There are plenty of reasons why design studio Heldergroen in the Netherlands looks like the coolest place to work, ever. The office is converted from a 100-year-old chocolate factory, and all furniture is built using recycled materials found in the area, such as old car doors and utility poles. But, what impressed us the most was the fact that the entire workspace disappears at 6 p.m. sharp every evening.
No, we're not trying to spook you (It's still a month too early for that). This is made possible by a wire-rope system that picks up tables and desktop computers and conceals them in a ceiling compartment. The same mechanism is used in lifting heavy equipment at theaters and venues. On nights and weekends, the empty studio doubles as ground zero for a wide variety of fun events, including exhibitions, dinner parties, and yoga classes.
The end-of-day vanishing act is not only innovative from a design standpoint, it teaches an inspiring lesson in company culture, as well. Working overtime is becoming an increasingly common practice, but the founder of Heldergroen suggests that encouraging a work-life balance among his staff "connects them to the brand and helps it grow ." Here's hoping his theory will begin to catch on stateside.
Click on the video below to find out more about the rad concept, and watch the switchover, which begins at 1:30.