Google Has Some Unique Ideas for Your Old Server Rooms
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, August 03 6:00
Sure, you could fill it with offices or turn it into storage, but Google has a few new ideas. Perhaps feeling guilty about all of the extra space they ve freed up by moving companies over to cloud-based services, the company tackled the issue of what to do with all of those windowless rooms. For a post on its Google for Work Blog, the company teamed up with an interior design service to offer a few tongue-in-cheek suggestions.
One of the best uses for a dark, windowless room is karaoke. Since karaoke lounges are generally in dimly-lit bars, the server room will serve as a familiar environment to employees who consider it a hobby. Bring in a screen and a karaoke machine and encourage employees to use the room to unwind. Since server rooms are often well insulated, the noise likely won t disrupt other employees. This is the perfect solution if you re in a business where employees can t easily cut out at five o clock and head over to a local establishment to unwind.
If you have a green thumb, Google s suggestion of an indoor garden can be a great way to repurpose an old server room. You can create an indoor oasis where employees can de-stress when pressure is high. Only some plants will thrive in such a dark space, though, so you might be challenged with creating a garden that can grow in a server room space. If you have any photographers on staff, a dark room might be a better use of such a windowless place.
Perhaps the best suggestion Google gave was to turn the space into a game room. Tech startups have popularized the concept of fun and games on business property and what better place than an empty room? While the swimming pool pictured on Google s blog might not be reasonable, ideas like the dartboard, basketball court, workout room, and croquet court are all workable in a dimly-lit space. If it s large enough, you could even set up a glow golf course and take advantage of the fact that no natural light is allowed in the room.
Of course, most businesses are unlikely to take Google s fun suggestions, since they have other uses for empty space. An empty server room can easily be turned into offices or enclaves for employees who need to be situated away from today s open-plan office layouts. They can also be used as break rooms, libraries, and office-supply closets, although the need for book and supply storage is dwindling as employees increasingly go electronic. If you run out of practical solutions for the extra space, consider a variation of one of Google s ideas.