We no longer live in a world where you toil away in a cubicle all day while your manager hides behind a closed-off office. Yes, these kinds of places still exist, but more and more companies are realizing that employees are happier and work better in alternative environments.
Which is why these 15 companies have truly redefined the workplace by designing remarkable spaces and policies that help employees feel motivated and engaged—think everything from flexibile workspaces and in-office yoga studios to open door policies and hack days.
If you’re looking for a change of pace—and a lot more freedom—take a look at one of these modern-day companies.
Dropbox simplifies the way people work together. With 150,000 businesses on Dropbox Business, the company is transforming everyday workflows and entire industries.
Dropbox employees benefit from a collaborative environment with opportunities to grow, with everything from flexible work schedules to no meeting Wednesdays to walls coated in whiteboard paint. A fan favorite is Hack Week, which allows everyone to return to their innovative roots by poking around code or pursuing a professional interest—and often results in products and features that help shape how you work. A year ago, a Dropboxer developed Project Infinite during Hack Week to reimagine how people find, access, and collaborate with large amounts of data. Project Infinite will enable users to seamlessly and securely access all their Dropbox files from the desktop, regardless of how much space they have available on their hard drives.
NeueHouse is redefining how people work—transforming traditional office spaces into cubicle-free collaborative community experiences. By uniquely integrating prestigious hotel amenities and a culture of hospitality with a professional business environment, Neuehouse enables innovative like-minded creatives to master their craft in comfort.
Hospitality’s at the heart of NeueHouse’s modern take on professional accommodation, a workspace designed with exquisite aesthetic ambience by architect David Rockwell. The spacious 50,000-square-foot structure—with its exposed brick walls and industrial chic boutique decor—gives members access to a private restaurant, movie screenings, a broadcast studio, and the luxury lounge.
3. Akilah Group
The Akilah Group—a woman’s college with campuses in Rwanda and Burundi—is a collection of social enterprises leveraging innovative educational models and technology to achieve transformational change in African communities and connect graduates with economic opportunity.
Because the company works internationally, working for The Akilah Group requires less of employees sitting in an office and more of them traveling, moving around, and working closely with clients.
“The culture is very fast-paced and entrepreneurial, but we also take care of each other and the co-workers are amazing. If you enjoy the rush of not knowing what each day will bring, staying on your toes, and learning by doing, Akilah Group companies are a great place,” shares one employee.
Launched with love in 2012, The Honest Company produces safe baby care, personal care, and home care products, as well as vitamins, supplements, and gear items, all available at retail locations across the U.S. and Canada.
The Honest Company office has an in-house yoga studio that offers several classes weekly, as well as a roof top deck where employees can work, hang out, or grill.
Giving back is also a huge part of The Honest Company’s cultural code, and employee volunteerism and commitment to community are demonstrated in its many charitable initiatives. With Honest’s Social Goodness Program, team members have endless opportunities to help families and youth at work—currently, they are working toward the Malibu Triathlon to benefit child’s medical research at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.
The City of Houston is no ordinary municipality: With a diverse and growing populace, the city has learned how to innovate like a tech company, giving the public sector a 21st century gleam.
One of the largest and fastest growing cities in the U.S. doesn’t keep up with the times by standing still. The City of Houston can change almost as rapidly as the people it services, and the folks in this government organization are dynamic, welcoming these ever-shifting circumstances with aplomb.
But at the end of the day, The City of Houston cares about its employees’ well-being and success: “It’s not a sink-or-swim type of culture. We’re very much wanting to invest in our employees and help them grow,” says Jesse Bounds, Deputy Assistant Director of Finance.
King Arthur Flour is a 100% employee-owned American supplier of flour, ingredients, baking mixes, cookbooks, and baked goods—with a 100% commitment to quality. As the leading flour company in the U.S., King Arthur Flour offers everything from premium flour to top-quality baking products to educational programs.
King Arthur Flour employees are united by their deep passion for baking. Whether employees have been with the company for just a few years—or more than 20—they remain excited about the business and curious about learning new baking techniques and recipes.
“This isn’t a job where you just clock in and out. Everyone here really cares about the work that we do and makes an effort to make the company the best it can be,” says Rosie Bucherati, Assistant Product Manager.
Magoosh is on a mission to shake up test prep by offering online study tools for exams like the GRE, GMAT, and LSAT for less than what other prep companies are charging. But that’s not the only thing it’s trying to change—Magoosh is also out to redefine the way people think and feel about working in tech.
At Magoosh, there’s no hierarchy, no pressure to claw your way to the top, and no intense competition between co-workers (except in the case of Super Smash Bros). Employees strive to exemplify one of Magoosh’s core values, “Friendly > Formal,” by encouraging and supporting their colleagues whenever possible. They even have a shout-out session during every monthly meeting where employees have a chance to acknowledge their co-workers for embodying specific Core Values in their work.
“It feels like I get to work with a bunch of my friends,” one employee shares. “It’s great to see what amazing things a company can produce when everyone gets along this well.”
With a mission to nourish little ones with the very best food from the very first bite, Plum Organics is feeding the future by creating delicious organic food and snacks for babies, toddlers, and kids.
From the beginning, Plum Organics’ employees have started each week with a Monday morning huddle. Team members assemble for breakfast and company updates and share a weekly Love Bomb featuring a satisfied—and adorable—fan.
And in its new office, Plum Organics employees work flexibly and creatively in a space that features a multitude of conference rooms, both casual and more traditional, a quiet room, where team members can find on-site massages, and a kitchen, which features healthy snacks and a beautiful cooking space.
The SPJA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates all aspects of Japanese animated art, as well as the culture that surrounds it, by bringing together fans, animators, and industry members at community events. SPJA produces Anime Expo, the largest convention of its kind in North America.
The SPJA fosters a culture of creativity, openness, and overall acceptance. In a niche industry where people participate in roleplay and cosplay events, the organization finds it important to ensure that everyone feels safe being themselves without being concerned about judgement. For employees, this is especially emphasized—and enjoyed—inside the office.
“There’s a camaraderie here that doesn’t always exist elsewhere,” says Tim Wyckoff, Entertainment Hall Manager.
10. Work Market
Work Market was recently recognized by Forbes on the list of “America’s Most Promising Companies,” and for good reason—the organization is reinventing how people work in the modern world. From freelancers looking to support their families to corporate HR managers looking to reengineer their workforce, the goal is always the same—making the work simpler.
While Work Market is ramping up engineering resources, the team is also fostering a familial environment. Since moving into its new, roomy office space, the company has been hosting meet-ups that cater to the on-demand economy, opening the doors to conversations not just from industry leaders, but from the people who are affected by them daily.
But despite how fast it’s growing, Work Market still has the feel of a startup, with employees coding on couches, skateboarding around the office, or taking a break to play a game of ping-pong.
11. Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. has grown from a single store in 1969 to a global fashion business with five brands. The company is committed to equality and the advancement of women and was recognized for its efforts this year as the sole winner of the 2016 Catalyst Award.
In addition to its focus on equality, Gap Inc. strongly believes in developing its team, something that is best expressed with a simple acronym: GPS. GPS stands for “Grow, Perform, Succeed,” and it represents the company’s approach to performance—ensuring all employees have the chance to grow and succeed. Gap Inc. eliminated annual reviews and rating scales in favor of more frequent performance conversations, providing employees with real-time feedback on how they’re doing.
“We exhibit the will to win daily. It’s all about being better than what we were the day before,” explains Camille Austin, District Manager of Gap Factory.
Lever transforms outdated and impersonal hiring methods into a collaborative, enjoyable process for both applicants and decision-makers with an intelligent applicant tracking system. The software makes it easy for the entire company to be a part of the process, from sourcing and vetting potential candidates to interviewing and securing the next great employee.
Lever builds compatible teams—and the company’s team is no exception. To keep the fire burning after Leveroos are onboarded, leaders hand out the next book for the office’s book club. Daily lunches also give the team an opportunity to gather up and share answers to silly or serious round-table questions—which quickly turns colleagues into pals.
“Our managers truly lead and guide instead of having to manage in the traditional sense. It’s a very empowering environment,” says Phil Golding, Customer Success Manager.
The Women of the Washington Redskins—WOW—engages and empowers dedicated female fans. WOW Redskins’ powerful platform connects its more than 118,000 club members with its team through free membership, amazing access to exclusive team events, and extensive year-round community-building initiatives.
The Washington Redskins’ ethos of diversity and equal opportunities completely supports women in the workplace. Redskins’ female employees and all of its members always have a strong, respected voice and equal opportunities to be leaders in the league—and they never feel like women working in a man’s world.
“We are really trying to empower women as a whole,” says Glendalyn Junio, Marketing Manager.
Since 1937, Progressive has empowered insurance customers with quality, security, and protection. Progressive conveniently covers multiple policy and claim services—from auto to business to boat to homeowner—with bundling options.
With a beautiful campus and awesome amenities, it’s no wonder Progressive employees love what they do every day. The company’s open-seated setup, tech-savvy tools, collaborative meeting rooms, and wall-to-wall modern art collection inspire creativity.
The company also has a strong team-based culture and fast-paced atmosphere, and the most successful employees are flexible and curious. Progressive teams roll with the punches, find adventure in the unexpected, and take risks by executing inventive ideas that lead to positive change.
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TopicsHealth , Job Search , Food , Work-Life Balance , Education , Tech , Shopping , Sports , Company Profiles , Insurance , Finding a Job , Who's Hiring , Advertising , Non-Profits , Government , Company Culture , Team Culture , Social Media & Community , Creative & Design , HR & Recruiting , Dropbox , Plum Organics , King Arthur Flour , Progressive Insurance , Magoosh , City of Houston , NeueHouse , Gap Inc. , Lever , Work Market , Akilah Institute for Women , The Washington Redskins , The Honest Company , Quintiles , Company Roundup , Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
As an Associate Editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author