Bike Manufacturer Takes Themed Office Design to the Next Level
Themed offices unify company culture through shared passions.
It’s nice having a modern, fun office layout to inspire your team to come to work, but how many companies can boast about working out of a themed office?
SRAM, a bike park manufacturer, can now do just that. They recently commissioned iconic design firm Perkins+Will to craft them an innovative bike-friendly office. Design of this scale goes far beyond pasting bicycle decals on the walls; SRAM’s new office is a full-fledged bike-lover’s paradise.
In the company’s open office layout, a functional cycling track winds around desks and meeting rooms, making transit a breeze. Walls are made of recycled wood, designed to look like natural terrain. Naturally, bike parking is included too, and the majority of SRAM’s team commutes by bike.
The bike parking garage isn’t even a necessity. The office’s cubicles and private offices are constructed with bike poles, so employees can hang their bikes right by their desks. It’s even more convenient than having a private parking spot. Downstairs in the garage, employees can service their bikes with cleaning, tire-filling, and repair equipment. It’s an everyday tune-up for cyclists that are constantly on the go.
From the product team’s perspective, SRAM’s creative interior design is practical as well as cool. The bike track that circles the office doubles as a testing track for prototype bike parts. The track was deliberately constructed with twists, turns, and straightaways, in order to simulate the variety of real terrain. Product designers put their creations to the test without having to leave the office.
SRAM’s stunning office is a sign that it’s never too late to refresh your company culture. The company was founded in 1987, and manufacturing is not an industry that’s traditionally associated with fresh, lively design. SRAM’s new work space puts plenty of modern tech startup offices to shame.
The biggest benefit the space offers is not that it’s elaborate or expensive, but that it’s culturally on-point in a very literal way. Themed office designs are intuitive. SRAM’s employees are bike lovers, obviously—why not give them a bike-themed office?
The problem with general purpose office design is that it’s just that: general. Even if startup offices are fun and aesthetically pleasing, they’re usually unrelated to the product they’re building. Sometimes this is out of necessity, because the product is abstract. But in many cases, when the product can be tied to a visual design theme, it’s 100% worth it to design your work space around that theme. For SRAM, this new office doesn’t just offer the generic benefits of open work spaces and convenient amenities—it unites their work force through a shared passion.
The practical goal of work space renovations might be to increase productivity, but it’s equally important to consider the abstract benefits of strong company culture. Sometimes, the best way to build culture is the most straightforward way. If your employees love bikes, give them a bike track.