I despise the construction of new offices; I think the reason I hate new tract homes and condos so much is that they feel like offices to me. Drywall, aluminum or latex windows, berber carpet, bleck.
On the plus side, new places actually block sound and air and rain pretty well. Our apartment is practically like camping. It's super cold and drafty, sound comes right through the windows like there's nothing there. And of course to complete the camping parallelism, our neighbors light fires in the middle of the night and stand around and drink and smoke and are just generally redneck white trash. Ah, camping, getting away from the crowded city so you can be in an assigned spot right next to a bunch of rednecks that run their car engines all night long, with no walls to protect you from the sound. What a treat.
I'm a really sensitive baby when it comes to work spaces. I need wood and plants and light and fresh air. Ideally 50's modern design, some long horizontal lines ala Richard Neutra or FLW. Little things really bug me, like having people behind my back, or really any kind of distraction when I'm really trying to focus. I understand the value of having everybody in a game company all together in a big open space, and that's cool to some extent, but I can only stand that for maybe an hour out of the day and then I want to retreat into my womb-like office that opens out onto a courtyard with limestone floor, ferns around the edges, a big oak in the middle, and a trickling fountain.
Oh, this is only tangentially related, but this place : The House in Magnolia (Seattle) is pretty good for 50's modern. Unfortunatey it's become very popular of late, so it's all very expensive now. People run businesses going to the midwest where they have no idea what's good or bad and buying up the great 50's designer stuff and bring it to the coasts.
Continuing the tangent - I'm sitting on Tom's Swopper right now. I've been sitting on physioballs for years, so it's not that different than that really. It's good for you because you sit "actively" and you can't slouch and all that. But I'm starting to think the biggest benefit is that it's just so damn uncomfortable that you move around and get up a lot and don't ever stay in the same position for a long time.