The 14 Coolest Offices in Tech – London vs. The Valley

Posted on April 11, 2012 by

 

 

As London’s tech community continues to boom, we’ve started to notice something here at Adzuna towers – many of Britain’s brightest and best entrepreneurs (who started in bedrooms in Balham and garages in Guildford) have created some some seriously cool tech work spaces in our nations capital. So cool in fact, that we reckon many of the offices below now stand toe to toe on the “funk-o-meter” with US giants like Facebook and Airbnb. Here’s our pick of the coolest offices in London and California. Watch this space Silicon Valley – We’re coming for ya!

London’s Top Contenders:

1. Mind Candy’s Moshi Monsters – HQ Shoreditch High Street, London

Why it’s cool: Every imaginable toy and game, sofas, bean bag chairs, a big TV and Guitar Hero.

In the words of the monsters themselves, Mind Candy is a place of work and play. The employees’ love of Moshlings is so astronomic two of them even got tattoos of Furi and Katsuma permanently added to their body art collection.  Now that’s Dedication!

Fancy working for Moshi Monsters?

Tree House

Grassy play area

Fun furnishings and Moshi characters

2. Google – HQ, Victoria, London

Why its cool: Strange angular sofas, corridors  that look like the inside of the starship Enterprise, pool tables and video games.

This eccentric London HQ could only be the residence of Google; the granddaddy of the tech world.  Nelson Mattos, Google’s Vice President of Engineering, said: ‘We hire the brightest and best engineers in the UK and put them together in a highly creative, relaxed and exciting environment.’[1]

Fancy working for Google?

Pool table

Futuristic meeting room

Workspace

3. Forward Internet Group - HQ Camden, London

Why it’s cool: Music room, games room, free canteen, yoga classes, table tennis… and what office isn’t complete without a giant lobster?

This extra-wacky Camden office was designed by Jump Studies and apparently inspired by the likes of Alice in Wonderland and computer game Super Mario [2]. Business definitely meets pleasure in this London office.

Fancy working for the Forward Internet Group?

Red Amphitheatre Stairs

Giant Lobster

Meeting room

4. Innocent Drinks – HQ Kensel Rise, London

Why it’s cool: fake grass, picnic benches, open communal seating area, booths, table football and an archetypal English red telephone box.

Fondly know as ‘Fruity Towers’, Innocent’s HQ reminds us of a bustling English Village Fair; a haven of nature, openness and goodness.  You could probably get 1 of your 5 a day just sitting there.  The pièce de résistance is a seating area large enough for the whole company to gather at once.

Fancy working for Innocent?

Wacky entrance

Communal play area

Park benches

5. Red Bull – HQ Soho, London

Why it’s cool: giant slide, ping-pong meeting rooms plus an ultra modern bar and restaurant.

The stratospheric coolness of Red Bull’s London offices needs little explanation.  This would undoubtably be an amazing place to work, with bursting with modern design and fun. All they’re missing is a fireman’s pole and we could guarantee no work would ever get done.

Fancy working for Red Bull?

Slide between floors

Slides, Ping-pong meeting room, cool furnishings

5. Nike – HQ Oxford Street, London

Why it’s cool: Match balls lining the walls, big-screen TVs showing the latest games it’s the stuff of sports-fans’ dreams.

It’s modern in parts but futuristic beyond belief in others. The Nike Office in London is one seriously cool place to work. TV’s everywhere, branded sports equipment neatly housed on shelves on every wall. See for yourself:

Fancy getting a job with Nike?

Bright rooms

Match balls lining the walls

7. Good Technology – HQ, City of Westminster, London

Why its cool: Old-fashioned gentleman’s club luxury, football tables, pool tables and modern practical workspace.

This type of workplace most of us would put a smile on your face every Monday morning. In fact, so popular are the company’s offices that many staff end up staying after hours to socialise round the office pool table.[4]

Pool table and leather seats

Table-football

Old-fashioned gentleman's club luxury

 

The Valley’s Top Contenders:

1. AirBnB – HQ San Francisco, California

Why it’s cool: Log-cabin inspired meeting room, extra comfy chairs, office dog called ‘Biscuits Jackson’, the brightly coloured kitchen and the mens toilet adorned with Antelopes head

This office, designed by Garcia Tamjidi, boasts innovation and creativity in every room. The real sizzle it that each meeting room is inspired by actual AirBnB listings.  The log-cabin is based on mushroom cabin in Aptos, California. There’s also an artist’s pad in Berlin and a trendy apartment in Hong Kong.

Fancy working for AirBnB?

Log-cabin inspired meeting room

Original Log-Cabin in Aptos, California

 

Colourful Fridges

Antelopes head in Men's bathroom

2. Facebook – HQ Palo Alto, California

Why it’s cool: Free gourmet meals, snacks, and drinks in micro-kitchens dotted all over the building, DJ decks, gaming stations and loads more.

When Facebook moved into the 150,000-square-foot building in 2009 they took the time to consult their employees and find out what they wanted from their offices.  The aim was to create the most productive and creative workplace possible.  Plus employees are encouraged to write on walls, add artwork, and move furniture as they see fit.

Fancy working for Facebook?

Free Meals

DJ decks

Cool offices

3. AOL – HQ Palo Alto, California

Why it’s cool: Bright, wide open spaces, cool colours, fun youthful feel, kitchen area, which is dubbed the “Town Hall” and the game and relaxation area.

AOL’s breathtaking West Coast offices are bright, crisp and youthful. Designed by the same dudes behind Facebook’s layer; AOL’s employees are spoilt with exposed ceilings, bursts of colour, ample-light, concrete floors and modern furniture. Relaxation area is centrally located to bring together staff from departments that might not otherwise interact.[3]

Fancy working for AOL?

Pool tables

bright colours and loads of natural light

Swanky cubicals

4. Youtube – HQ San Bruno, California

Why its cool: Swimming pool, fully functioning gym, vending machines galore, a huge red slide and a miniature golf course.

YouTube’s offices seem to have more toys and gadgets than actual places to work. The company has made great effort to create a good working place with a great comfort for its staff. Who wouldn’t want to work here?

Are you a YouTube Specialist?

YouTube

Miniature golf course

Big red slide

5. Twitter – HQ San Francisco, California

Why its cool: Minimalist furnishings, open space, cool twitter motifs and a huge cafeteria.

Twitter and all its little ‘twemployees‘ moved into this new office space in 2009.  Now, we don’t know about you, but we think its a little…bland.  According to TechCrunch
(and judging from the photos) a handful of Twitter’s employees spent a weekend sticking little birds over everything.  The best bits are the little green antelopes and the epic views - great for day dreaming.

Twitter HQ
Amazing views of San Francisco
Green Antelope figurines

6. Zynga – HQ San Francisco, California.

Why it’s cool: Laser light portals, whiteboards smothered in cartoons, an amphitheater, pizza station, food court, snack bars on every floor, a laptop help center and whiteboard artwork in almost every corner.

Zynga’s enormous office spans six floors with treasures and treats around every corner. We love the retro artwork, bold, eye-catching images, bright colors and glowing lights. The abounding creativity demonstrated by hanging whiteboards in every office – it’s impossible not to doodle on every wall.  You’re likely to encounter a FarmVille character every five feet.

 

Tunnel

'Play Time' Neon Signs

Cool working area

7. EventBrite- HQ San Francisco, California

Why it’s cool: Office canine, comfy sofas, skateboards, ping-pong tables, delicious canteen plus bags and bags of smiles!

Business Insider reported that this snazzy tech office “was one of the happiest places we’ve ever seen”.  In our opinion that makes EventBrite one of the coolest offices in tech-ville.  The office is impressively open and airy with large white walls and licks of ‘Eventbrite orange’. Our highlight is the quiet meditation room that had dim lights and comfortable furniture for a quick snooze.

Ping-Pong table

Chill out area - Almost too relaxed to work

Bicycle rack

So ladies and gentlemen you have witnessed the crème de la crème of tech offices from both sides of the pond.  Which is better? We think the Brits! The boom of British entrepreneurial spirit is palpable. These offices remind us more of playgrounds for coders rather than the intellectual HQ’s of the Silicon Roundabout.  What do you think? How do these compare to your offices?

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