Facebook is considering developing a $120 million, 394-unit housing complex in Menlo Park, California so employees can live nearby and walk to its offices, The Wall Street Journal reports. Of course, since it’s Facebook, no perk will be left forgotten. The rental property will feature doggy day care and a sports bar, among other necessities. The company will also be upgrading to a 100,000 square foot facility for its New York office.
Don’t worry about keeping up with Zuckerberg if you just opened your first office. Congratulations are in order whether your office is designed for one or one thousand employees. Now that you’ve moved in and popped the champagne, what’s next? How do you set up your new office for success and a little fun?
We’ll keep from overstating the obvious and assume you already know you probably need a desk, chair and some computers. But what about creative and efficient gear for your new work pad?
Keep it Flexible
Did we say you needed a desk? With laptops, smartphones and tablets, traditional desks are no longer a necessity. Get up and running with a few desks for team members who require more space and large set-ups. But leave plenty of room for flexibility. Design spaces where team members can curl up with a tablet while testing new apps and reading fan mail from your customers. Incorporate more couches, communal tables and over-sized workspaces designed for two.
Photo by lab604 via Flickr
Create communal and flexible space for spontaneous meetings. Giving your employees the opportunity to run into each other all day encourages dialogue and bursts of inspiration they can share on the spot. Keep the communal space comfortable and minimalistic with plenty of room to pace and think, relax or grab a tablet off a nearby table.
Make it Fun and Inspiring
Photo by andrewarchy via Flickr
Creative companies like Google are known for video games, Ping-Pong tables and game rooms. Dedicated space to blow off steam can help with company morale and give employees something fun to do during downtime. But interviewing new candidates over a hot game of ping-pong can also get them away from their prepared speeches. Games and competition also helps employees stay in the moment and gives you an idea of how they compete and interact with a team.
Photo by joeyanne via Flickr
Incorporating green space can also boost your employees’ moods and give them a breath of fresh air in between meetings and deadlines. Consider office space with plenty of windows or hire an urban landscaper to help with a rooftop garden, patio or indoor greenhouse. Rumor has it Facebook’s new office will feature a mini-forest and full vegetable garden. Embrace all things green by creating a composting area at work and full recycling area for the eco-conscious company.
Photo by mrmatt via Flickr
Take casual Friday to a whole new level. Many creative companies like ShipWorks in St. Louis serve up free beer every Friday to its employees. Spontaneous Nerf ball wars are also prone to breakout at its office. Letting your employees indulge once in awhile sets a tone for togetherness and lets them know you appreciate their time. Letting employees relax and blow off steam keeps morale high and communication open.
If you’re not sure about letting your employees imbibe on the clock, think about other perks like catered lunch and free snacks, or bring in a masseuse to give chair massages once a week. There are plenty of ways to give your employees a perk or say thanks without resorting to employee of the month certificates to hang on their cubicle wall.
Put the Ease in Legalese
Now that your fabulous new decor and gadgets are strategically scattered throughout the office, think about what the government needs to see. Unfortunately, the United States Department of Labor might not care as much about your super cool new indoor garden. It will want to know about your workplace posters like job safety and health protection signage.
Just about every business is subject to labor law posters, but you can contact you may contact the U.S. Department of Labor at 1-866-4-USA-DOL to inquire. Next, pick up Intuit labor law posters available in English and Spanish. The site can also help with poster requirements for multiple business locations.