Happy employees are more productive, studies have shown so clever employers are making the necessary changes to office designs to create an environment where the staff is content and morale remains high. Once upon a time, offices were unimaginably bland with gray painted walls and oppressive cube farms.
Before staff dragged themselves into work and their mood plummeted throughout the course of the day, naturally, this caused a crisis in motivation levels. In contrast, modern companies care about their employees’ wellbeing and the spaces they have to work in.
Innovation and worker productivity are important to Epic Systems, the United States based tech company. Certainly, their campus in Verona, Wisconsin seeks to excite their staff with an Indiana Jones tunnel, a New York Stock Exchange model, and a NYC subway car replica in place. Attracting top talent required more than just offering a good salary, in essence, employees now expect to work in a place they are comfortable in.
Of course, Mark Zuckerberg knows all about human behavior. He wanted his campus in Menlo Park, California to be unassuming. The celebrated architect Frank Gehry noted for the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Spain’s Guggenheim Museum was selected to design the ambitious—several years in the making—workplace. Bringing nature into the workplace is definitely a mood enhancer: the Facebook campus has a nine-acre roof garden, with trees and plants, and is a place where employees can relax and reflect in.
Google competes against the other tech giants to entice the best-of-the-best employees to work for them. To achieve this recruitment advantage they make their offices fun places to be. In the San Francisco office, they constructed a slide allowing people to whiz from the third floor to the second. Not to be outdone, YouTube—who Google bought for US$1.65 billion— added a three-lane slide, to go with the full-length lap swimming pool, on-site gym and the indoor putting green.
The cynical among us might think this is an attempt by employers to blur the lines between work and play but maybe these employees are too happy to care. After all, a happy employee is a creative one, and “creativity leads to innovation,” said Kian Moini, co-founder of a leading online portal. The internet property platform is a company that seeks to keep employees happy. Staff get twice weekly fresh fruit deliveries, host monthly barbecues, and provide German and yoga classes for lucky staff. When they moved into their new HQ in trendy Kreuzberg, Berlin, they gave workers spray paint and paint brushes to get creative, immortalizing the company values across their walls.
Companies in this competitive tech world need to differentiate themselves and increasingly that is being done by making the office a place that staff is happy to come to each day.