Just a few years ago, most offices – with their grey colors and impersonal desk decorations – were not exactly what one would call a welcoming place. Studies have shown that the architectural design of a workspace influences efficiency and job commitment among employees. For this reason, Berlin startups have turned their offices into vibrant hybrids between playgrounds, showrooms, and flexible workspaces. The ideas behind the new trends in office architecture are not only of recreational origin but also reflect the movement to a more liberal and rewarding way of approaching work.

All work, all play: The office as a playground

Ping pong tables, hammocks, after-work drinks: in Berlin offices, business areas and playgrounds live in peaceful coexistence and give employees the chance to recharge creativity through play. While in other countries most companies are afraid to give their workers too much freedom to distract themselves from their duty, Berlin employers acknowledge the importance of a playful break and treasure the social factor of these no-work-areas. Startups like Visual Meta even created a whole playground with video game consoles, foosball tables, and a snack bar, where you can let your inner child out in between adulting.

Bringing life into the office: The office as a natural habitat

In recent years, new trends in interior design have brought nature as an element back into workspaces. Many Berlin offices are now covered in wooden pallets, decorating desks and floors with big leafy plants. They switch to natural light instead of the classic white light bulb.  The natural design gives an employee a feeling of working outside and companies like Zalando allow them to breathe in the midst of the stressful environment of the urban jungle.