Businesses understand that having happy employees means higher productivity and higher employee retention. Some of the largest companies in the world go out of their way to create a unique environment that not only reflects their business style, but also provides their employees with a place they can be their most productive. If you’re looking for some tips on how to give your work environment a more positive and productive atmosphere, check out what some of the top companies in the world are doing.
1. Google Office - Zurich: As one of the biggest companies in the world, Google put a lot effort into creating a perfect work environment. In order to keep their employees relaxed and refueled at all times, there are kitchens everywhere, and all employees are provided with three free meals a day. There is also a slide and fireman’s pole to help you get around quicker. When you need some quiet time, you can take a few moments in the aquarium or library.
2. Selgas Cano - Madrid: This unique office is located in a forest near Madrid, Spain. Designed by famous architect and photographer Iwan Baan, the offices are half above ground and half underground with a large glass wall that gives employees an amazing view of the serene landscape.
3. AOL Headquarters - Palo Alto, California: In an effort to keep up with the competition, AOL renovated their offices to match the fun style Google is known for. The once boring corporate façade is now filled with game rooms, relaxation areas, pool tables, large-screen TV’s, and kitchens.
4. Red Bull Office - Soho, London: This office was built in five old bars in Soho. They connected the building and created a lounge-like environment, which is perfect considering most of the employees are in their 20’s. At night, they turn the reception into a bar so they can relax while creating together.
5. Dreamhost - La Brea, California: In order to encourage interaction between the employees, Dreamhost ditched the cubicles and went for the bright open-space look. There are areas for relaxation, work, and game areas where you can play ping pong.
6. Parliament - Portland, Oregon: This company focused on comfort when they designed their offices. The large open spaces are filled with reclaimed and recycled materials, including a refurbished pizza oven, old street signs and even wood from an old church. The attention to detail has given the office a modern yet comforting feel.
7. Facebook - Palo Alto, California: Facebook actually asked their employees what they wanted in an office. As a result, employees got the office of their dreams. Large open spaces, where you can work and interact with fellow employees. Lots of places to relax and think...and a DJ booth, and skating area. This office is the perfect combination of work and play.
8. Comvert - Milan, Italy: This alternative clothing company was looking for a new office building when they happened to find this gem. The abandoned cinema was big enough to fit all of their offices, warehouse, and more. There was enough room to build a large indoor skate bowl over the warehouse.
9. Dtac Headquarters - Bangkok: Dtac combined six building to become 650,000 square feet of ‘play and learn’ area where employees can take advantage of such amenities as a large circular library amphitheater, Conversation Pit, performance spaces, running track and a games room that takes up an entire floor.
10.YouTube - San, Bruno, California: This office features large open floor plans with tons of perks for its employees. When they’re not working, they can enjoy activities like indoor putting and swimming to get the creative juices flowing. YouTube feels this type of environment helps employees get along better.
11. Lego - Denmark: Imagine a work environment where you get to play with Lego as you work. Lego has designed their offices with a colorful open-plan layout that allows the staff to work in a comfortable and fun atmosphere. The idea is to come up with new ideas for Lego through hands-on experience.
12. Gummo - Amsterdam, Netherlands: Since Gummo knew they could only rent the first floor of an old newspaper building in Amsterdam for two years, they came up with a way to be creative and economical. All the furniture in the office was found locally at charity shops and eBay, along with what was left over from the previous residents. They painted everything with an eco-friendly paint and created a stylish office for very little cost.
13. KBP West Offices - San Francisco, California: This advertising firm designed their office to get the creative juices flowing. Besides the indoor garden and large brightly colored dining room, there are also the chalkboard walls and a library for inspiration.
14. Zappos - Las Vegas, Nevada: As the world’s biggest online shoe retailer, Zappos understands how important it is to have happy employees. Although most large companies have moved away from cubicle offices, Zappos not only kept the style, but they encourage their employees to personalize each one and make it their own.
15. Traction Marketing Group - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: This company took a regular warehouse and made it their own. They use the large open space for resting and playing areas. A giant glass door allows lots of natural light to enter the office and create a serene work atmosphere.
16. Big In Japan - Dallas, Texas: This growing company is taking notes from industry giants Google and Microsoft by trying to create an office with a perfect blend of work and play. You can enjoy a game of Foosball only steps from your workstation.
17. ThinkGarden - Milan, Italy: This company understands the importance nature plays in a stress-free environment and since most people who work in an office see very little of the outdoors throughout the day, they decided to bring nature into the office. The office features lots of flowers, large plants, and trees. Even the furniture and the walls are designed to make you feel like you’re surrounded by nature.
18. LivingSocial - Washington, D.C.: This is a young company that is very similar to Groupon, in that they offer daily deals. They use their new workspace to encourage their young employees to work and play hard. The office’s modern design mixes game machines and workspaces so employees can have fun while working.
19. Pallotta TeamWorks - Los Angeles, California: This charitable organization needed an office but had a limited budget, which caused designers to get creative. They combined and customized several shipping containers inside a large warehouse. This unique design allowed the group to raise tens of millions of dollars while saving on office costs.
20. Corus Quay -Toronto, Canada: This massive office belongs to Corus Entertainment and houses 1100 employees. It features an open floor environment where employees are encouraged to come together and share ideas. There is also a giant slide and lounge where you can take a few moments to relax. The five story atrium allows lots of natural light to fill the offices, and brings out the bright colors.
As an employer, it’s important you provide a positive environment for your employees, where they can grow and be productive while enjoying their job.
Do you have some great office ideas that you would like to share with your fellow freelancers? Please share some of your cool ideas in the comments section below.