Workspaces of the Rich and Famous

Posted: Feb 07  |  By: Parker + Lynch

It’s no secret that the workplace is evolving. The world’s top companies, and even local mom-and-pop shops, are moving to wide-open workspaces, spiral slides, and work couches instead of desks. But what types of work environments are the most inspiring to the executives of these companies? Which workspaces actually work best? Here are a few things we’ve learned.

Richard Branson says he did some of his best work in a cramped basement.

In a blog post on, Branson talked about five of the most inspiring places he’s ever worked. While we love his idea of working in a hammock on Necker Island, two basement-like spaces actually made the list. He explained that the close proximity in that cramped space made for some very interesting collaboration and the chaos made for a fun environment.

Deborah Schwarz, CEO of LAC group, says she doesn’t need an office.

In a piece featured in the New York Times, Schwarz explained that she doesn’t have an office. Her work is wherever she is. She’ll grab a conference room or even head to a coffee shop. She loves the flexibility that comes with not being tied down to a specific space.

Mark Zuckerberg sits with everyone else.

Zuckerberg gave a live tour of the Facebook, Inc. offices back in 2015 and one thing that really stood out was the fact that he sits at the same kind of desk, in the same collaborative area as everyone else. He talked with viewers and explained, “The whole idea here is that, by having an open floor plan where people work close to each other, it facilitates people sharing and communicating about what they’re doing, which enables better collaboration, which we think is key to building the best services for our community.” Zuckerberg didn’t just put his team out in the open while taking a swanky executive office for himself. He’s right there in the mix, communicating, brainstorming and solving problems with his team.

Ariana Huffington loves the quiet.

Huffington recently launched a new company called Thrive Global. The company is working to rectify the chronic stress and burnout that has become standard in many industries. Life Hacker AU sat down with her just after the big announcement and got the low down on her work environment preferences. At Thrive Global, the team has desks that turn into standing desks, plus treadmill desks, and of course the nap pod. But what inspires Ariana? She says she works in the office environment, usually sans-music, or at home on the couch.

Whether it’s a basement or an incredible campus, the world’s top executives are making their company workspaces their own. Every business is diverse and every team will function in different ways. But, if you can create the space that will inspire you and your team, you’re likely to see more success, productivity and innovation. That sounds like a win to us! And of course, make sure that you’re paying your employees what they deserve.