There is now little doubt that with mobile technology we can all 'work at home' if we want to. However, current workplace discussions are all about can we bring the 'home to work'.
The BCO (British Council for Offices) have said for a number of years that we need to have offices as a hub for collaboration and connection with our colleagues.
Therefore, offices need to reflect this and encourage interaction, by making people feel like they are at home. Large featureless open plan spaces may be efficient in terms of squeezing in lots of people, but if it's not a nice place to work in you will not get the best performance out of your staff.
Designing spaces around groups of people is key. So, in a large open plan office, as you walk through it, you should notice a different feel and environment that reflects the individuals in each group.
Slides in place of stairs always capture the headlines, but arriving in reception head first and body slamming into your new client as you fly off the bottom, maybe isn't for every organisation.
Bringing your pets to work is a growing trend with many social media forums talking about the benefits and sharing photos of their beloved furball sitting under their desk. However, I can only assume you would need some form of 'pet rota' for this to work. e.g. Monday is dog day, Tuesday is cat day, etc. Otherwise, watching your dog running through the office with the Directors hamster in its mouth, isn't going to instil collaboration and connection with your colleagues!
Google's headquarters in Zurich has a massage room, aquarium and a slide to deliver engineers smoothly and quickly to the canteen. Deloitte's Amsterdam office was designed with one empty room on each floor for employees to put what they wanted in them - most have gone for games such as table football. At LinkedIn's Californian HQ there is a music room, stocked with keyboards, drums, guitars and audio equipment. And allowing employees to bring their pets to work is increasingly common. So when did our offices turn into playgrounds, and does this represent the new way of working?