This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

August 8, 2012

Way-Out Workplaces Engage Gens X and Y

Employers all over the world have discovered that creating unusual workspaces for the younger generations has a very positive effect on engagement and retention.

In Silicon Valley, there is a War for Talent going on that eclipses most others. Google, Zynga, and Facebook are all competing for the same top talent and providing a variety of value-adds. Google offers on-site gyms, massages, haircuts, laundry services, shuttles, gourmet meals, snacks galore, and lots more. On top of that, Google offers its employees the opportunity to spend 20 percent of their time working on whatever work-related project they wish.

Google’s Singapore office is a great place to work. It has a game room, a meeting table made out of a tuk-tuk*, and micro-kitchens and cafeterias providing staff with a wide array of food choices. Also in Singapore, the head office of Davison Design & Development, an invention promotion firm, is called "Inventionland". The facility houses 16 themed sets including a pirate ship, a cave, a giant robot, a tree house, and a motor speedway. It must be a real trip, just going to work every day!

In Newcastle on Tyne, United Kingdom, workers enjoy "Naked Fridays", when workers actually come to work in the nude---well, they actually probably disrobe once they get to the office. Workers like the fact that there are "no barriers" and the move has had a very positive effect on team spirit as well. Plus, they have undoubtedly received a lot of media coverage, which for the design and marketing company onebestway, is always welcome. (

In Moscow, the offices of TWIGA have a giraffe-theme. Their office features 836 figures and images of giraffes. What fun! However, the office of Pons and Huot in Paris has to win the award for the most unusual. There, each employee works under a Plexiglas canopy, which gives the illusion of privacy and security, while maintaining accessibility.

Enlightened organizations will look for ways to add fun to their workplaces, even if they cannot afford to giveaway food or other benefits. Even small and medium-size organizations will look for ways to create workspaces that are colorful and fun to compete with the larger companies.

* A tuk-tuk is a motorized or pedal bicycle with a cart on the back for carry people and parcels.

To see photographs of the offices mentioned here, visit

Special thanks to "Human Resources" Magazine in Singapore for highlighting most of these creative spaces.

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