Offices: trading in high-rise for hipster

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Tech start-ups and trendy media companies have eschewed polished aesthetics for years – opting instead to set up shop in open-plan lofts or edgy warehouses – but now it seems corporate giants want the same vibe and the owners of upmarket office buildings are scrambling to give themselves a shabby makeover.

But why? Well, according to a recent survey from Deloitte, only 35 per cent of millennials are attracted to large, global companies and those companies are catching on. Now, they’re trying to shrug off the sterile image typically associated with huge corporations.

“They want to reflect they are great environments to work in to attract the best talent,” explained Ned Fox, chief executive of Vantage Property Investors, adding that organizations are increasingly turning to interior décor as a way to set themselves above the rest.

 Last year, MasterCard steered clear of the traditional corporate skyscraper when it came to relocating its global headquarters – instead, the multinational leased 60,000 square feet in a 115-year-old building – complete with concrete and exposed brick, of course.

"We wanted it to feel a little bit more rough," explained Kim Slate, head of MasterCard's New York office.

According to Fox, today’s most successful companies want more “real materials” and less refinement. “They don’t want highly finished space,” he added.

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