It’s important—dare we even say essential —to have some fun at work. Not only did a national survey of 500-plus HR associates reveal most of them strongly promote a fun work environment, but there’s also plenty of research that shows having fun makes employees more productive, more engaged, less likely to leave their jobs, and just plain happier.
No one needs to tell the 13 companies on this list to make their offices more fun: They’ve already found the ideal ratio between work and play. And since they’re all hiring, who knows—you could be the next employee to benefit!
There’s never a dull moment at this ad agency. Its client base includes Disney, Procter & Gamble, and United Airlines, which means the team is always immersed in exciting projects (like working on the VMAs and Oscars!).
And mcgarrybowen’s employees like to have a good time while they work.
“Advertising is a business based on fun,” says Mark Koelfgen, the New York Chief Creative Officer. “We’re a big, loud family that likes to be together, and we try to keep it light.”
From July 4th parties and chili cook-offs to Oktoberfest, Thirsty Thursdays, and the huge Halloween blowout, there are celebrations all year long.
Nitro promotes compassion—whether that’s compassion for its users or compassion for its local community. Every employee gets five days off per year solely for volunteering, and the company even has a “Nitro Gives” program dedicated to its volunteer initiatives.
There’s also lots of informal fun.
Mimi Hoang, VP of Product, adds, “At least once a week, we make sure to get together to hang out, grab a drink, and get to know new people.”
Ultimately, it isn’t hard to find work-life balance at Nitro, because it’s built into the culture.
Work at this multinational digital consulting firm, and you’ll be spoiled for life. There are monthly cool outings, weekly happy hours with foosball tournaments, and frequent opportunities to attend sports events. Milestone and holiday celebrations—like a team trip to Escape the Room or the glitzy Casino Royale-themed holiday party—give Omnigon’s team even more chances to make memories.
And when they need to take a break from all the fun? There are professional in-office massages, an on-site coffee and espresso bar, and endless fresh snacks.
Clients around the world are loving this company’s open-source, secure communication and workflow platforms—and Symphony’s team is working hard to keep up with the demand.
To reward employees, management treats them to massages, margarita machines, Nerf gun battles, comfy bean bags, sweet treats, and more. Past company outings include paintball, picnics, karaoke, go-karting, ping-pong tournaments, and more.
And with every department also getting a chance to go out on its own, there’s definitely lots of fun times being had.
Contently, a platform that helps publishers and journalists work together, boasts a close-knit team.
“I have the privilege of working with smart people who I like and respect even more,” says Elisa Cool, VP of Business Development. “Contently is more than a place of business, it’s a sanctuary.”
Co-workers love to spend as much time together out of the office as they do at work. Recent activities include book clubs, DJ turntables, happy hours, and a trip to the Hayden Planetarium.
6. Pocket Gems
Are we really surprised that a mobile gaming company (with more than 20 hit games, FYI) has an atmosphere that’s equal parts hard work and play?
Team members are encouraged to take breaks for competitive ping-pong sessions—and what started out as a spontaneous work break has taken on a life of its own. Now a robust and competitive league, the Pocket Gems Ping-Pong League’s most recent accomplishment was turning the office into a ping-pong stadium during happy hour and crowning the winners of both the singles and doubles leagues.
7. Trax Technologies
This software service company was named one of the top places to work in Arizona by CareerBuilder.com and its own employees—not just once, but two years in a row. Trax Technologies is on its way to a third year, thanks to its challenging, engaging, and perk-filled culture.
Meditation, yoga, and health classes keep team members relaxed and healthy, while activities like a salsa making contest, Iron Man competition, holiday decoration contest, and the always-popular happy hour keep them close.
Thanks to Tile’s tracking app and durable tech, its users have said goodbye to the days of misplaced keys and lost wallets.
Having such an important mission elevates even the most everyday tasks into rewarding work. And out of the office, the team likes to kick back at movie nights and communal meals.
9. Goosehead Insurance
Goosehead Insurance, one of the largest independent insurance companies in the nation, really invests in its employees and cares about their success.
As proof, there’s the much-loved “Champagne and Cheers” tradition. Every month, employees make a champagne toast to the Most Valuable Client Advocate, and the rewards don’t end with the toast. Along with the title and peer recognition, MVCAs also receive a bottle of champagne all to themselves.
Employees call the atmosphere at this music startup “unique and kooky.” Everyone—no matter their job description or background—loves music, which has created a cohesive and supportive atmosphere.
“We at BandPage are a culture of ‘One,’” says Director of Engineering Kim Martin. “I'm surrounded by extremely talented and compassionate folks, and we rise and fall graciously together.”
They also play together: Employees are always playing their favorite songs over the Sonos speaker system in the office, and there’s even a jam room in the basement so co-workers can make some music together. Martin even hosts game nights at her house every other month. Talk about a company with a family feel!
Vacations are an essential part of staying productive and fulfilled—which Gravity recognizes by whisking away its employees each year to a four-day retreat. With past destinations such as Jamaica, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, the team is guaranteed to have a good time enjoying beautiful views, participating in awesome bonding activities, and eating delicious food.
12. Windsor Circle, Inc.
“Working for Windsor Circle is like being a member of a championship winning team,” explains Client Technical Manager Michael Huey. “You work hard, you love it, and while it’s happening, you create memories with your team that no one else will ever be able to match.”
The team’s “work hard, play hard” ethic is visible in other ways as well. Each quarter, Windsor Circle has a Team Day when employees devote half the day to learning new skills and the other half to volunteering in downtown Durham.
Method, the company behind your favorite naturally derived, non-toxic household products, has a weird culture—in the best way possible, of course!
Arts and crafts designer Mia Croft explains, “At Method, awesome grows from weird.”
This awesome weirdness is evident in the company’s March Madness ping-pong tournament, a fierce competition that pits newbies against experts. After semi-finals and finals, the whole team celebrates with a themed party.
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