Will a 'cool' office attract better staff?

We've all seen them. The so-called 'cool' offices that have become the standard for emerging and high-profile tech companies. From the slides at Google's Zurich headquarters to the yoga room in the San Francisco base of Twitter, there are plenty of workplaces that make the rest of us jealous. 

But do they actually work? They're certainly great for attraction, but that still leaves the issue of retention and efficiency. Is the rock climbing wall at Adobe going to distract people from their work?

Experts weigh in

According to recruitment expert Hays, the effectiveness of these bold office redesigns depends on how well they fit within a workplace's culture. The firm is not doubting that these changes make an office better in some ways, with there being a certain appeal to the cubicles littered with video game memorabilia seen at Activision. 

However, the long term effects of these plans need to be considered. Can your staff work without distraction in a building that has slides between every floor? 

"When working with employers on their candidate attraction and retention strategy, we remind them that their office environment is more than just the furnishings," said Managing Director of Hays Australia and NZ Nick Deligiannis.

"It's about communicating to candidates the positive aspects of working at your organisation and also ensuring that the description provided is a genuine and accurate representation."

The worst thing a company can do, according to the firm, is use radical offices to hide problems within the workplace. Provided the companies already have the culture however, there is no reason why they can't make a more interesting environment work. 

"A colourful, engaging, welcoming workplace is undoubtedly a fantastic HR tool, but it needs to ring true, or it will only ever be a new coat of paint," continued Mr Deligiannis.

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