TV shows and characters are not real, but sometimes… their offices are as authentic as it gets. They can make you realize that your own office is similar or they can make you wish you had one like theirs. Let’s take a look at several famous ones and how SMART they are. Lights, camera, action!
1. Mad Men
Let’s start with a TV show depicting the old times – the 60s in the USA. It was an era of allowed if not mandatory smoking, a stocked bar in the office, couches, carpets, big desks and paintings and closed doors. Knoll and Herman Miller style is present all over the place. Yet every character maintains some special features, copywriters have big typewriters, the boss makes everyone take their shoes off before entering his office because of an expensive carpet and creative departments have drafts of their work hanging on the walls. Sterling Cooper is an advertising agency and their offices are flamboyant but as timeless and functional as it gets. It was so popular and realistic that the set made it into the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
2. The Office
Cubicle or open space – the reality for most of us. And this show displays the best and mocks the worst effects of it. Open-plan offices not only tear down real walls but also the walls between people. Cubicles should give them their own privacy. But workplace behaviour, ethics, motivation and work-life balance can be affected by the place where we spend most of our day. Just Google Dwight Schrute. There is a term for what happens when someone spends too much time in a tiny partition, with lack of space and privacy (depending on colleagues and sociability issues): cube-rage. To ease it, nowadays the trends are colours, textures, clean spaces, cosy furniture, lounge areas and even a TV or a foosball table.
3. 30 Rock
This award-winning show presents 2 types of offices to consider – you could work in a huge, high-design directorial office like Alec Baldwin’s character, where you would sit on a leather couch or behind your wooden desk and look at the scenery of the city from a big window. Or, you could have an office decorated with your personal stuff, collectibles or art, like Tina Fey’s character. Whatever floats your boat, as long as you “work happy.”
The same applies for Harvey Specter from Suits, Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation or Barney from How I Met Your Mother. Whether it is basketballs, photos of your idols or motivational posters, you get the picture.
The main characters here refer to themselves as the Gladiators, and their offices reflect that. Great entrance when people have to go up in a big elevator, past rooms with big desks, comfortable seating for guests, storage places – all in Old-world, dark colours, but with modern paintings, technology, lamps and big cathedral-like windows as a nice contrast. Opposites do attract.
5. Ally McBeal
This sitcom-format TV show pictures characters as a little bit alienated and crazy. And they have unisex staff-shared toilets. “All-gender Restrooms” are real. Some schools have them (John Hopkins), restaurants (Midtown Cafe) and even the White House (the Eisenhower Executive Office Building)!
How would you feel living in these TV series? Which would you enjoy the most and least? Let us know in the comments!