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Companies wanted to make Instagram-worthy offices. Instagram commenters roasted them.

Katie Notopoulos   

Companies wanted to make Instagram-worthy offices. Instagram commenters roasted them.
  • Does a super-hip office make you want to go back to the office? Some companies apparently think so.
  • The New York Times reported on the latest trend: an Instagrammable office.

Would you feel better about returning to the office if the walls were painted a more pleasing color and the furniture were more trendy?

Apparently, some companies think so. A recent article in The New York Times highlighted bosses who want to woo workers back to the office with spaces designed to be Instagram-worthy.

It gave the example of Magic Spoon, a cereal company that wanted its 50 or so employees to start coming back to its New York City headquarters. The company wanted an office design that would entice young workers to come in — as in to the actual office. In-person.

It hired the interior design team that previously decorated The Wing, the women's club that shuttered during the pandemic, to create a colorful, cozy office — complete with a conference room done in "razzle-dazzle red," the Times reported.

According to an expert who talked the Times:

Employers are using social media aesthetics in the same way they're deploying traditional perks like cold brew, or less traditional ones like the Lizzo concert Google put on for its workers. It's all corporate image making. Companies now want their office design to be visible not just to employees, but also to everyone on social media…

And apparently, it worked. Well, sort of. One employee of Magic Spoon who talked to the Times said that her Instagram followers loved the colorful new office. But … she also recently left the job. (Apparently unrelated to the office design, which she said friends commented was "so sick" when she posted it to Instagram.)

So, how did some Instagram users react to the Times story? Uh, not so enthusiastically in a lot of cases.

Here's a smattering of comments to the @NYTimes post about the article:

  • "This is just a pizza for the new generation. Pay a liveable wage and treat people with respect and provide equity and people will want to work for you. Imagine that…"

  • "We just want to be able to afford a house and healthcare. Please."

  • "What's Instagrammable are all of the things people can do when they're not spending 8 hours each week commuting for no reason."

  • "babes, how about you put the decor and rent fees toward higher salaries, stop telling people they need 53 years of experience for an entry level job so you can stop roadblocking your own hiring process, and stop trying so hard to make the office happen?"

  • "Y'all will do anything but pay people more."

  • "‍♀️ we just want to work from home, this is cringe"

If you think this just sounds like snarky Instagram commenters sounding off about going into the office, it actually tracks with some real research.

NORC at University of Chicago just released a study on attitudes among HR and employees over return-to-office policies.

It found that 55% of hybrid employees would feel more encouraged to go into the office if they got paid more to work in person.

The overwhelming response: An aesthetic Millenialcore office isn't as important for young workers as higher wages.

Still, millennials appear to be the demographic that most wants to work remotely.

Even if — at the office — there's kombucha on tap and the sofas are a pleasing pink.

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