I'm a soon-to-be college Computer Science grad, and have landed a job at a Fortune 500 company for software engineering.

I had to go to the company building for identification paperwork, and noticed that their office space is drab and stereotypical. I've interned at other companies and the same décor has been present, and I find it very depressing.

Does anyone here have experience with quirky/startup/millenial/whatever décor vs stereotypical office space, and does it actually influence your happiness? Or is the work enough to satisfy you even if you're in a depressing-looking room?

  • 4
    Company culture IMO is so much more important. The nicest/newest environment I ever worked was by far the worst professional job I have had. Likewise, judging my current company solely by their decor would make this place unbearable but I've been here for 5+ because I love the team of people. – DanK Apr 12 '18 at 17:20
  • 1
    I have found that if the work is engaging to me, I don;t pay much attention to the decor. And I am an artist in my spare time. Also, if you choose to only look at places with good decor, you are going to limit your job prospects tremendously. Further, those shiny decors come at a large cost and that can result in paying lower salaries to pay for the flashy stuff. – HLGEM Apr 13 '18 at 14:27

What you are talking about is an aspect of company culture. In some places having a stimulating environment is a priority and something that is invested in. If you were in a creative field like graphic design a drab stereotypical corporate office would a huge red flag that creativity isn't a priority. If you are in a field where creativity is secondary then you probably wouldn't expect an environment that actively encourages it.

When assessing whether you want to work in an environment, take a look at people's personal space. Do you see pictures, art, or knick knacks? If you do then you are likely free to enhance your space without being an outsider. If personal space is as drab and bare as communal space that could be a red flag for you but you really need to assess your personal priorities for that. An acceptable compromise for one person can be a dealbreaker for another.


It makes a difference but it's a relatively minor one in my opinion, as long as it's clean and suitably ergonomic I'm happy (I don't like bright colorful offices but that's because of my sensory issues).

People's priorities vary however and it may be that to you the decor of the environment is something that matters to you, you just need to accept that the majority of office environments are going to be fairly bland and if it's really that important to you then you'll be narrowing the range of places you can work quite significantly.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.