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You’d Love to Work in These 15 Dream Workplaces

You’d Love to Work in These 15 Dream Workplaces
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For anyone who has worked in a traditional office setting, the drawbacks are all too familiar. Harsh lighting, enclosed spaces and few windows can easily make workers feel like they’re in a cage. However, abolishing the standard office has become common, particularly when it comes to technology companies. In the hope of increasing employee creativity and morale, these incredible offices take a employee-centric approach to their design. Below we’ve listed 15 dream workplaces and why they are so awesome. Regardless of where you work, you’ll want to trade your everyday for any one of these impressive offices.

1. Google: Artistry

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    One collection of spaces that anyone would love to work in are the various Google offices around the world. Not only do these dream workplaces include a gym and space to play basketball, Google also gives employees an indoor slide and a space to sing karaoke. As for the actual office area, Google uses everything from modern furnishings to reclaimed gondola cars, making each office space truly unique.

    2. Corus Entertainment: Three-Story Slide

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      One of the larger dream offices on the list is the massive home office of Corus Entertainment in Toronto. An incredible 500,000 square feet, this building was intended to bring together 11 separate offices into one. From the looks of things, they succeeded, and this five-story building includes multiple lounges above its TV studio. Not only that, this dream workplace has a three-story slide, bright colors, and even board room tables shaped like hockey rinks.

      3. Pallotta Teamworks: Modern Comfort

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        This admirable, eye-catching workplace makes use of highly modern modular offices, making for an inspiring, open space inside. In addition, the office includes a minimalist indoor pond, letting workers feel comfortable and creative.

        4. Dropbox: Room to Think

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          Another incredibly modern and warm dream workplace is the Dropbox office. This office relies on minimalist design that also includes heaps of wide, open space. In addition, Dropbox also offers their employees a fully equipped gym.

          5. Zynga: Fun, Fun, Fun

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            Another creative, forward-thinking office space is that of mobile gaming company Zynga. This impressive office also features airy, open rooms, a game room, and kitchen. Not only that, this office goes the extra mile to make sure employees are having fun by including several full-size arcade games.

            6. Facebook: Social Space

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              Facebook is notorious for its unconventional approach to working hours and environments. What most people don’t know, however, is that Facebook also extends this mentality to their impressively artistic, modern office. Not only does this office encourage workers to socialize, it also offers plenty of outdoor workspace, as well as a large kitchen.

              7. Airbnb: Minimalist Heaven

              Airbnb-Office_Heneghan-Peng

                Another minimalist office is this one for Airbnb. Large, open offices make a space where you feel uninhibited, but it also makes a huge effort to be welcoming. To achieve this the office emphasizes art, as well as tonnes of comfortable chairs and couches. Finally, this dream workplace includes a fully stocked kitchen.

                8. Nokia: Jaw-dropping Design

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                  Another impressively modern space is Nokia’s head office. This office also refuses to skimp on design, with each area assigned a different primary color. This innovative design is added to modern spaces, including a large game room for workers.

                  9. Lego: Play to Work

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                    Another dream workplace designed to boost employee morale and creativity is the Lego office in Denmark. The layout encourages employees to work together, plus many spaces include building areas where you can tinker with Legos while you work. Lego-themed art and games are standard, and this office also includes an indoor slide. Who knew working for Lego would be as cool as your six-year-old self thought?

                    10. White Mountain Office: Cave of Inspiration

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                      This impressive office for White Mountain brings to mind images of a super villain’s lair. This office takes hints from nature, and gives the appearance of indoor caves throughout. The beautiful rock walls and ceilings give way to an indoor hanging garden, making this office truly one of a kind.

                      11. Inventionland Design Factory: Pirate Cove

                      Inventionland-Design-Factory-Pittsburgh

                        The expressive offices at Inventionland Design Factory are every childhood dream come true. This distinctive workspace is designed to look like a treehouse next to a pond, giving workers an open, inspiring space to work in. Not only that, but next door to the treehouse is a replica pirate ship, complete with cannons and sails.

                        12. Autodesk: Eclectically Modern

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                          The exclusive office of mobile developer Autodesk is another dream workplace you would love to see every day. This building mimics a machine shop, bringing the creativity and freedom of weekend projects to work. This mix of free creativity and modern office spaces surely improves employee thinking.

                          13. AOL: Relaxation Headquarters

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                            While AOL has seen huge changes to its company in the last ten years, they’ve recently tried to move forward by purchasing websites like The Huffington Post and TechCrunch. Not to be outdone, this company also relies on its massively creative office space to inspire employees. The building features bright colors, large relaxation areas, game rooms complete with pool tables and, of course, large kitchens.

                            14. Selgas Cano Architecture Office: Outdoor Creativity

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                              This dream workplace puts employees in an incredible forest atmosphere. A primarily clear building, this office allows workers to feel uninhibited and open. Additionally, the obvious emphasis on thinking outside the box and nature are sure to inform employees’ work.

                              15. YouTube: Segways and Swimming

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                                Recently acquired by Google, YouTube received a brand-new office after merging with the tech giant. Another office featuring sizable, open floor plans, this office also includes free Segway riding, gaming, an indoor putting green, space for gym activities, and even a swimming pool. No tech office is complete without a kitchen either, as this office aspires to be a relaxing and fun place for employees.

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                                Alicia Prince

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                                Published on July 27, 2021

                                15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

                                15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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                                During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

                                But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

                                Put the Pro in Professional

                                After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

                                1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

                                The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

                                Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

                                2. Dress the Part

                                While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

                                Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

                                For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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                                Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

                                3. Stage Your Workspace

                                Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

                                Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

                                4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

                                Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

                                Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

                                Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

                                Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

                                5. Arrive on Time

                                In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

                                Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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                                6. Turn on Your Video

                                Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

                                If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

                                Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

                                7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

                                Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

                                Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

                                Attend to the Pesky Details

                                8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

                                With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

                                Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

                                9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

                                Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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                                Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

                                10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

                                As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

                                Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

                                Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

                                Talking Has a Time and a Place

                                11. Chat Appropriately

                                Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

                                At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

                                12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

                                The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

                                Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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                                13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

                                In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

                                Manage Yourself

                                14. Minimize Distractions

                                While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

                                Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

                                15. Save Snacking for Later

                                Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

                                However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

                                Final Thoughts

                                Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

                                Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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