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.
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.
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?