Bunnies at the Office: A Creative Way to Make Employees Happy

Bunnies

BunniesI  often get requests to allow dogs, more fish tanks, and various other ideas for bringing more animals into FoolHQ. We Fools are mostly animal lovers, and there have been quite a few studies on how animal pictures and presence improve human health. For a number of reasons we can’t have animals in the office, but far be it from me to deny the people what they want. How did we give Fools beneficial animal-hugging time while following the rules? We hosted a bunny party. One might ask: What does a bunny party entail?

After some internet searching, Squeals on Wheels popped up as a local traveling petting zoo. We chose their Bunnies and Buddies package and they brought us bunnies, chicks, a hedgehog, a guinea pig, a tumbling pigeon, and a potbelly pig for two hours. We then picked out delicious bunny-themed snacks: Trix cereal, Annie’s Bunny Grahams, Blue Bunny Ice Cream, carrots and other bunny-beloved veggies.

As soon as noon hit, Fools poured out to the office backyard to marvel at the adorable creatures. I personally fell in love with an incredibly soft Angora rabbit. The event was a wonderful way to see all the love Fools had for various animals. I also liked watching people be patiently excited to hold the creatures. It was a really nice, warm, fuzzy sort of day. The food was delicious, the animals were super sweet, and they brought huge smiles to everyone’s faces. For me it was also rewarding because Angora rabbits are one of my shameless Google search happy places so it was nice to also know what they are like beyond the internet pictures!

I wholeheartedly recommend incorporating animals into the work experience as long as it is a positive one for both people and animals. How can you do this? If you allow your employees to bring pets to the office, you’re already there! But if not, a fun activity like we planned can help. Or just encourage employees to send around links to adorable animal photos. You’ll help improve their focus and productivity, with no risk of allergic reactions!

Fools = Friends

Fools at Kings Dominion

Fools at Kings Dominion Merging work life and personal life may freak some people out.

But there is something really nice about actually enjoying the people you spend most of your day with – and let’s face it – most of your life with. Eight hours a day= half of the time most people are awake on a daily basis!

Each year, our health benefit survey asks us if we have a best friend at The Fool. Not a normal employee survey question, right? The first time I read it, I was actually taken by surprise. I had never really thought about it. But it made me realize that, yes, I DID have a person like that; someone I shared far more than work with, a friend that I would spend weekends and nights out with.

When I read that question, I was still fairly new at The Fool, only have been a few months in. And then, I was close to the members on my immediate team but not as close to other Fools outside of my team. I’ve been here more than two years now, and that question now seems silly to me.

Now, I am ecstatic when the question comes up. I get to reminisce about all the people and funny experiences I’ve had with so many different Fools. It is not about popularity; I’ve just realized how important and fulfilling it is for me personally to be in a supportive atmosphere. Friendships are not something that normally come as naturally for coworkers. But, they do here at The Fool. We hire such wonderful people.

You know that feeling when you come home from second grade, brimming with excitement, ready to tell your parents what you learned that day? Well, in this situation, Fools act the same way! They get just as jazzed by what you are learning, the things you are working on, and what you love to do in life as you do. I’ll be honest; we are not perfect,  and we don’t all get along all the time. Just like any family, you have difficulties, and you learn to work through them and love them anyway. To help remedy those tougher times, I tell my team to branch out and become close with Fools all over the company. Creating your network of support gives you the space and tools you need to be successful.

Fools have oozed into all sorts of aspects of my life. I went to a Fool’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, played on a Bocce team of Fools, went to some theatre, and enjoyed many birthday parties – all activities outside of work and all with people that I consider genuine friends, not just coworkers.  That level and kind of support are what make The Fool an amazing place to work for me personally.

The saying that you are lucky if it takes more than one hand to count how many great friends you have is true; but to be able to say that you have that many Fools to count, that’s priceless.

How We Help to Make Foolish Memories

Foolishness

FoolishnessI know you’ve heard and heard, and probably heard some more, about our culture here at The Motley Fool. Some of you may be sick of it by now, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that some of you may want more – or wonder what it really is that makes our culture so superb.

Well, I can’t give you all of the secrets, but I can tell you that it is one full of mischief and passion for everything that you could imagine. As a member of Office Ops – please see the previous post titled “Ode to Office Ops” if you’d like – we make it our team goal to make Fools happy. We go far beyond ordering office supplies and lunch. In fact, the Ops team strives to create memorable experiences to enrich Fools’ lives.

How do we do that? We make people feel comfortable in their office setting, welcoming newbies at events when they may not know a ton of Fools yet, making sure people have healthy food to grab if they are having a busy day full of meetings, and managing schedules for in-house relaxation benefits – insert the oohs and aahs about our subsidized massages, manicures, and pedicures here. We also plan monthly events – including outings like zip-lining, going to a DC United game, or taking the day to go to Kings Dominion. And we also have in-house events quite frequently – including happy hours, international food day, chili cook offs, and pizza and cake days.

We don’t just do this to make it the absolute best place to work in the universe. That’s a given. We do it because we want Fools to have memories with their fellow Fools, with their families, and possibly even with trying things outside of their comfort zones. Some Fools work on a day-to-day basis with other Fools on projects, but it is hard to work with every Fool – so these activities provide the place and time to interact with each other without the actual work getting in the way. We here at The Fool feel that the better you know Fools – their names, jobs, and personal strengths – the better you can navigate your projects, and the more successful and efficient those projects become. Knowing everyone creates an omniscient collaboration. And as we continue to collaborate and get to know each other personally, we figure out hidden talents – like who can handle a grill, and who can win a Kinect dance off. Being able to pinpoint what makes Fools excited about life only makes all of our work experience that much better.

And if we get to partake in a few pieces of cake, and maybe even a massage, in the meantime – well, then, that’s nirvana.