting rooms; some were even painted a bright orange and strewn with bean bags to encourage playful thinking. What a complete waste of time.

And when I compare these with the noisy and crowded offices that are the norm of many newspapers, I have to say that the most energised environments were the newsrooms. Because in my opinion, the way an office looks makes little difference. It is the work you do, and the people you work with, that counts.

Now, if I worked for an interior design firm, I can see the logic in having an office that showcases what the business does. But do clients really want to see their money being spent on state-of-the-art lighting systems, chrome espresso machines and designer sofas? They want you to make money for their enjoyment, not for your own!

I know we work in an industry of artifice where image is everything, but we could all do with saving a few pennies, so I suggest keeping the office clear of clutter, gimmicks and expensive art installations.

And anyway, can you imagine the reaction and bitchy emails if you actually had the gall to play table tennis during the working day? You will find yourself getting a few extra accounts. Big ones. With nasty clients and lots of weekend work required.

No. It's time to put that table in the mail room.


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