Sun 20 Nov 2011
Corporations are notorious for being formal and stuffy, but not all big businesses are created equal. Over the last decade, more big-name companies are ditching the standard suit and tie and allowing their employees to wear khakis, jeans, and even (gasp!) flip-flops. These trend-setting companies have gone above and beyond the business norms to provide a comfortable and fun working environment for their employees, while providing awesome amenities like free gym memberships, complimentary dry cleaning, and on-site chefs to meet their daily needs. Check out these 10 big businesses with incredibly casual offices.
1. Google. Google was one of the first companies to adopt the laid-back corporate culture that emphasized creativity and achievements on an individual basis that add to the team’s overall success. One of the company’s 10 principle philosophies is “you can be serious without a suit.” This philosophy speaks volumes for the casual culture of Google. Not only is the dress code casual, but the overall look and feel of the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., is also laid back and fun. Google employees can enjoy ping pong, snacks in the break rooms, video games, and “huddle” rooms for everyone to take a break. Some additional office amenities include massage chairs, foosball and ping pong tables, an onsite gym, haircuts, and complimentary car washes.
2. Zappos. Zappos has put a lot of emphasis on its company culture and takes pride in being a casual yet successful business. Even though it was acquired by Amazon in 2009, Zappos has managed to hold on to the same values and company missions that it was founded on. Zappos’ casual work environment takes after the Internet marketing and e-commerce industries, which emphasize comfort over formality to help employees produce their very best work.
3.Facebook. Facebook also adopted a Google-like office culture that consists of casually-dressed, but hardworking youngsters. Facebook has offices in more than 15 countries, some of which have bean bag lounges, kegs, on-site chefs, and plenty of places to kick up your feet and relax. At the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., employees have several unique amenities that fit the laid-back online culture. Workers can break a sweat on the outdoor skate park, play some tunes on the office turn tables, and take care of their laundry or leather repairs without leaving work.
4.Electronic Arts. EA is one of the biggest companies in the video game industry, with an estimated 8,000 employees worldwide. Although most of the EA studios and subsidiaries have embraced a informal office culture, the EA campus in Vancouver is one of the most casual and decked-out facilities within the company. The campus has a state-of-the-art building featuring a theater, restaurants, coffee bars, a complete fitness room, and a full-size soccer field. EA Canada is also the company’s largest and oldest studio, so, naturally, it houses the world’s largest video game test operation and many employees take advantage of this cool feature.
5. Twitter. Twitter is an online social networking service that knows how to have fun. The Twitter offices are located in San Francisco, San Antonio, Boston and New York City, and are chock-full of awesome amenities to keep their employees relaxed and satisfied. Twitter employees get to enjoy everything from free gym memberships, complimentary yoga/Pilates and rock climbing classes, as well as on-site laundry and dry cleaning services.
6. Linkedin. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site and its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters has one of the most laid-back offices in the country. LinkedIn employees have many benefits and amenities in the office, such as a 24/7 gym with morning boot camp and afternoon yoga/pilates classes, chair massage,s and weekly lectures from entrepreneurs.
7. Quicken Loans. Quicken Loans’ corporate culture is uniquely different from other big-name companies. According to Quicken Loans, the keys to maintaining its competitiveness and great rapport with customers are the so-called ISMs that make up the company philosophy. The online mortgage lender puts more emphasis on the character and attitude of their employees rather than what they do. To enhance the company culture and give back to its employees, Quicken Loans offers some generous benefits and perks. Employees can enjoy 11 paid holidays per calendar year, free cappuccinos and slushies, concert giveaways, and ATM and dry-cleaning services.
8. AOL. AOL has also taken a casual approach to office culture and design. The Internet services and media company has adapted to changes in online culture by revamping their offices and turning them into inspiring and collaborative workspaces. To make this idea happen, AOL moved its West Coast headquarters to a new space in Palo Alto, Calif. Here, the company did away with private offices and designed open workstations and shared spaces, including a game room, an open kitchen and cafeteria, break rooms, and much more.
9. Genentech. Genentech has been regarded as one of the best and most desirable places to work, thanks to its unbeatable company culture. The biotech firm has garnered a lot of attention for its legendary perks, including doggie day care, weekly Friday night parties, an on-site farmers’ market, and rich stock options. But it’s not just the great perks that keep employees working for Genentech – they’re also attracted to the company’s emphasis on learning and having the freedom to experiment as they like.
10. Apple. Apple is no stranger to the casual corporate culture, so many companies have adopted over the past few years. Since its inception, Apple has fostered innovation and freedom of expression to make great things happen as a team. Apple’s casual corporate atmosphere started from the beginning when Steve Jobs reportedly walked around the office barefoot. Apple employees have some stellar benefits, including excellent health insurance and satisfactory military-leave pay, as well as awesome amenities like Apple product gifts and meals at Caffe Macs, where you might run into Apple’s top executives.