Ogilvy & Mather Jakarta’s Ad Agency Strikes the Right Balance of Work and Play

Ogilvy & Mather Jakarta’s Ad Agency Strikes the Right Balance of Work and Play

Office design is and has always been serious business for advertising agencies. I bet when you think of an ad agency, you think of stark white walls, glass walls and questionable design decisions.

I know I sure do.

I can’t tell you how many offices I’ve seen during my days interviewing that made me head for the door or caused a major eye brow raise. Too many times they had designs aspects that simply made no sense: Too much white, uncomfortable chairs that had my legs dangling (!), offices on only one side of the floor, or way too much of an open floor plan.

Ad agencies tend to be held to the very highest standards when it comes to office design, and rightfully so in my opinion. Sure the clients are a bit snobbish and shouldn’t be so entitled that they expect to be wowed but on the other hand, advertising is a creative space right?  It would be a wasted opportunity not to show off your office values through design. Irresponsible even.

Up until recently, for reasons unknown, ad agencies had been failing somewhat miserably.

Enter Ogilvy & Mather.

They have finally figured out what we kind of knew all along. Being an adult kind of sucks and an escape would be lovely, please and thank you.

Their new offices in Jakarta have perfected a work/play balance if you will. By purposefully designing the space in direct opposition of the outside adult world – steel, glass, dull colors, hard surfaces and loud traffic – they have found a way to insulate their employees from the outside sadness that is adulthood and give them a reason to come to work.

The design embraces plush fabrics, non-linear shapes and bright colours. The floors and stairs are adorned with plenty of sitting space, with the stairs even having a slide on one side of the banister.

Instead of recessed lighting, there are fuzzy, bright yellow lanterns hanging in clusters that add a refreshing look against the glass that has made its way into the design.

By realizing the source of stress for many adults is the very world we’ve built, the designers of this space created a “sharp contrast to what’s outside.” The wiggles, loops, circular rooms and playful fonts blend seamlessly with the hardwood floors, metal and glass present.

The open design still has cubicles, but it also has enough inspirational, passionate colours, shapes and interesting design elements to let employees feel and think freely and creatively. With an environment that encourages employees to combine childhood nostalgic feelings with their work, this is an exceptional example of mixing leisure with job performance.

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