Fun, unusual office environments – could this be the secret to a happier workplace?

Since the dot.com boom in the mid to late 90’s, a plethora of “trendy” brands have famously challenged the convention of the professional office environment, instead opting to create a more casual, fun place to work. At Google’s office in Silicone Valley, employees are treated to on-site massages, table tennis, bowling and a climbing wall. In the UK, Innocent famously followed suit with grass flooring/picnic table theme and at Red Bull in London, you can travel from one floor to another on a giant slide.

While all of this sounds like a great deal of fun, the key question on our mind is: does it have any significant impact on employee attraction, engagement and retention? We believe it does, but only as part of a wider strategy to create an engaging culture within which people can be themselves, express their ideas and be heard.

We took a leaf out of the tech giants book and in creating our office concept we created a space with chilled break-out areas, table football, TV screens and arcade games. We painted the walls bright colours and brought our values (passion, ambition, success, care, together and pride) to life with visual wall art that acts as a constant visual reminder of our core values.

UGP HQ , Leeds

In doing all of this, we’ve created an environment that feels less like work, and more like a community. We don’t live in a grey world so why should our working environment, where we spend the majority of our time, be dull and grey? This helps us to attract great people to our business of course, but more importantly, it encourages happiness at work, which as we all know increases productivity and success.

UGP HQ , Leeds

Essentially we’re blurring the distinction between work and home and we show we care about our employee experience by aligning our workplace with what our people need. Coupled with a real focus on attractive benefits, investing in development and an overall culture of trust, we believe this is what has taken our culture from good to great.

UGP HQ , Leeds

Ultimately, the proof’s in the pudding – our last employee engagement survey revealed that 94% of our people feel great about coming to work every day and our attrition rate is less than 10%. In the UK energy sector, that’s almost unheard of!

UGP HQ , Leeds

If you’re interested in working for a company that puts its people first and continually invests in programmes that facilitate a happy, healthy working environment, visit www.ugp.co.uk/careers to view our current opportunities.

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