Exciting work cultures in the world!

Scooters scooting around the office and a game of ping pong after lunch at work are definitely not common sights of the working environment here in Singapore. However, they are, at certain workplaces in the Western countries.

Culture plays a big role in a workplace, as it determines whether people would fit in a company. When I think of the word “work”, the first few things that came into my mind were: “tiring, difficult and can sometimes be boring and rigid.” Some companies practise individualism, where everyone only cares about themselves. The competitiveness and individualism culture in certain companies are probably one of few the reasons why many people hate their job.

I don’t want to be like one of those who dread going to work. I want to find a job that I look forward to going to every day. That is why I was so psyched to watch “Extreme Workplace” on television one day!

“Extreme Workplace” showcases extreme workplaces around the world and I thought it was refreshing to work at such fun and quirky places. One of the top 100 workplaces to work at is undoubtedly, Google.

Their culture is so welfare-oriented in a sense that employees’ needs and wants can be fulfilled at any instant at their workplace. There are 11 gourmet food joints providing employees an array of food choices that can satisfy any of their cravings. Back massages are provided if they are feeling tired. There are even Google doctors, to nurse employee back to health.

(Discussion rooms in Google)
Google’s collectivism culture has few rooms for solo offices as it encourages interactivity and discussion among their employees with their sharing cubes, yurts and huddle rooms. Adding on to the many facilities Google has, they also have Foosball, pool tables, volleyball courts, assorted video games, pianos, ping pong tables, and gyms that offer yoga and dance classes. Did I mention that everything is free?

Another extreme workplace would be Wonderfactory, an advertising company in New York City.  Their quirky work culture promotes creativity juices in employees. The quirkiness extends to their office layout, with hidden secret rooms and beautiful office decor. One thing really caught my attention was that one would have to pull the tassel (the golden string thing) to get into the office.

By pulling the tassel, the shelves would move and show the way to their office. How cool is that?!

There are also other hidden secret rooms around the office that has different themes to it. Their culture definitely inspires employees to go beyond their imagination and come up with great and fresh ideas. Wonderfactory also has games like Rockband, for employees to rest and have a little fun from work.

(Different themes at Wonderfactory)

After watching Extreme Workplaces, I can’t help but feel extremely envious of the workers working at these places. Although the cultures of these workplaces motivate employees to go to work, one boggling question in my mind would be: upon reaching work, what happens if these employees take all these privileges for granted and start to slack off from work?


12 thoughts on “Exciting work cultures in the world!

  1. reeohnah says:

    I think a great work place is a good motivation. However, if one does not used it, then it is merely for “show”. There are such instances as the work is just too much for people to even take the time off to enjoy the facilities. Hence, I feel that the culture of the organization should complement with the workplace policy in order to motivate the employees.

    • yanhan says:

      That is true! I think too little entertainment –> unmotivated and stressed up employees, but then too much entertainment –> overly happy workers who would focus alll their energy on the wrong things and forget about work. I think it should be balanced as welll 🙂

  2. Chloe Tan says:

    Work places are a great way to tell if you will be a happy employee there. Employers who are willing to splurge in allowing their employees to have a much comfortable work environment usually end up with employees who are much more motivated to work and it creates a win-win situation for both the employers and employees.

  3. Jade Ang says:

    Content and happy employees are usually productive, as they have a desire to stay in the company for long. They are usually more creative and eager to contribute. Grumpy employees are not motivated and tend to do the bare minimum as long as they get through each day. They probably think about quitting often, even if they might not necessarily do it due to job stability concerns.

    Many countries are enforcing laws to protect employees from overworking. Several employers (such as the ones you’ve mentioned) have realised this as well, thus attempt to provide a good work-life balance. I would love to work at Google even if it’s just for a day!

  4. Tammy Ye says:

    I agree with Jade! Smart people know that higher wages won’t cut it for a creative worker to be more productive. However I think as much as these quirks make it a haven for everyone who’s wanted to be like Charlie in his chocolate factory, they might be distracting sometimes. Personally I think that bringing things back to nature and things that matter (big open clear spaces, pretty natural things) will give creative people a clearer mind to work with. 😉

    • yanhan says:

      Yeah I know! I cant imagine myself facing four blanks wallls at the office O___O it would be too boring. If the company puts in effort in making their environemnt a better place, workers would too! 🙂

  5. Warrick Lim aka wwlim says:

    Having such a cool work place is going to really be a challenge for certain people who have a tendency to skive. Serioiusly, discipline is something lacking of in this world and unless everyone can be like the people Google employed ( i am assumming this people Google employed knows they are gonna lose their pretty offices if they start to skive) , then we can dream on having such workplaces too.

    The best workplace in the world is not the place itself, but it’s when you enjoy your work is that place then the best workplace in the world. A japanese woodcarver i saw on TV, has been carving wood sculptures for 52 years in his humble store in a village. He didn’t have a cool,wacky office to please or inspire him. He just needed a piece of wood, sculptor and passion. This 3 things kept him there for 52 years, and he won’t trade a damn thing, not even $ or a really super cool office for that.

  6. Priscilia Ong says:

    This is so interesting! I am envious too at how these people get to find such a wonderful working environment. A working environment is very important i feel in aiding the productivity and everything in fact! Like you, the first few thoughts that came to my mind when i think about work is “boring”, “rigid” and “tiring”. I believe most of the Singaporeans working will not get to enjoy such a nice working environment, and i believe if something is done to change that fact, it will improve a lot of other social factors/problems in the society not only low productivity. For instance, one might like working more than before and the positive mood one brings to work will affect the people around them, lightening the working environment. It is like a cycle.

    • yanhan says:

      I think Singapore has nice and interesting work places as well! Just that we haven’t come across them yet 😀 My friend’s internship place has like an office bar where workers can just hop by and grab a glass of beer! And even Wii and Xbox consoles! I guess it just differs in different companies 🙂

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