From David Brent to Don Draper: the best and worst on-screen offices

08 March 2016. Features.

With the Oscars, BAFTAs and Golden Globes not long behind us, we decided to evaluate some famous on-screen offices.

From Don Draper’s sophisticated surroundings to David Brent’s worn-down workspace, here are our verdicts on their famous offices.

The Office

David Brent’s heartless habitat perfectly matches his disastrous management style. The décor is dreary, the furniture is a back ache waiting to happen and the electrics are almost as haywire as him. 

Our Verdict: The interior design (or lack of) and the foul furnishings would have us suggesting a full refurbishment with ergonomic furniture, a splash of colour and maybe even a new man at the top. We’d also suggest some new technology for staff and agile working spaces to free staff from their workstation and escape Brent’s gaze and chat!

Don Draper in Mad Men

Mad Men

This office is almost as iconic as the show itself. Roomy, refined and dignified, with clean lines and plenty of dark wood to suggest affluence, this workspace is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. 

Our Verdict: It might be a little too dark and corporate for some contemporary tastes, but with the large windows that let in a good amount of light, it has exactly the right ambience to sit down and enjoy a glass of whiskey with the man himself.

Jen Barber The IT Crowd

The IT Crowd

The confined and secluded basement office of Reynholm Industries’ team of IT support misfits is dingy and most likely harbouring a lot of damp. It severely lacks a sufficient storage solution and any source of natural light.

Our Verdict: Relocating their workspace above ground and fitting a proper storage system for their abundance of wires and monitors would help improve the overall mood and reduce the number of accidents.

Josh Baskin in Big

Big

In the film, Josh wishes to be big and he finds himself working a menial role in a cramped cubicle. His playful mind and knowledge of how kids think helps him get a toy testing job and he ends up with the dream office of any twelve year old boy.

Our Verdict: Bright and playful, it is a definite contrast to the lacklustre offices of his co-workers, perhaps they should follow by example and cheer themselves up by adding some fun to their spaces. Giving staff new areas to inspire them and help them be creative is a necessity for this industry.

Sopranos

The Sopranos

Tony Soprano’s office is a laid-back environment; in fact, since it’s at the back of a strip club, it might be a little too laid-back for some... The pool table encourages playful interaction between colleagues and offers a chance to relax during a busy day.

Our Verdict: It could definitely use some more natural light, some better storage and maybe a lick of paint, but it has a classic look and overall it is an office with some employee wellbeing in mind.

Alan Sugar in The Apprentice

The Apprentice

Alan Sugar’s formidable boardroom seems like it isn’t particularly good for getting any serious work done, which is probably down to the fact it is actually *spoiler alert* in a TV studio and not his real office. Cold and impersonal may work well when you are firing contestants, but it certainly doesn’t encourage creative thinking or collaboration.

Our Verdict: It’s a sleek corporate boardroom but omits real personality. A new boardroom with a more flexible seating arrangement and perhaps a smaller table might help connect people and make it easier for the contestants to get their points across clearly.

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