#1: Zillow Inc.
If you ever find yourself as a new employee at Zillow, get ready to have some fun. The Seattle-based online real-estate information titan is anything but buttoned up. First, you’ll be issued a FitBit — and a friendly challenge from your new coworkers to keep moving throughout the day. Then you’ll receive an Amazon Kindle that’s already loaded with one of Zillow’s book club selections. And then it’s off to the races.
Zillow’s corporate base occupies five ultrahip floors of the Russell Investments Center in downtown Seattle. There are no offices here and throughout the open floor plan one can find treadmill desks (even a treadmill conference room), Starbucks espresso machines and regular yoga classes. The absence of walls and the constant exchange of ideas give Zillow the atmosphere of a startup, even though there are more than 800 employees in the Seattle office.
“I still don’t think of us as big,” says Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow’s chief marketing officer. “Zillow really has a startup culture in how we work, in how everyone has a voice, but also in our transparency and open office culture. It’s important to us.”
So is having fun. During the company’s twice-yearly Hack Week, employees are encouraged to find creative solutions to a problem of their choosing. One worker installed a “coffee cam” near the espresso machines so employees could avoid long lines.
The reason for all this fun, Bohutinsky explains, is simple. “Happy people,” she says, “create great products.”
Smartsheet’s cloud-based project-management software has revolutionized the spreadsheet. With clients ranging from Google to NASA to Toms Shoes, Smartsheet has a proven product that raised $70 million in venture capital since 2006. All that success has been fueled by a workforce that is treated to unparalleled benefits, including fully covered health insurance for employees and their families.
Limeade creates web-based employee-engagement platforms for Fortune 1,000 companies, so it only makes sense that the Bellevue firm would lead by example. Limeade’s offices are loaded with fun: a ski- and snowboard-themed “powder room,” treadmill and cycling desks, scooters, ping pong tables, 30-minute meditation sessions on Mondays, and frequent “plank-off” competitions. All of which have Limeade’s employees feeling healthy, happy and successful, just like their clients.