There are some incredible, inspiring workplaces in the world. With virtually unlimited budgets, the largest companies on the planet, such as Atlassian, Google and Facebook, have created extraordinary workplaces that have got to be seen to be believed. These workplaces are designed to create a community with their employees, where people WANT to be at work. They do this through well-designed working spaces, along with communal zones and breakout areas, to socialise, or work at a different pace. But this is not your usual, look-at-this-great-design, list. We wanted to instead bring you ideas that don’t come with an exorbitant shop-fitting bill!

As a small business, you can borrow some of the best ideas these businesses have implemented, to improve the culture and productivity at your workplace. Here’s some of our favourite inspiring workplaces and the practices they’ve created, which you can also implement, on a much smaller budget.

  1. Atlassian

The software giant, created by a couple of awesome Aussies, donates 1% of equity, profit, employee time and software licences are donated to non-profits! As part of this Foundation, employees are also given 5 paid days per year for community volunteering at a non-profit of their choice. They also have some incredible office spaces, however, with this kind of philanthropy, which can be implemented at a smaller scale for most businesses, we think they’re pretty inspiring.


  1. Google

Yes, Google’s offices are also amazing. But what’s really cool is that their top executives hold forums on Fridays called TGIF, where employees are able to ask questions of these executives about the company, and almost nothing is off limits. This is something every business could implement; and having open lines of communication with the top leadership team, can improve the confidence of the entire team.


  1. Facebook

From all reports, Facebook is strong on using their mission and values to make decisions and create an incredible corporate culture. This is probably best reflected, not by the perks of the office, such as the food, dry cleaning, barber, child care etc. but by having the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, sit at a desk, just like everyone else, in their huge, open plan offices. Having the leader of the company be part of the business at this level, encourages the team to work together as well as stay productive.


There are so many inspiring companies doing great work, and generally not on a budget anywhere near these three! Which local companies do you think deserve a shout-out as an inspiring business?