Imagine entering a building by going through a large tunnel with colorful, flashing lights leading to one of the many canteens that offer a wide variety of foods: anything from local to exotic with breakfast, lunch, and dinner served for free! Then go down a floor using an oval, futuristic elevator which opens onto a beautiful lounge space; an open area furnished with the latest modern design and a secret glass door that invites you to yet another world: a high-tech gym. Fully equipped with free towels and water bottles as well as different classrooms where yoga, pilates, and body pump lessons take place. Imagine a building which is completely pet friendly, where you can have your dog next to you the whole day or your bicycle stored in one of the multi dedicated spaces. Now imagine if this were the place where you worked every day.
It sounds more like an amusement park but this is reality for big companies in Silicon Valley like Facebook, Google, Apple, Dropbox…and so on. What I just described, in fact isn’t fantasy world but the headquarters of another colossal, Zynga: Provider of social game services with an annual revenue of US 1,2 billion, Zynga launched Farmville 1&2 and Texas Holdem Poker, just to name the most famous.
Its spectacular premises fuel creativity, cultivating the mind as much as the spirit. If you feel like resting there are amaca’s lying around the floor to spark big ideas, and video game machines situated in every corner just in case you feel like playing around or emptying your mind. Not to mention the TGF’s (thank god its friday) happy hours held at the end of the week announced with colorful grafitti that covers the surrounding walls and includes inspiring slogans such as “build games you love to play” or “Zynga is a meritocracy, be a CEO and own outcomes.” Companies here are about this: young, happy people in open spaces, who share ideas, take risks, move fast, build great products, and make their companie’s goal their own.
These are just some of the values that american companies hold. While Europe is facing the toughest unemployment crisis of all time, the US values its employees, investing in them and doing ANYTHING to make them stay. Informality rules, no dresscode, top managers are accesible to speak to (just send an email!), and formalities can be broken. Goes without saying, music to my ears, most of the companies here have a well developed corporate social responsability program; Zynga player’s for example raised 13 million dollars for their non-profit partners ( Save the Children, World food Program and other reknown NPO’s.)
What I love the most is that people don’t feel guilty about loving their work. Its not too late for Europe to begin changing its mentality, borrow the values that are successful here and rise from it’s ashes.