From ‘The Office UK’ to ‘Suits’, ‘Succession’ and ‘The IT Crowd’, it’s interesting to imagine living and working in a fictional world from our favourite TV shows.
With this in mind, our team of office fit-out experts created a new ranking of the top ten best office TV shows and analysed video clips and images from the fictional office spaces to suggest how they could improve employee productivity and wellbeing with the office design.
Our new ranking includes TV shows from across the globe, including:
With an IMDB rating of 8.8, and an impressive rotten tomatoes score of 94%, the satirical comedy-drama television series came in first place in terms of popularity among viewers.
When analysing the office design and environment, our Senior Interior Designer Alison Rowbottom was skeptical about the corporate appeal of the Succession office, commenting: “The Succession office space gives off the vibe of a law firm. The environment is extremely corporate and doesn’t reflect the fact they work in the media and entertainment industry, which screams creativity.”
If Opus 4 were to redesign the office space, the implementation of relaxed open plan desking and collaboration spaces would be at the top of the list. Alison added, “Being in the city, I think it would also benefit from some greenery with the use of plants and biophilic design”.
Over the years, research has increasingly shown that incorporating greenery in the workplace can help decrease stress and increase productivity, creativity and attention span. In fact, in a study conducted in the UK and The Netherlands, researchers found that ‘green’ offices with a biophilic design had a 15% higher productivity rate than office designs stripped of greenery.
A drama about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, Madmen has received a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.7 rating on IMDB, resulting in second place for the most popular TV series.
Not only did Madmen score high with watchers, but the office design in the show also received positive feedback from the Opus 4 team. Alison explained: “Set in the 50s and 60s, this office space would have been very popular and cutting edge at the time as it’s filled with high-quality designer furniture.
“My only advice for the Madmen offices would be to create less of a divide between the management and employees to encourage more face-to-face interactions and improve employee confidence and productivity.”
3. The Office US
In third place, due to an incredible IMBD rating of 9.0 and gaining positioning in second place for IMDB popularity in our index, is the hilarious American version of The Office.
The home of iconic lines such as “If I don’t have some cake soon, I might die” from Stanley Hudson in Season 4, the show is perhaps the most recognisable office-based TV show.
While the characters can be described as bold, bubbly and full of character; unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the office design. Alison comments: “The environment lacks colour and personality.”
She adds: “Simply adding more greenery and branding would make the office seem more appealing and encourage employees to spend more time in the office. Also, swapping the desks to white would make the space brighter and feel fresher.”
4. Peep Show
Peep Show offers a humorous inside look into the minds of two dysfunctional flatmates who reveal all their inner thoughts to the camera. This series scored third-best in terms of IMBD score (8.7) and has an enviable 96% rate on Rotten Tomatoes.
Despite the hilarious work scenes, Alison struggled to find the design of the office as funny. Alison commented on Mark’s unorganised and cluttered office: “It’s so untidy! The team would definitely benefit from a brand new print and storage area in order to streamline the space and provide a sense of organisation”.
Touching on the decorative style, Alison added: “The whole colour scheme is based around the cheap fabric on the task chairs and screen. It needs a complete design overhaul!
“Bringing the office design back into the 21st century with minimalistic design will make for a more functional space with a reduced risk of clutter causing physical injuries. An office that is more organised and friendly to the eye benefits employees’ motivation and productivity levels.”
5. The Office UK
According to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, the index has spoken, and The Office US is better than the UK series. Although The Office UK scored high on Rotten Tomatoes (96%), the series had a slightly lower IMDB (8.5) with a low popularity ranking.
However, just like the Office US, the Opus 4 team had much to say about the organisation, disarray and workplace design. Alison commented: “The office design is just as chaotic as the team; a clean desk policy and more storage is a necessity. The computer screens would be better on monitor arms, and the employees would gain from a locker area to put personal belongings to reduce clutter on desks.”
Research shows that having to shuffle around to find a place to work down to lack of space and clutter takes attention off work, causing productivity loss.
Alison adds: “Utilising blues and greens alongside company branding would provide a more calm, relaxing and welcoming feeling for employees and visitors alike.”
6. Parks and Recreation
The American sitcom following a bureaucrat office developing recreational space from a disused construction site has a 93% scoring on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.6 IMDB, making it the 6th best office-based TV show.
As charming as the characters are, Alison was not charmed by the office space and design, advising it was “not conducive to a healthy working environment.”
Creating a more streamlined and modern aesthetic would be the best way to improve the Parks and Recreation office. Alison also explains that the space would benefit from additional spaces so that the team doesn’t feel chained to their desks all day: “We would recommend an open plan kitchen space, along with quiet pods for productive learning and meetings, similar to our project for Macfarlanes, a London law firm.
She adds: “It needs a new colour scheme as it feels very dark and depressing. We recommend many light shades of teals and greens to incorporate a calming and stable influence.”
Despite a dramatically lower score of 66% on Rotten Tomatoes, the thrilling psychological show directed by Ben Stiller still maintains an 8.7 rating on IMDB and is ranked 5th place for IMDB popularity.
Alison points out: “The Severance office would benefit from some natural light, as it looks like there are no windows. Employees would suffer incredibly without this. Studies have shown that views of nature at work have an extraordinary ability to reduce mental fatigue and help us recover more quickly from stressful situations.”
“A view of nature from your desk also leads to higher job satisfaction, higher productivity and more positive social interactions between colleagues. You don’t have to overlook a forest; it’s beneficial even just to not be looking at other buildings or car parks all day long.”
Known for the fast-paced and ruthless portrayal of working in a law firm, Suits made the top ten best TV shows with an IMDB rating of 8.5 and 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The show has recognisably glossy, modern office space. However, Alison picked up on the fact that many employees are isolated in their own offices: “The suits office is very contemporary and clean. Yet, the layout with each person having their own massive office could be considered dated.
“The team would benefit from more multifunctional areas to bring the staff together and also more greenery and plants to support employee wellbeing; working in law can be incredibly fast-paced and stressful.”
9. Call my agent
The ninth most popular office-based TV show was Call my agent, revealing the day-to-day comedies and dramas in a top French talent agency, with an IMDB score of 8.3, IMDB’s popularity of over 1000 and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96%.
Alison’s first thought was the carpet: “The carpet! It’s far too distracting, and the carpet alone minimises productivity and harms a healthy work environment. Besides this, everything looks tidy, and in place, so it’s been well planned out.”
“I think this office space would look even better using a colour scheme that complements the branding and company values.”
10. The IT Crowd
Just making the top ten is the British sitcom famous for the dingy, unkept IT Department in the basement, The IT Crowd, where three friends lead equally dysfunctional lives.
The Opus 4 team desperately want to revamp The IT Crowd’s office. “It’s not healthy for anyone to work in an environment like this,” comments Alison, referring to the office space’s chaotic design (or lack of design!). “I would honestly change everything! The colour scheme would be more neutral with gentle textures as there is a lack of lighting with it being located in a basement. We would also look to install organisational storage cupboards, an IT workbench for fixing equipment and a giant magnetic whiteboard so they can still pin things up on the wall without it being permanent.”
Alison adds: “The three young men would also benefit from a tea point, more collaboration space and lots of plants to bring the outside in.”
Are you looking for help with office fit-out and design?
An incredible office design can change everything. From engaging office interiors to help staff collaborate, boost wellbeing and bring in business results or a complete new fit-out to compliment a company re-brand , Opus 4 offers completely tailored office fit-out packages to create your dream space.
The team aims to embrace and encourage new ways of working to maximise your space to its full potential, focusing on collaboration, productivity and employee wellbeing.
You can find out more about office design and fit-out by contacting our creative design team or by following us on social media for regular updates and advice.
Methodology and Sources
We developed a Best Office TV Show Index, ranking shows on different factors, including the IMDB rating¹, IMDB popularity² and Rotten Tomato ratings³.
- IMDB rating for each show as of May 2022: https://www.imdb.com/
- IMDB popularity rankings as of May 2022: https://www.imdb.com/chart/tvmeter/
- Rotten Tomatoes rating for each show as of May 2022: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/