A 25-meter swimming pool, a 200-meter rooftop running trail, and a massage room are just a few of the perks reminiscent of upscale hotel stays at Google’s London Kings Cross development. The company’s ambitious headquarters construction, nicknamed “the landscraper” due to its colossal square footage, is expected to benefit both Googlers and locals, who will have access to some of the facilities too. Completion is set for 2024.

Tech giant Amazon is currently developing its second headquarters (HQ2) in Virginia, in the United States. The spiral-shaped office, called The Helix, will include an outdoor hiking trail winding up and around the exterior architecture, which will be swathed in plants gathered from the local Blue Ridge Mountains. For Amazon’s office workers, immersion in nature extends beyond the exterior, with a forest plaza and cascading water feature taking biophilic design to the extreme.

At London agency Ask Us For Ideas, a dimly lit subterranean space is a world away from the fluorescent-lit offices workers have become accustomed to. “The mood is calmer, moodier, and more introspective,” Hugh Scott Moncrieff, director of Cake Architecture, the studio behind the 2022 design, tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. Hardwood flooring, shag rugs, and mid-century armchairs adorn the space, playing on the constraints of what an office can be and encouraging the use of the space for events beyond work. “They host one-on-one sessions there, breathing and yoga classes, as well as evening lectures and cocktail parties,” says Moncrieff.

World-class service is also being brought into the corporate environment. L’Oréal’s second US headquarters, opened in Los Angeles in August 2022, includes a concierge service for employees. At a charge of $5 per hour, the office concierge runs errands, from filling up workers’ gas tanks to collecting their laundry. The service gives workers relief from everyday chores, freeing up their time and adding an extra perk to working from the office.

The Intelligence take:

The next generation of workspaces gets a five-star upgrade, catering to a class of workers that now values the comforts of working from home. For businesses, the race is on to make the office more inviting.

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