Office's Secret Doors: The New Workplace Hidden Trend

Office's Secret Doors: The New Workplace Hidden Trend

The new modern-day workplace is about openness and transparency; it's about meetings and conferences that now take place in areas that flow right along with the rest of the space. Closed doors have started to become a thing of the past in terms of the office. However, a preference for hidden spaces and secret rooms has yet to be completely erased from the workplace footprint. Secret rooms seem to be something of a trend.

This is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history—from Prohibition and the speakeasies that were popping up everywhere to the secret passageways in ancient castles—doors leading to off-limit rooms have been an integral part, in some instances, of a building's meaning and value. And now various commercial structures and offices are integrating so-called secret rooms into their plan as well. For whatever reason, be it an intriguing place for VIPs to relax, or a for the excitement effect of merely having a secret room, more and more businesses are getting on board.

Ask most employees and they're likely to be in favor of the secret room—it adds an aura of coolness to the office. It's this unexpected moment of discovery, some might say.

Some of the more fun and pronounced examples we have heard of: bookcase doors that open to reveal a quiet library-like space done in industrial décor. Or how about one of Google's offices that has a private reading room behind a bookcase. Bookcase doors seem to be a common entry method for these secret rooms.

The Rationale Behind the Secret Room

So why have a secret room, besides that fact that it may seem exciting and cool…Some suggest that having such a stashed away space in an office does help to get a buzz going about the company—this in turn, aids in recruitment efforts. Another reason cited for these rooms is the fact that so many offices are now quite open. Cubicles have become a thing of the past, one giant space in which areas flow into one another has replaced the traditional blueprint of the modern office. This means, however, that it is virtually impossible to "escape" the pack. Secret rooms can thus offer a moment of respite for those who simply need some quiet time during the day.

Macmillan Publishers had another reason for installing a secret room in its new Manhattan offices. They incorporated a café type space into the design where authors could give readings and talks; also, they built a 240 sq ft hidden away green room adjacent so that the guest speaker could relax before the event. The door to the said room is, in fact, a bookcase and thus adds a touch of whimsy to the nature of the whole thing.

A Perfect Library

Shutterstock decided to include a secret library in its Manhattan headquarter design. They have a multitude of rooms for a ton of different activities—everything from a yoga room to table tennis. A secret library room was a no brainer for the company. The door to this space is inconspicuous as it's on a wall covered in printed paper with what else on it…books.

Space itself is a throwback to the 1940s. Shelves lining the walls, that relaxing and quiet vibe, give employees a sense of peacefulness. It has become something of a mini escape within the office building. And while space probably could be used more efficiently (company execs say that the library doesn't get used as much as one would think/) they have no plans when it comes to rearranging things. It is a unique element that the company takes great pride in.

The old office space of F.W. Woolworth has also come to have an interesting new life. On the 24th floor of the Woolworth building, the room takes up a total of 1600 sq ft. Its marble walls and coffered ceiling add to the lavishness of the space. There were even gilded chairs and a portrait of Napoleon. Over the years though, all of this has faded. The coffers all but went, marble crumbling, it was a shadow of what it once was. An architect by the name of Kang Chang wanting the space for his offices decided to restore the room to its original glory. He had the space divided in half—one side for meetings and on the other he created a welcoming area for visitors. Marble and coffers painstakingly restored, along with Mr. Woolworth's grand fireplace.

A Place of Celebration

Visit the LA offices of the advertising firm Deutsch and you'll find a secret room that's all about celebrating those big wins. On the back wall of the office, there's a long felt-lined board—this is where they brainstorm as a team and pin up their ideas during presentations. And if the team does score that next big deal, they celebrate accordingly.

The member who clinched the deal will insert a key into a lock located on a section of the felt wall. This then opens a door which leads to none other than a well-stocked speakeasy-style bar, complete with flashing neon sign. It's a fun and exciting way to mark their accomplishments and help instill a greater sense of camaraderie.

Having a secret door to a unique space would make any business stand out. If your business is in need of funding to do this, First Union Lending can help. We offer loans from short term loans to lines of credit. Let's discuss options that will suit you!

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