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Cool Offices

Walk Your Work Off

Hey desk-jockeys, being too busy to exercise has just been blown out the water.

Tracy Lee Nicol

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Did you know sitting for too long, all day, every day, makes your life shorter? The evolution of the human body has been centered on standing upright and walking, meaning our modern, desk-centric lives has increased the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other metabolic illnesses.

The solution? Get moving. “But I’m too busy to leave my desk,” we hear you say.

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No More excuses

Then make your desk exercise friendly. Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic, US, has been very worried about the health of desk-jockeys, so he’s come up with a plan: The Desk Treadmill.

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And it does exactly what it says on the tin. He’s taken a treadmill, combined it with a desk, and now you can truly flex your ability to multi-task. Don’t worry about face-planting in front of all your colleagues, though: the Treadmill Desk runs at a leisurely 2km/h, and users of all ages and fitness levels can burn about 100 calories per 2km.

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And when your health and wellbeing is at stake, what’s an investment of approximately $2000 in your longevity? Even Google and Microsoft have seen the value in getting their staff moving and have set up communal areas with desk treadmills. But you don’t need to be a cube-farm corporate giant with a massive budget…

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Home-made versions also can be easily made using, well, a desk and a treadmill. Just watch those speed settings.

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And for the desk-bound exercise bunnies out there, you can even pimp your treadmill with other equipment, like this model with a built in Pilates ball.

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Think speed-walking is for girls? Try the spinning version. Just go easy on the cardio when on the phone to clients…

Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.

Cool Offices

6 Companies With Amazing Office Layouts To Inspire Your Office Redesign

Wide open spaces, a petting zoo, a napping space? What will it take to make your employees stay forever?

Anna Johansson

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Creating the perfect office environment is a major challenge for new and experienced entrepreneurs alike. Your workplace environment affects the morale of every member of your team, including you, and is responsible for forming that important first impression of every prospective client who walks in the door.

But rather than sit and speculate about how to make your office better, why not look to some great examples of companies that have already mastered it?

Key principles

Throughout the following examples, you’ll see the following principles in action:

  • Adherence to brand values and personality. First, every office seems to “fit” with the overall culture and personality of the brand offering it. This provides the groundwork for better team cohesion and establishes a more powerful identity for the company.
  • Sensory experiences. There are interesting sights, sounds and even pleasant smells, making each office seem both unique and welcoming. Small environmental changes here can make a big difference.
  • Comfort and convenience. Finally, most of these office designs aim to make life more comfortable and convenient for these businesses’ employees. Comfort and convenience lead to higher employee retention and better on-the-job performance.

Now let’s dig into six companies whose offices make work more appealing to everyone involved:

  1. Google
  2. Carbon Black
  3. Nokia
  4. HomeAdvisor
  5. Moz
  6. Domino’s Pizza
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Cool Offices

10 Examples Of Companies With Fantastic Cultures

Looking to boost employee retention and happiness at your business? Follow in the footsteps of these 10 companies.

Sujan Patel

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Having great company culture is no longer just an option. Today’s workers consider it as much as they consider salary and benefits. In fact, fantastic company culture is almost expected along with other traditional benefits.

While the culture that works for one company might not work for another, you can learn a lot from companies who are doing it right, and get started on company culture hacks of your own.

  1. Zappos
  2. Warby Parker
  3. Southwest Airlines
  4. Twitter
  5. Chevron
  6. SquareSpace
  7. Google
  8. REI
  9. Facebook
  10. Adobe
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Cool Offices

(Slideshow) Bizarre Buildings

From a germ-free building to one built in a bomb shelter, we take a look at some of the strangest yet functional buildings around the world.

Alison Job

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The-Bubble-Building-Cool Offices-Cool BusinessThe Bubble Building. This inflatable, antibacterial building was designed to keep out germs in the Shanghai city centre. While it may resemble a giant jumping castle, if built it will provide an ultra-clean office space.

The building could be created using inflatables made of white antibacterial nylon that are placed around the exterior of an ordinary office building.

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