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Weird Work: The Strangest Innovations in Workspaces and Places

Despite the title of this article, we admit it: work is not that weird (usually). What we do at work is mostly straightforward—we earn a paycheck by fulfilling our job duties. But the latest trends in work can most definitely be weird—at least, until we adopt them completely or ignore them entirely.

We delved deep into a few of the strangest, yet appealing, work trends for spaces and places to see which ones will stick or which ones will walk the plank of obscurity. We’re not talking standing desks, onsite gyms and office kegs, but like really weird stuff. Like office treehouses and geotracking tech. Here are some of the weirdest trends in workspaces and places.

Spaces and Places

Hoteling

“Hoteling”

A report published by Knoll, a workplace design company, found that workers spend approximately 49 percent of their time at the company’s headquarters. The remainder of their time is divided between other offices, client sites, working from home and coffee shops (or even the sidelines of their kids’ sports games).

In turn, companies are downsizing—on space. Instead of employees having designated work desks and offices, companies are using the “hoteling” method, in which employees reserve desks when they need them rather than having their own. No office, no nameplate—heck, no desk! In the age of contract work where offices are managing the influx of freelancers, contractors, consultants and beyond, this makes a lot of sense. (And is another reason why Office Ninjas are so necessary in the modern workplace!).

Quirky Office Settings: By Land or By Sea or By Train

Train

“Working away from the office makes you more creative and productive,” said Chris Ward, author of Out of Office, to BBC News. “Working in an extraordinary location can only be truly inspiring.”

What exactly is an extraordinary location, though? Is it a great view of the city? Close to public transit or great restaurants to wine and dine? Well, not exactly.

Some businesses and professionals are going out of their way to create unique spaces for their employees. Village Underground, an art collective in London, calls home to a refurbished London Underground car that now sits atop a Victorian warehouse. There may be no insulation or noise control, but employees reportedly feel more connected to the city and their work.

Inside Train

Other companies are adopting offices that put them more in touch with nature. The facility TREExOFFICE is literally constructed as an urban treehouse on stilts in the park for freelancers to rent a desk. It acts as a “wow factor” for clients, though there is no restroom (don’t worry, there is an arrangement with a local cafe). As one freelancer put it, “It’s like a desk in a park. It’s a very nice way to work.”

For businesses that don’t rent out treehouses and train cars, there are still ways to feel in touch with nature. One of the biggest design trends of 2016, according to this Fast Company article, is incorporating plant life, wood panel installations, exposed concrete flooring, and natural flora patterns in fabrics and artwork.

Office Nature

What are some weird work trends you’ve been noticing at your office?

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