Many workplaces are adding trendy features such as indoor basketball courts, foosball tables and nap pods to their office floor plans. The argument is that by getting workers up from their desks and mingling, productivity increases. The question is whether or not these trendy workplaces are increasing productivity or if they are a passing phase. Let’s take a look at what’s trending and what leaders are saying.
Frank Yang, CEO of SimpleHuman, recently moved his staff into an open-floor plan office with an indoor basketball court. He says he shoots hoops when he is stressed and that the new office is “tool for building innovative products.” In order to stay competitive and recruit and retain the best talent, workplaces are pushing the envelope and getting creative with cool elements to add to their workplaces. If the CEO believes in it, who’s to argue?
Ford Motor Company
In June of last year, Ford announced that it was buying a run down train station in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. The goal is move 2,500 employees into the building and add about 2,500 more. I once worked in the company’s old “glass house” on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn and I can tell you that building is lacking in cool factor. Ford has publicly said that it hopes to recruit and retain “high-caliber young employees enthusiastic about living in an up and coming city.” If they build it will they come? Will they stay? Will they be productive? Time will tell.
As a forerunner in the trendy workplaces race, Google employees give their company a 4.6 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor. Not only does the employer offer free meals and snacks, they also have beer and wine available on Friday afternoons. They also allow some employees to bring their pets to work. David Radcliffe, VP of real estate and workplace services at Google, said in an interview with CBS, “No workplace is complete without a nap pod.”
So there you have it. The modern workplace calls for games like foosball and perks such as nap pods that keep employees at the office longer, working as teams and being productive.