Monsieur, with this office you are really spoiling us

Offices? Who needs 'em? If you're busy, you probably spend about

2,000 hours a year in yours. That's more time than you spend awake in

your home, and only a bit less than you spend asleep in your


We spend a fortune on making our home a place we like to live in - a

place that reflects our immaculate taste.

And then there's the office. For 'our business's most important assets'

there's a purpose-built block (designed in the architect's toilets)

which is accessed via the undertaker's reception which leads to your

universally cloned chair and desk. With a few NHS hospital corridors to

negotiate en route. Makes you feel loved? You betcha.

You hear a lot from CEOs and marketing types about how 'our people are

our brand'. About how they're ambassadors for the business. So why do

most companies treat their people as though the whole board were battery

farmers in previous lives? The ambassadors I've come across live in very

attractive gaffs, get well rewarded, and among many perks, get free

boxes of Ferrero Rocher.

Some businesses have grasped that it really is time to start treating

people as the most important asset. They've redesigned their offices as

a live communication channel. A non-stop event that reflects the brand

their people represent, the values the business embraces and the

individual ideas and tastes of the people who work there.

They've created working environments that will stimulate new ideas and

build pride among its people. It's even possible to conceive of a

working environment that can change the way people work. And when these

changes are made in support of the brand promise, then you can think of

the office as more than a place where work happens.

But perhaps most important of all, a clever office environment makes a

statement about the business - we're visionary, creative and we value

and nurture our most important asset, rather than simply make it


That's what our homes are for.

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