As leading UK office fit out contractors in Scotland and throughout the UK, the team here at Steampunk have been working on various social distancing layouts in recent months.

It won’t surprise you to learn that never before have we needed more re-configured space, multi-purpose furniture and bigger desks in our office designs.

Adhering to the government’s social distancing measures provides its own challenges, of course, and it certainly gets the old creativity cogs going. It made us think through about various bizarre office layouts we have seen in recent pre-Covid times – many of which break all the current social distancing rules.

We are pretty intrigued to see how they have managed to re-configure their layouts and spacing in line with the new rules (although many of the companies featured are in the US where social distancing rules differ).

Anyway, have a look at the office layouts below and let us know which of the following spaces, designed by office fit out contractors, appeal to you. Which of these would you prefer to work in were it not for the global pandemic we’re all living through right now, and for who knows how long in the future:


Featuring Funky Forests…

funky forest office

Definitely one of our favourites and not a bad look at all. This forest-inspired design for Parisian architects, pons + huot is called ‘Forest through the Table.’ We love the eco look, but we aren’t convinced about the Perspex ‘telephone booth umbrellas.’ They do, however provide some privacy on the phone.

The desks in this open-plan space are built around real, growing trees. It happens to be the main office where staff congregate when any of the 15 creative employees get fed-up sitting in their own private rooms. It’s also a communal area for greeting guests and showcasing the company’s talents. It is certainly green and sustainable, as well as undoubtedly creative. But, what happens during the autumn months? Do the staff go home at night with twigs sticking to their jumper? And who sweeps up the leaves at the end of the day?


Wave Goodbye to Boring Office Desks from Office Fit Out Contractors

Creative and Bizarre Office Layouts

All 125 employees at the Barbarian Group in New York waved goodbye to individual perches to work at when they were faced with this one ‘super-desk.’ And, bizarrely, the glossy-surfaced office furniture doesn’t just work as a desk. No, the giant wave also provides alcove cubby holes for people to work in when they require privacy, as well as handy storage space. The Office fit out contractors were tasked with bringing all departments of the company together – and that’s what using the one desk certainly does…


Diggin’ the New Office

subterranean architecture

Hey, who wouldn’t want to work in a former nuclear bunker? There is history there as well as a unique natural environment. Millions-year-old rock for walls? Yes, please. And yes, that circular dome in the centre really is the company boardroom. This 1200 Sq metre granite shelter in Stockholm’s Vita Berg Park nowadays plays host to employees of internet provider Bahnhof. The fabulous lair, known as White Mountain Enclosure, sits 100 ft underground and was transformed back in 2008. Having said that, the design looks so contemporary you could be forgiven for thinking it was only last year that this wonderful structure came into being.



Pick up a Pirate… Desk

office fit out contractors

Some lucky employees don’t work in an office – their bosses let them sit in a pirate ship instead. And, when they get fed-up shouting ‘ahoy’ at colleagues, staff at creative incubator Inventionland in Pittsburgh can simply turn up next day and decamp to one of the other 14 office creative areas instead. The firm’s ‘sets’ are all based in a huge 70,000 sq ft warehouse in the city and include a castle, giant shoe and even a full-working race track (where staff can sit right bang in the centre and watch the cars go around for inspiration). Heck, there is even a cup-cake for a kitchen. But then, if office design ‘inventiveness’ was going to be anywhere, it just had to be here.


Work in the Woods

The design for the new offices of Madrid architect practice SelgasCano was always going to be something special. That’s because the two owners of the company were their own office fit out contractors. Spaniards Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano used a 20mm thick, curved window of transparent acrylic for the north-facing wall of their ‘tunnel’ in order to benefit from the natural light. For the south aspect they used a 110mm thick, insulated, fiberglass and polyester covering. A hinged opening in the tunnel-like structure provides natural ventilation for staff – and which is situated in a sunny Mediterranean city, after all. We love this contemporary space, which really does sit in the middle of the woods.

office fit out

Getting the Office Ship-Shape

fit out contractors

It was always going to happen… People nowadays live in shipping containers as a home, so it’s only fair that they would one day play a part in office design too. At least that’s what Los Angeles charity event company Pallotta TeamWorks discovered. When they were having their offices designed, it was clear the company had very little funds. To reflect this, architects decided to go ahead and use shipping containers – inside a warehouse. There is no ventilation except in ‘breathing areas’ where meeting areas take place under tents. Created in 2002, the shipping container layout picked up more than its fair share of sustainable design awards.



A Hive of Industry

Employees at female-focused US dating app firm Bumble are forever reminded of who they are working for. That’s because their office, in Austin, Texas resembles a bee hive itself. It’s in a honey colour, filled with honeycomb-like shelves and is very cosy. There’s a 1960s vibe going on – a decade when dating and romance was sweet (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves). And certainly, the start-ups intention seems to be to bring back old-fashioned dating. Nudity is forbidden on the app, while kindness to each other is a big part of the company mission. Sensitive, New Age, men apply here now… Meanwhile, would it surprise you to know the CEO of this company is female?


Get in touch with the Steampunk team

As we mentioned at the start of this article, the above designs were all created and designed pre-Covid. Some date back to the beginning of the 21st century. And, of course, no-one at the time could have guessed what office design restrictions the year 2020 would bring.

By the same token, it will be interesting to see what, in future months, the creations that living with coronavirus will inspire. Certainly, here at Steampunk Fit Out we have been doing a power of thinking and re-designing ourselves as office fit out contractors. If you would like to see what kind of bespoke solution we can provide for you and your office staff then do get in touch with us.

We will be happy to meet in your premises and provide a free consultation. Tel: 0800 197 2922 or drop us an email. In the meantime, you can see some of our previous projects, carried out throughout the UK, at our website Why not give us a ring today?