The aggressive playfulness that characterizes a lot of office spaces nowadays, from Facebook to Google, has always struck us as vaguely infantilizing and, above all, misguided: Your IT guys don’t need a beach-themed break room, they need a quiet place to work so they can fix your damned computer. But here’s one company where a fun environment makes complete sense and, in fact, it’d be counterproductive any other way: Lego.
Here is something fun for the weekend, an overview of the LEGO PMD offices in Billund, Denmark. This 21,500 square-foot facility, with its couds, graphics, gardens and slide, has been designed to allow the employees to better connect with the customers of the LEGO products they design.
Other than the "fun" aspects of the office space, the facility is designed around the development of new products, which makes a lot of sense for a firm that does lifecycle product development and management. There are collaborative spaces (presumably for brainstorming, planning, and reviews), enclosed meeting rooms (allow for quiet and/or private work and discussion), and an area for product testing.
Entrance to LEGOLAND Germany (2010)
I was lucky enough to visit Billund, Denmark over twenty years ago (it is a beautiful city), and would love to visit this facility next time I visit. LEGO is a company that I greatly admire, and it is really satisfying to see how it puts so much thought into everything it does, even in how it set up the environment to bring the state of mind of its employees closer to its customers.