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Inc 5000 Great Places to Work

The 5 Coolest Outdoor Office Spaces

One of the worst things about being a working adult is that you no longer get summers off, unless you’re a teacher. (In which case, you totally deserve the summer off.) For the rest of us, enjoying the nicer weather is restricted to looking out an office window — usually someone else’s office window, as our cubicles are far away from natural light — and being jealous of kids. Unless, that is, you work at one of these five companies, and have access to amazing outdoor office space.

1. Google’s Awesome Ann Arbor Roof Deck
How do you compete with a tough tech market to secure the very best employees? If you’re Google, you give them a ten percent raise and build a roof deck. Google’s Ann Arbor employees can now enjoy a 4800-square-foot deck complete with landscaping and umbrellas in red, blue, yellow, and green. As one commenter on this piece says, “another reason to be jealous of the Google employees.”

2. Grey Group Roof Deck in New York
Famed advertising agency Grey Group offers an “alternative work and entertainment space” for its employees on the roof of its New York City building. The company uses the space for everything from collaborative meetings to launch parties, and also allows employees to work privately up there. How much work would you really get done with a view of the Empire State Building?

3. ALFA Dental Office in Central Japan
How do you make going to the dentist more pleasant? Offer a courtyard and deck to soothe patients’ anxieties. It’s also a pretty nice benefit for employees.

4. Gawker Media in New York
Gawker Media Offices at Internet Week NY 2010 Startup Walkabout #iwny
Fooseball tables and beanbag chairs are so twentieth century. The really cool internet companies these days offer outdoor space. Gawker Media is no exception. The roof deck at its New York City headquarters looks it belongs in a swanky hotel rather than a corporate office.

5. Jorge Fontan’s Roof Deck for One
Work-at-home types needn’t despair: You can build an outdoor office space of your very own. This garden office was part of a Secrets of the Shed building competition. It’s probably a bit fancier than your current shed, but it’s a good source of inspiration.

Images: 1., 2., 3., 4. Johnbvasko on Flickr, 5.

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