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10 Ways to Make Your Office Fun To Work In

10 Ways to Make Your Office Fun To Work In

Who said the office can’t be fun?

In a Silicon Valley loft sometime not quite 20 years ago, someone asked a question very much like this and decided they weren’t going to be yet another drudgery-inducing white-washed office complex.

As the start-up doctrine kicked into full gear in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with fast growing game-changers like Google and Pixar, soon to be followed by the likes of Zappos, Facebook, ThinkGarden and others, the very idea of what an office could and should be changed.

Donuts and stale coffee became four star chefs with a full service kitchen.

Empty lobbies with security guards and plastic plants were soon populated with giant red slides and video arcade cabinets.

Sure, it was a great way to lure in top-tier talent in an industry whose leaders are always desperate for the very best. But it was also an important motivator.

Mindless distractions, good meals and toys for all ages, it turned out, were incredibly effective at bringing out higher levels of productivity in workers who previously felt worn out and downtrodden.

Where coffee and sheer willpower got a wary programmer through the day before, executives started showering employees in parties, in-office perks, and more.

Bringing the Most Out of Your Employees

Whether you’re launching a start-up with five people, or running a multi-national corporation and want to boost morale AND productivity, there are some creative, effective, and downright fun ways to do it.

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Here are 10 game-changing office upgrades brought to you by some of the world’s best companies to work for.

1. Open It to the Great Outdoors

SelgasCanoOffice

    There’s something innately calming about the outdoors. Of course, actually sitting in the park with your laptop is icky, with bugs invading your space and squirrels begging for the leftovers of your bagel.

    So if you can’t go outdoors, take your office with you. Selgas Cano, an architecture firm, did just that, building a bunker for their central work space. Every day, these lucky architects get to relax with the beauty of nature all around them–which is a nice break from drafting software and board meetings, to be sure.

    2. Make it Feel Like Home

    RedbullOffices

      I could show you a picture of quite literally any of the offices on this list and it’d fit the bill, but there has been a huge movement toward the “home away from home” style of office design.

      Here’s the thing: employees need a work space that is separate from home to maintain that all important work/life balance, but that doesn’t mean work can’t be cozy and homelike. Just check out Redbull Cape Town’s office above. It has a shag carpet, a bar, couches and plenty of open lighting. It’s a cocoon of creativity.

      3. Embrace Downtime

      Legos in Google Office

        This picture did the rounds for a while. It was taken by someone at one of Google’s offices, where slides, Legos, beanbags, and video games are the norm. Sure, it’s a web services and software company, and sure, there are weeks when employees won’t see their children, but Google’s campuses are legendary for making all those extra hours as bearable as possible.

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        If you can’t afford a slide in the cafeteria, keep it simple. Put a video game console in the break room or an old pinball machine in the lobby. Schedule theme days. Have fun with it!

        4. Hire a Cutting Edge Architect

        CorusQuay

          Architecture is on full display in many of the world’s biggest and most impressive new offices. From Mountain View to New York to Denmark, there are some incredible offices out there. This one, from Corus Quay, is loaded with unique characteristics.

          Squeezing a three-story slide into your lobby may be unlikely, but even a few quirky adjustments to the seating arrangement, furniture and lighting can make the work-space feel cool and unique in a way that excites employees to come in each day.

          5. Open the Seating Plan

          CitizenSpace_Coworking

            Let’s strip things down a bit and talk about “coworking.”

            While the world’s biggest tech and marketing firms are showing off all the cool things they do for their employees, there are start-ups and small businesses finding their own way to bust out of the mold.

            Coworking brings an open seating plan and office structure that encourages cross-pollination of ideas, employees, and events in larger buildings. Instead of the same 5 employees seeing each other every day, coworking spaces allow them to mingle with 10 other 5-employee companies, often with shared resources like gyms, cafeterias, and conference rooms that none of those companies could afford alone.

            6. Give Them Play Rooms

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            Lego

              And the “I hope so” award goes to Lego Denmark, where playrooms are a normal part of the day for marketers, engineers and salespeople alike.

              You don’t have to sell children’s toys to have a fun, relaxing place to go and relax midday though–turn an unused office or conference room into a playroom where employees can relax for a few minutes when the daily grind gets to be too much.

              7. More Oxygen!

              Zappos

                Special event or not, Zappos has put together a heck of an office environment. Trees, plants, and all things green not only bring some much needed vibrancy to normally bland, dull cubicles, but they bridge that gap between indoor and outdoor that is often nearly impossible for a professional desk jockey.

                8. Foster Creativity

                Pixar

                  This should come as no surprise. Pixar’s offices are a temple to creative thinking and freedom of expression.

                  This is just look at some of the dozens of cool things Pixar’s animators, designers, and writers experience every day at work. From homey offices to lounge lighting, and themed offices from their movies, there’s nothing “normal” about working for Pixar.

                  Part of this is about giving freedom to employees to customize their work environment to suit their needs, but another part is enabling them to do so. Offer resources, incentives, and encouragement to be creative in new and exciting ways.

                  9. Mix Things Up

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                  AnthonyOffice

                    This is my office. It’s cozy, it’s small and it’s in my attic. It’s also one of my favorite places to work.

                    While not everyone has the freedom to work at home, everyone should be given the opportunity, at least on occasion. The relaxation and freedom it offers is perfect for some people.

                    10. Party!

                    FB Office

                      Finally, learn when to unwind and have a good time!

                      Parties, after work hours, and easy opportunities to relax and unwind are important when fostering a creative, inclusive environment. Facebook is one of the best when it comes to this, with fully stocked bars in the building, parties on a weekly basis and more.

                      The bottom line when it comes to an office is that it should make everyone feel comfortable. Part of this is your company’s culture and making sure the people you hire fit that culture. Another part, though, is listening to those people to hear what they want and need out of their work space.

                      Do that like these eight companies have done and your office will become one of the best around to work in.

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                      Last Updated on October 18, 2018

                      10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

                      10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

                      When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

                      Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

                      People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

                      These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

                      1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

                      Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

                      To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

                      Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

                      When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

                      Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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                      2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

                      Things go wrong when you run your own business.

                      Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

                      Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

                      Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

                      Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

                      If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

                      3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

                      Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

                      As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

                      Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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                      After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

                      Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

                      He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

                      4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

                      No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

                      It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

                      You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

                      Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

                      An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

                      5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

                      You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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                      As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

                      Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

                      Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

                      You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

                      6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

                      In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

                      Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

                      • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
                      • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
                      • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

                      By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

                      7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

                      Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

                      As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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                      8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

                      No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

                      Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

                      9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

                      Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

                      If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

                      10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

                      Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

                      Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

                      If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

                      The Bottom Line

                      Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

                      Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

                      Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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