Are we the coolest office in DC? Well, Fools sure think so – but it doesn’t hurt that DC Inno just profiled our Alexandria headquarters as part of their Office Envy series! We take pride in maintaining a dynamic workplace that appeals to many different personalities. These featured photos also show that Fools love board games (we stock a collection on the 4th Floor!); working on the balcony in nice weather rules; couches are used for working (not sleeping!); and wellness really plays a huge part in Foolish productivity.
Fools like to be different, so our unique workspaces here at FoolHQ shouldn’t be all that shocking. In addition to beanbags and height-adjustable desks, we also house a ball pit. Yes – an old-school ball pit that Fools actually use for meetings and work. In fact, it moves around the office because it’s pretty popular.
No matter how much we innovate office aesthetics, our goal of sustaining a productive culture stays put. We keep work fun, which sometimes means that pranking is involved. The most recent scene of the crime was the ballpit itself…
From our Foolish Recruiting Team:
Here at FoolHQ, it’s our first week of the summer without interns. The office is a little quieter, the game room is a lot emptier, and the preparation for next year is already under way. A few of our interns have been crowned full time Fools and most returned to their college campuses… but they all made a significant footprint in our business that will help us help the world invest – better.
An internship at the Fool is a lot like full time employment with the Fool. We work on hard problems, we are immersed in cross-functional teams, and we strive to deliver the highest impact and best solution to our members. One of our software development interns helped design and build a centralized platform that will allow peer-to-peer sharing of investing research. When she wasn’t publishing articles to our Canadian site, our international intern researched the regional stock market that links the exchanges of Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Chile so the team could better understand the Latin American market. Our investing interns wrote articles for Fool.com when they weren’t preparing for team-wide stock pitches, podcast recordings, and 10-K challenges.
In addition to team-specific goals, the intern cohort spent lots of time together #collaborating and #learning. They graduated from Fool University after taking classes on business valuations, retention marketing, global operations, how to build a computer from scratch, and several other courses. They also spent a lot of time together learning what toppings to put on ice cream sundaes, which surface is most practical for a high volume of push-ups, which of the nine pizza shops make the best pie on pizza day, and how to scale a mountain in West Virginia. We’re serious about that last one- check out the pics below!
While the Fool’s Summer 2015 Internship program has come to an end, the magic is in the works to make next summer’s adventure even better. If you’re interested in spending a summer interning with us, stay tuned for details over the coming months. We’ll be hosting an open house during winter break so you can talk to the various teams that host interns, learn more about our business, check out our unconventionally sweet office space, and maybe- just maybe- leave with some Fool swag. To get on the VIP list for that open house, be sure to include the phrase “robots float on clouds” when sign-ups become available. Trust us, you’ll know it when you see it.
Do you ever wonder how many push-ups you could achieve at any given moment? Get down and give us 20! In all seriousness, take a few minutes to count the number you’re able to reach. Is it 5? 10? 142? Now – if you’re not too tired – think about how many push-ups your entire company could collaboratively log. We actually answered this question for ourselves during June’s Fool-wide Push-Up Wellness Challenge.
This competition definitely showed off more than muscle. At the start of June, Wellness Coordinator Sam Whiteside challenged Fools to sign up for push-up brackets of 500; 1,000; 3,000; 5,000; and 10,000. All Foolish health challenges are optional, with the goal being for each Fool to attain their personal goal in 30 days. Over 80 Fools signed up for June’s contest, pausing daily to push-up during meetings, stand-ups, and (naturally) Sam’s wellness classes.
To help Sam reach her own participation goal for this competition, People Team Fools cooked up a surprise plan. On June 30, we launched Push-Up to Pamper Sam, a one-day challenge that unlocked prizes for Sam at set tiers. The categories kicked off with a tiny solar plant and breakfast delivery, soon escalating to gift cards at Port City Brewery, Sugar House Day Spa & Salon, and Zweet Sport. The amounts gave room for Sam to bring along other Fools, too.
Throughout the day, Fools everywhere pushed – literally and figuratively – to unlock the tough tiers. Progress was monitored with a spreadsheet while Fools sent regular updates on a Slack channel. As the day rolled along, a total of 189 Fools participated – and the challenge didn’t stop once office lights dimmed. Fools were active online even after midnight, all encouraging one another to do more for the team.
We finished with an impressive count of 31,043 push-ups in one day. Fools surpassed all seven tiers in the 7a-11:59p Push Up to Pamper Sam challenge, contributing to a final count of 170,198 Fool push-ups in June. Do your arms hurt yet?
June 30 didn’t turn out to be a typical Foolish Tuesday. On the final day of our June wellness challenge, Fools all over the world seriously rallied. Such support symbolized how well Fools can come together to make major things happen for the love of our company or, in this case, a fellow Fool. We’re adding this record to the books!
We get a lot of questions during First Friday Fool HQ tours about our – shall we say unique – office design. How do Fools work so well in an open layout? Where did you buy this furniture? Who gets a standing desk? Are bicycle desks comfortable? Our Office Operations Fools, also in-house experts on workplace design, never miss a beat. From Fool HQ renovations to scouting spaces in New York and Australia, this team truly understands the importance of workplace ambience.
Research shows that the right professional environment can ignite creativity and encourage focus. According to one study, wall colors are also a factor: “Test-takers surrounded by red walls were better at skills requiring accuracy and attention to detail, while workers in blue environments were more creative.”
After months of planning, we’re excited to share photos of our new office in Colorado. Appropriately dubbed Foolorado, this space houses just a few internal Fools for now. The goal was to create an office mimicking Fool HQ but with a new vibe tailored to Colorado.
A team of 4 Fools made the trip to unpack, move, arrange, rearrange, and finally perfect the space’s look. Tech Fools also tagged along to set up the best remote connections and ensure that Internet access was on par.
Are you renovating space or even moving to a new office location? Leader of the Ops team Melissa Malinowski has some advice: “Talk to employees who practice many different types of working styles. Ask people what they love about their current work environment and what could be better. Create a view-book and ask for input on colors and styles. Everyone works in the environment every day. You want people to feel safe, comfortable, healthy, and more effective or productive than they would be if they stayed home.”
It’s another plus that beautiful mountain views are what Fools will see at work – instead of a blank wall or dreaded cubicle. Foolorado On!
Depending on a company’s approach, the definition of corporate wellness can stretch over a pretty broad spectrum. In addition to offering free 1:1 personal training, subsidized in-house massages, and a variety of fitness classes, Head Wellness Fool Sam Whiteside thinks outside of the box. We couldn’t agree more that our “health and fitness perks are off the charts” and feel excited to appear on Mashable’s list of companies with “amazingly unique wellness programs.”
Ranking #4 on a list surrounded by companies like Google, Fitbit, and Zappos, The Motley Fool was recognized for our fun fitness challenges, monthly health newsletter, and frequent involvement in area marathons and races. Sam Whiteside also shared that the Fool’s wellness engagement is nearly 86%.
See Mashable’s full feature on Foolish Fitness here!
Creating social connections in the workplace isn’t a bad idea, especially now that employees are spending more time at the office. Having a friend at work can boost productivity levels, inspire collaboration, and offer an extra helping hand for coffee runs. When you think about it, company referral programs allow many people to earn jobs as a result of friendships. No matter how someone lands a new position, people appreciate feeling like they’re part of a family – even if it’s at work.
Our annual Fools-only retreat called “Foolapalooza” serves as the perfect opportunity to spark new friendships. The full day of business meetings (that we still keep Foolish, by the way) ended with a celebration at a local restaurant this year. Fools were able to mingle, meet new hires, and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments together.
If you’re looking for new ways to engage your employees, consider planning a social outing. The event can even be at your office – we keep cornhole sets and other games handy during the summer for impromptu gatherings. Giving employees an outlet to socialize after-hours can pull more benefits back into your workplace. Plus, doesn’t it make for a more comfortable professional environment when you know your coworkers’ names?
Though Fools always strive to educate, amuse, and enrich, the amuse part is clutch on April Fool’s Day. In fact, it’s celebrated throughout our office – and on Fool.com. The Motley Fool deemed April 1 a Foolish holiday long ago, and we’re happy to report that the fun is still in full force. But as there’s always a method to madness, we do have a meaning behind our practical jokes.
Fool.com advertised a Kiddie Credit Card, which offered plastic that would charge children an interest rate of 7% plus their age. While its promo video got some laughs, our sincere thought was to inform readers of conniving credit card tricks and unwitting fees. Our team also shared helpful ideas about introducing finance to youngsters, along with tips on building budgets and good credit. If you’re interested in learning more about chatting money with teens, here’s a good start.
Speaking of Foolishness, you may have noticed our “urgent” job posting for Senior VP, Meeting Resolutions. Well…that position doesn’t exactly exist BUT there are plenty of other Foolish jobs just waiting to be filled. We want to discover the best talent – which might be you, falling for our April Fool’s Day joke! In all seriousness, be sure to check out this site frequently for active – and real – job postings.
Since one of our core values is fun, we ended this April Fool’s Day with a party. And Nerf Guns were involved…naturally.
Oh! And a sword swallower… #Foolish
It’s that time of year again – March Madness is back! Although this month signals an exciting time for sports fans, most companies aren’t as enthused. Research shows that March Madness can be distracting to employees, plus decreased productivity is estimated to cost American companies nearly $2 billion dollars in 2015.
Perhaps the real madness lies behind employers banning the tournament from workplaces. That’s right – just hear us out. Our own Sam Cicotello said to The Washington Post, “”If employers lock things down, what that ends up doing is putting the employee in a very bad spot, where they have to lie and can’t do something they enjoy.”
Like The Motley Fool, more organizations are starting to view March Madness in a positive light. If the tournament is embraced, it can be the perfect opportunity to foster collaboration and build employee relationships.
Still not convinced? Sam Cicotello shared a few more Foolish thoughts on March Madness in The Washington Post’s feature – click here to read on!