Office wars: SKYPE, California

Everybody knows that creative types need a supportive and stimulating work environment in order to deliver the great ideas that make the big bucks. And I don’t just mean bean bags.

Today’s creative type demands natural light, pastel colours and as much free shit – coffee, fruit, games of pool – as HR can be talked into. And bean bags, of course, they still love the bean bags.

Everybody’s doing it

But it’s not just the ad agencies and design studios that splash out on legitimate staff stimulation. Nowadays it’s the technological giants that are pushing the creative envelope, and they need the funky workspace to do it.

They need it, and they just love to show it off.

Skype – Palo Alto, California

I found this tour of Skype’s Palo Alto office at; the photos were taken for Skype by HoffmanChrisman. The comments, for what little they’re worth, are my own.


These chairs look like they would 1) snap under the weight of an average adult 2) be impossible to rock back on 3) be impossible to get out of unless you have Olympic core muscle strength.

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This feels like a school trip to a museum and I don’t know what I’m looking at.

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Get a ceiling, jeez.

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Here are seven more photos from Skype HQ, each one less impressive than the last.


That looks like one of those five-foot pool tables, and everybody knows those are shit.

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Can you say high school lunch room popularity contest? All I hear is “This seat’s taken,” and all I see is always eating alone.

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They need to hire more people at Skype. Place is empty.

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Are you serious about the fake grass and kiddie chairs? (Unless that’s real grass, in which case it’s cool, but it looks like astroturf to me.)

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Those hammocks are upside down and way too high. That’s a painful fall and a lawsuit waiting to happen.

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You’re a digital company, get digital watches.

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Nobody likes lime green. Not now, not ever. A friend had a car that colour, she called it ‘Baby shit’. She wasn’t wrong.


Personally, perhaps you can tell, I’m not easily impressed by funky furniture and plastic parks. Nor do I feel like these things allow me to have better ideas. But maybe I’m just not creative type enough.


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