The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for July 2012

The Office Snitch: A pirate ship office, a giraffe-themed workspace and, err, Naked Fridays.

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When I started work here, we were in the heart of downtown Singapore in a quaint little shop house that used to flood during downpours. After a while, The Boss got fed up with rainwater dripping directly on his desk and moved us west last Christmas into a spanking new office with lots of natural light, clean white walls and a roof where we drink beer and have water gun fights (often at the same time).

Moving from a cramped shop house where I was working in a loft with no windows and a temperamental air conditioning unit, the new office was a breath of fresh air.

Anyone will tell you offices are starting to become cool places you can hang out at – which makes sense considering you spend a bulk of your day there. I had the privilege of chilling out at Google’s Singapore office back in May when we spoke to Sarah Robb, the head of HR. Although not as mind-blowing as the Mountain View headquarters, the local office was a great place to be. It had a games room, a meeting table fashioned out a tuk-tuk and micro-kitchens and cafeterias providing staff with an array of food choices on Larry Page’s tab.

But it seems some companies are going the extra mile to make every day at the office an experience for staff.

The head office of Davison Design & Development, an invention promotion firm, is called Inventionland, and stays true to its name. The facility houses not one, not two but 16 themed sets including a pirate ship, a cave, a giant robot, a tree house and a motor speedway. I have the highest degree of respect for people working there because I know I’d spend my days distracted and living out childhood fantasies.

Credit: adme.ru & Tengri News

Other really interesting offices include one in Newcastle, which has – and I’m not kidding here – Naked Fridays, where employees comes to work, well, in the nude.

“It was brilliant. Now that we’ve seen each other naked, there are no barriers,” Sam Jackson, front-of-house manager of design and marketing company onebestway, told The Sun.

I’m not sure that’s something that will take off (pun intended) anytime soon, but I wouldn’t mind working in the offices of TWIGA in Moscow where it’s giraffe-themed. I can’t even begin imagining the immense joy of working in an office filled with 836 figures and images of my favourite animal.

Or the Paris offices of Pons and Huot, where each employee works in a Plexiglas sphere (If I did work there, I’ll probably invest in a snow machine and pretend I’m working in a snow globe).

We’ve been to some pretty cool offices in Singapore but if you know of one, or even better, if you work in one, let us know.

We will be starting a profile of innovative and creative workplaces pretty soon so here’s your chance to get involved. Drop us a comment here or email me, Sabrina Zolkifi, at sabrinaz@humanresourcesonline.net. We might just pop by the office for a visit and coffee soon.

To see photos of all the cool offices mentioned, click here: http://en.tengrinews.kz/opinion/240/

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

July 27, 2012 at 11:11 am