Whether it’s because we can all share an exasperated laugh at the way managers handle situations, or thank our lucky stars that the office politics in our workplace is so different, workplace-based TV shows are incredibly popular. It’s also fun to see how the designs of these offices often reflect the characters that work in them.
If you could choose just one TV office to spend the day in, which one would it be? Here are some suggestions…
Office design has come a long way since we last caught up with the daily lives of David “The Brentmeister General” Brent and the employees in the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg Paper Company.
While David Brent left viewers cringing, the office design – the layout, the furniture and even the equipment – did little to inspire or motivate its workers.
Its beige walls, cluttered desks and numerous filing cabinets are reminiscent of a time when the office was seen as a place to work and nothing more.
The IT Crowd
At first glance, the basement office in the IT Crowd looks like a bedroom of a teenage boy who’s into gaming and comics, and not a bustling IT department.
Through Roy, Moss and Jen, we are shown the ability to put your own stamp on your office and make the space your own, with the workplace reflecting their personalities – Roy and Moss’s office being full of comic paraphernalia and Jen’s separate office being neat and tidy.
While some might find a cluttered workspace a distraction, personalising your desk in a subtle way can help motivate and inspire you throughout the day.
The offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, an advertising agency in New York, take us back to the flamboyant office design of the 1960s. With orange hues, heavily wooded walls, stocked bars, couches and oversized desks, these opulent offices are as much about making a design statement to clients as they are about functionality.
The fictional advertising agency’s offices were so popular, and considered to be so realistic, that the set is now in the Museum of Moving Image in New York.
House of Cards (US version)
To avoid any spoilers, we’re just going to focus on Frank Underwood’s office in the first season.
As Democratic Majority Whip in the United States House of Representatives, Underwood’s office is a great example of a formal office, with its brass lighting, dark wood furniture and historical paintings.
Far from the contemporary trend of open plan offices, Underwood’s office is exactly that – it is his office. While some might like the idea of having an isolated work station, the downside of this type of office is that it makes it harder to collaborate on team projects – but then Frank Underwood isn’t much of a team player after all.
W1A, a follow-up to the BBC comedy Twenty Twelve, gave viewers a glimpse into the BBC’s new Broadcasting House.
The new Broadcasting House has taken a leaf out of Google’s book, with an open plan layout, rooms named after comedians, and even see-saws!