How First-Class Facilities Make Lululemon One of the Best Places to Work
In Glassdoor’s 2018 ranking of the best places to work, athleisure giant Lululemon came in at number six. The list is compiled from employee reviews, so the winners are based not on the caliber of work a company produces, but rather on the strength and ingenuity of their culture and office design. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that Facebook took the top spot (for the third time in eight years, no less), but each and every company celebrated on this year’s list earned their place due to management's ability to value employee well-being as much as their bottom line.
While Lululemon’s comfy dress code may have played a small role in the company’s ranking this year, it’s the first-class facilities in their Vancouver headquarters that really make them stand out from the crowd. From a fully-functional yoga studio to the incorporation of art and other imaginative areas, Lululemon understands how to create an inclusive corporate culture that has employees excited to come to work in the morning.
If you’re looking for ways to add a little intrigue to your office space while also improving its functionality and efficiency, it might be worth taking a page out of Lululemon’s book.
Amazing art and organic installations
An innovatively designed office can impact employees' productivity, ability to collaborate on projects and their sense of belonging in the space. Even more so, warm and welcoming offices can go a long way in attracting top talent, retaining great employees and reducing staff turnover.
Lululemon has taken this employee-first workplace mentality to the next level by creating a space that is as soothing as it is stimulating. Step inside their Vancouver HQ and you’ll come face to face with an impressive 553-square-foot urban greenery wall. This organic tapestry features more than 2,500 individual plants of 19 different species, providing both employees and guests with the opportunity to breathe a bit easier in a near-natural environment.
Connecting employees with nature through live plants and natural light sources can be a powerful tool in driving workplace focus and creativity. However, Lululemon’s greenery wall is at the extreme end of the spectrum, and facility managers can achieve similar results by investing in much more budget-friendly options like potted plants and terrariums.
Programs that promote mental and physical well-being
It only makes sense that a company known for their athleisure wear would promote mental and physical well-being among their employees. But how Lululemon does it is a different story.
Instead of encouraging activities outside of the office, employees are given the opportunity to exercise their mind and body each work day. The Lululemon HQ comes equipped with its very own yoga studio where they host in-house classes, as well as a meditation room. With the help of "mindfulness managers", employees can find mental clarity when they are feeling the weight of their workload.
Lululemon thought leaders believe that this commitment to well-being can improve employee concentration, productivity and overall happiness.
By enforcing these kinds of wellness programs, facility managers can encourage a positive mental health environment.
That’s not to say you need to build a yoga studio in your office, but you can start by encouraging—or even insisting—employees take brief breaks from their work every few hours to recharge and reboot.
Spacious work areas and modern design
It’s not all rest and relaxation in the Lululemon HQ though, as the company’s office innovations extend beyond yoga classes and health initiatives. Their HQ is also built to benefit employee productivity by encouraging collaboration and a team-focused mentality.
Instead of sitting behind a desk, employees are welcome to hang out in collaborative meeting areas featuring floor pillows and cozy ottomans. These shared spaces promote a sense of community and provide the opportunity to switch things up. Not only does this office design encourage employees to easily brainstorm, but it also means that the best possible use is being made of potentially restricted office space.
At the heart of Lululemon’s office design is a desire to get creative. Though every industry differs, those offices that foster an inclusive and supportive environment can make employees feel the most comfortable. The caliber of work that a company produces is only one factor in determining a great place to work—just as important, if not more so, is the kind of culture they promote, the facilities they offer and the attributes they exhibit.
If you’re looking to turn your office from a good place to work into a great one, consider thinking outside the box and creating an office space that encourages more than just meeting targets and deadlines.
If you’d like to learn what other first-class companies are doing, take a look at what makes AirBnB’s office so inspiring.
Photo Credits: Flickr / m01229, Shutterstock / Ariadna de Raadt, Shutterstock / Halfpoint