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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 May 15, 2019

                      10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs and What We Can Learn from Them

                      10 Most Successful Entrepreneurs and What We Can Learn from Them

                      Apart from making crucial decisions for their own businesses, entrepreneurs innovate and grow their ideas. Albeit there being no cookie-cutter answer that fits everyone’s experiences, taking a look at some of the most successful entrepreneurs today, you might spot some similar traits and characteristics.

                      Starting and nurturing a business entails a great amount of hard work and commitment. However, for aspiring entrepreneurs who are prepared to dedicate themselves to their vision, here are 10 most successful entrepreneurs you can learn from:

                      1. Melanie Perkins: Know Your Worth and Keep Trying

                        Melanie Perkins founded Canva, a Sydney-based business valued at $1Billion having successfully raised a number of rounds of successful funding and boasting more than 10 Million users in 179 countries.[1]

                        She told BBC that one of the biggest challenges she faced getting into the business was talking about her company’s accomplishments when she first got to Silicon Valley. She attributed this difficulty to a cultural difference where Australians tend to ‘talk down’ their achievements and this would slow down her fundraising progress for a few years.

                        Despite hundreds of rejections, Melanie emerged three years later with a much clearer strategy and stronger investor pitch that prompted a series of fundraising rounds netting the company $82Million of funding in total.[2]

                        2. Bill Gates: Keep Learning and Exploring

                          If you don’t know Bill Gates, you likely know the company he founded – Microsoft.

                          Bill Gates’ story is a prime example of nurturing an idea that might seem out of this world but make sense in the future. One of the most successful entrepreneurs in history did not complete his degree at Harvard University to pursue a vision that the technology would soon become the future.

                          He told a white lie to Altair, saying that he had made a computer program for them, therefore pushing himself to create a system that would change modern history.

                          “The most important speed issue is convincing everyone that the company’s survival depends on moving as fast as possible.”

                          Gates’ success is built on self-improvement and the seeds of an idea.

                          3. Elon Musk: Never Stop Innovating

                            Traditional thinking suggests that in order to become a successful entrepreneur, one must focus in a single field or industry.

                            Elon Musk, however, breaks that rule.

                            Today, the multifaceted tech entrepreneur, investor, and engineer advocates for the diversification of skills and businesses by delving into various fields of interest.

                            When done right, skills in a single domain can be carried over then applied into contrasting industries to create something new the world might need. Musk owes his accomplishments to a constant thirst for knowledge.

                            Having birthed Tesla and a myriad of products across the arenas of aeronautics and software design, Musk continues to evolve as an entrepreneur and plans to innovate for the long haul.

                            4. Richard Branson: Develop People First

                              British entrepreneur Richard Branson founded Virgin Records in the early 1970s. Virgin Records has since grown into the Virgin Group, today responsible for over 400 companies.

                              The billionaire is strongly particular about working with a team that shares his core values and aspirations.

                              Branson believes that managing a business can become taxing, thus he acknowledges his employees for putting in the effort that they have.

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                              A good leader knows how to raise morale for positive productivity. Utilising emotional intelligence and compassion is a game changer in seeing results within a team.

                              Branson’s supports the idea of nurturing a positive work environment, with the belief that credentials must go hand-in-hand with an enthusiasm for work.

                              5. Jeff Bezos: A Relentless Focus on Customer Satisfaction

                                Having founded Amazon, Jeff Bezos is known to be one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. The e-commerce pioneer fixates himself on angry customers with the belief that a business’s loopholes are found in the experiences of unsatisfied customers.

                                For the 8th year in a row, customers have ranked Amazon as the number one in customer service (according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index).

                                While numerous companies ignore unhappy customers, Bezos found success in learning from reviews and surveys. By focusing on customer service, Amazon shows they care, both for their customers and for rising above their competitors.

                                While praise and recognition are signs that a business is accelerating, criticism is an opportunity to improve a product or a service.

                                6. Mark Zuckerberg: Start Small, Think Big

                                  Valued at over 55 billion dollars today, Mark Zuckerberg built the first version of what would become a social networking giant in his Harvard University dorm room. As one of the world’s youngest entrepreneurs, Zuckerberg undoubtedly took countless calculated risks to get his brilliant idea to its current status with 2.38 billion active monthly users.

                                  “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.”

                                  He’s always daring to explore with a fearless mindset.

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                                  The young tech entrepreneur never shied away from innovating outside of the box. Soon after Facebook became a hit to users and advertisers, big corporations took interest in buying Facebook from Zuckerberg.

                                  However, he took the risk and decided to stay with his creation. Turning down billions of dollars offered by Yahoo CEO, Terry Semel, he envisioned turning his brainchild into something much bigger than what it already was then.

                                  7. Steve Jobs: Live Your Own Dreams

                                    Steve Jobs lived a rocky path all his life and an aspect of which is a tumultuous career.

                                    The founder of Apple endorsed his beliefs on the temporality of life and limitations of time. He preached about the importance of working on the very legacies people wish to leave behind, an achievement he’s undoubtedly etched into the the archives of human history.

                                    Never one to hide under someone’s shadow, Jobs did not live by anybody else’s principles so he formed his own. He tirelessly dedicated himself to building a unique brand of products that became the benchmark for contemporary technology.

                                    After his highs and lows through his brief battle with cancer, Jobs concludes with yet another lesson to takeaway from his remarkable life. “No matter how much money you have, even the richest man can’t buy time.”

                                    8. Warren Buffett: Balance is Essential to Success

                                      Despite being the third wealthiest person in the world, Warrant Buffett sported a frugal lifestyle for most of his life.

                                      After buying a house in Omaha, Nebraska for just above 31,000 dollars, he has lived there since 1958. As a leading investor and a founder at Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett believes in setting aside an amount to save and spend only on necessities.

                                      With a long term goal as a top priority in mind always, treating oneself can be sustainable once in a while. He advices to save money by deciding first and foremost what aspects to scrimp on and what aspects to splurge on to ensure a happy and balanced lifestyle.

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                                      9. Jack Ma: Never Give up

                                        On every journey to success, everybody stumbles and arrives at roadblocks. Some more than most, like Jack Ma, who survived countless rejections and failures only to get back up and brave every storm.

                                        Ma is the founder of multinational technology conglomerate Alibaba Group. Despite being rejected to Harvard after every one of his 10 applications, Ma was never defeated.

                                        His grit and tenacity is a fine testament to the fact that grades do not determine a future. While qualifications on paper are important, the development of skills and an attitude is just as helpful in making a recipe for success.

                                        Despite finding himself in the verge of bankruptcy in the 1990s, Jack Ma possessed the resilience to put one foot in front of the other until he finally made it. “It’s important to have patience,” he says.

                                        10. Tan Min Liang: Passion Can Pay Off

                                          Tan Min Liang is the founder of the leading high-performance gaming hardware, Razer. Always on the look out for new opportunities to connect and scale his business, Tan has been bold in making many of his life’s decisions.

                                          Having deviated from a traditional path set by a family that consists of doctors and lawyers, Tan was to find his life’s work and passion while gaming with his older brother.

                                          The idea was simple: there were so many games out there to play, however, there were hardly any gaming equipment to match this.

                                          So he dropped out of law and began going a different direction, into creating solutions in the gaming industry. At the start of 2019, Tan wrote to tech luminary Elon Musk to which Musk’s reply suggested of a joint venture between two of the most successful entrepreneurs today.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          In today’s cutthroat world, the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is a long and arduous process trailed with ups and downs. A valuable lesson that a good hand of entrepreneurs would love to convey to aspiring entrepreneurs is to keep the spirit of innovation and to explore uncharted waters.

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                                          Learning from experience and failure is one direction to a desired end goal. Exhibiting the same dedication and grit so many entrepreneurs have through their unexpected careers – today’s budding visionaries ought to hang on their dreams and leave room for improvement along the way.

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                                          Featured photo credit: Patrick Tomasso via unsplash.com

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