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hen you think of “the of­fice”, it’s easy to imag­ine the om­nipresent ’80s flu­o­res­cent lights, bland walls, dated tech­nol­ogy with spaghetti ca­bles and typ­i­cal cube farm.

With more than 2 000 hours spent in the of­fice by the av­er­age South African worker a year, lo­cal com­pa­nies are be­gin­ning to take note of the fact that a bet­ter work­place im­proves pro­duc­tiv­ity.

As a way of se­cur­ing the best and bright­est, com­pa­nies are now pay­ing more at­ten­tion to the en­vi­ron­ment cre­ated by their workspaces.

There are many dif­fer­ent ways to make an of­fice cater to its work­ers. Some of­fices fea­ture gym equip­ment that helps work­ers re­duce stress and get their blood flow­ing (which is great for staff who sit be­hind a desk all day).

Oth­ers fea­ture lounges where work­ers can re­lax and feel at home. In some way or another, of­fices should be de­signed to en­cour­age work­ers to think more cre­atively and play­fully.

Here are six in­spi­ra­tional, well-de­signed and en­ter­tain­ing of­fices that add a touch of colour and fun to the South African workspace:

Red Bull

The com­pany gives its em­ploy­ees wings by pro­vid­ing more than 1 600m2 space right at the har­bour’s edge in the Wa­ter­front, Cape Town. Its walls are dec­o­rated with surf­boards and the brand’s sport­ing ad­ven­tures and mem­o­ra­bilia. There’s also a wall of fame. Red Bull is pro­vided on tap, there are pri­vate “war rooms” to use for break and strat­egy ses­sions, and there is a con­sole games room. The high-end space pro­vides a fun, in­dus­trial look with no ceil­ings, while be­ing acous­ti­cally sound­proofed. The space fea­tures amaz­ing views and the nat­u­ral light­ing stim­u­lates staff cre­ativ­ity. Pop­u­lated over two floors, the of­fice en­cour­ages staff to move around freely while elim­i­nat­ing hi­er­ar­chi­cal struc­tures.


The paint com­pany has made quite a splash with its colour-pro­duc­tive show­room of­fices. Guided by the colour-trend forecast, the brand’s of­fice in­te­rior is cre­atively used as a can­vas to il­lus­trate its prod­uct range.

Key fur­ni­ture items can be easily up­dated and changed ac­cord­ing to the sea­son’s Pan­tone colours. Each board­room is used to dis­play the dif­fer­ent colour prod­ucts while ed­u­cat­ing staff about the brand of­fer­ing.

Open-plan work en­vi­ron­ments are pro­vided with shared spa­ces, such as the can­teen area, where colours are strate­gi­cally used to pro­mote both in­ter­ac­tion and re­lax­ation.

The com­pany clev­erly uses its of­fice space to ed­u­cate its em­ploy­ees while cre­at­ing a fun, bright and bold en­vi­ron­ment that ex­em­pli­fies its work and prod­ucts.

Shan­duka Group

This mas­sive cor­po­rate space brings a taste of fun and flavour, start­ing with a VIP McCafé on the ground floor. High­lights in­clude cash-free fa­cil­i­ties, prod­uct taste test­ing and open days for sur­round­ing CBD cor­po­rates once a week.

State of the art train­ing fa­cil­i­ties are pro­vided and tech­nol­ogy is in­te­grated through­out, in­clud­ing meet­ing rooms and top-class board­rooms with their own pri­vate bar area and elec­tronic screens and blinds. 360-de­gree views across the Sand­ton skyline al­low for nat­u­ral light and stim­u­late cre­ativ­ity among the work­force.

The dé­cor in­cludes vi­brant colours with mu­rals, art and funky wall­pa­per. Re­cy­cling bins are used to pro­mote sus­tain­abil­ity and open-plan de­vices such as the “phone booth” al­low staff to take pri­vate calls in a tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled booth with built-in light­ing.

Con­ver­gence Part­ners

This in­vest­ment-man­age­ment firm has cre­ated a fun, fresh con­tem­po­rary of­fice with an em­pha­sis on pro­vid­ing a pro­gres­sive ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre for med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and stu­dents. Key high­lights in­clude a num­ber of dif­fer­ent spa­ces for staff to en­joy – from showers to lock­ers, bi­cy­cle hang­ers and even a chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment room.

The of­fice space can also be used for mul­ti­ple pur­poses. The cof­fee sta­tion can con­vert into a staff can­teen and en­ter­tain­ment bar, the play area for kids in the morn­ing can easily con­vert into an em­ployee re­lax­ation space in the af­ter­noons, the in­ter­nal meet­ing ar­eas can be used as pro­ject work­sta­tions and the main board­room can be used as a for­mal din­ing area.

Flex­i­ble staff ar­eas are pro­vided by us­ing stack­able doors to cre­ate open-plan spa­ces, en­cour­ag­ing fur­ther team­work and co­op­er­a­tion through­out the com­pany.

BOARD­ROOM/DIN­ING ROOM Con­ver­gence has de­signed its of­fices so that each space has mul­ti­ple uses

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