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In this office play is as important as work

May 12, 2017 11:21 IST

Veenu Sandhu visits the new Adidas office in Gurugram, which is cultivating a refreshing new sports culture among its employees.

Adidas

IMAGE: Aptly named "Arena", the Adidas-cum-Reebok office in Gurugram office is an inspiring playground for collaborative and creative thinking. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters.

 

"Zumba class in 10 minutes."

The announcement rings out across the five floors of the new Adidas-cum-Reebok office in Gurugram.

Within no time, a group of employees, mostly women and some men, troop into the 5,500-sq ft state-of-the-art and free-for-employees gym to dance its way to fitness.

Unmindful of the charged up class, a few others go about their workout under the watchful eye of a trainer.

During the week, yoga, Pilates and CrossFit sessions will draw in more of these fitness enthusiasts.

Aptly named "Arena", the office is an inspiring playground for collaborative and creative thinking. Words such as "play", "games" and "sports" are the pivot around which it has been designed, starting from the terrace that has been converted into a football field.

The walls are sprinkled with images of sports stars and sporting terms, the graffiti on the stairs is inspired by sports and a history wall on the ground floor tells the journey of the Adidas and Reebok brands starting from 1920 and 1958, respectively.

On every floor, whether it houses the retail, sales, e-commerce, business development or the legal team, are "breakout zones" with sports-inspired décor such as punching bags and swings and small corners with a pantry.

The 260-odd employees, whose average age is 33, can use these as informal meeting places to brainstorm or they can simply carry their laptops here to work over coffee and snacks.

The wireless, hierarchy-less office, which is spread across 93,000 sf ft, allows them to operate out of any corner, including the well-stocked café that offers subsidised meals. Located not far from the gym, the café offers options to lounge on a sofa, dine at the long barrack-style table with high chairs or sit on the cushioned mattresses laid out on the floor along a vibrant graffiti wall.

Come lunch time and practically every seat here is taken.

If there is any sign of hierarchy, it is in the handful of cabins for the "very top management," says Arijit Sengupta, senior director-human resources-Adidas. But these too are made of glass as a commitment to the openness the office encourages.

Veenu Sandhu Gurugram
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