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Check Out These Fun Office Spaces
April 17, 2013
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No dismal grey cubicles here.

The work/play balance might not look like what most of us are used to, but the bosses at these offices insist their playful surroundings spur productivity.

At Southampton UK's Peer 1, where staff unwind with yoga and use giant slides to get from floor to floor, Dominic Monkhouse insists it's no gimmick.

"It's about creating an office which sets a very high expectation for our staff...it's about creating a workplace [that tells] staff we care."

It cost roughly $625,000 to convert the space from a bar (the kind of place where one escapes from work) into a place that's nearly as fun, but a lot more productive.

In fact, it's kept many of the features of a good bar.

Staff members tell BBC News they'll kick back and shoot pool or throw darts to take a break.

Peer 1's Sarah O'Callaghan says there are no set times for lunch or play and workers can even grab a pint while on the job, go for a stretch or play Foosball.

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One of the first places to design a workspace that had more in common with a Chuck E. Cheese than a cubicle farm was Pixar headquarters in Emeryville, California.

Its office has since inspired a lot of high-tech firms, including those like Peer 1, to turn their workspace into a place where people can play.

Here are some other fun workplaces where people are encouraged to play as much as they work.

Toronto's Google Offices

Google's recently opened digs features staff canteens like this one, serving up freebie breakfasts and lunches with seasonal ingredients. It's decorated with discarded bikes.

There's also a rooftop mini-putt, dotted with Toronto landmarks like the Prince's Gate, and plenty of vintage video games to while away the hours on the company dime.

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Photo: via BlogTo

Grupo Gallegos in Huntington Beach, California

Grupo Gallegos is an ad agency that focuses on the Spanish language market.

At its headquarters, which formerly housed a movie theatre, there's a great view of the Pacific Ocean.

Inverted umbrellas dot the ceiling and staffers can let off some steam with some one-on-one on the built-in basketball court - the company founder's favourite spot.

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Photo: Lawrence Anderson via Office Snapshots

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Photos: via Office Snapshots

Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California

When the company moved from its Palo Alto locale, it decided to give its new campus a vanity address, 1 Hacker Way, which pays homage to the culture at Facebook. This culture includes a fitness centre, free meals, and five fully-stocked bars.

You can read more about Facebook's headquarters at CNBC.

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Photo: Julia Boorstin via CNBC.com

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Photo: via Glass Door

Infosys in Bangalore, India

Established in 1981, Infosys is a global consulting and IT firm that trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company's got domestic firms beat with its gorgeous pool, and the in-house bowling lane is no strike against the place either.

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Photos: via Glass Door

You can check out more cool offices here.

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