Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

Some work environments and people can be strict and smothering. What work places are known for being relaxed and somewhat tolerable?

Asked by Blackberry (29398 points ) February 28th, 2014

Sometimes I fantasize about a place where I could work, but still feel like a human being. Where it’s ok to laugh it up with co workers and not feel physically, emotionally, and/or mentally uneasy by simply approaching the building.

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51 Answers

Seek's avatar

Head shop.

Cruiser's avatar

My work environment is a relaxed as it can possibly get. I hired the best people for their job and in doing so I feel I owe them the space to do their job as they see fit. As long as the work gets done I am happy and they are even happier. Need a day off??? Take it just don’t abuse it. The real fun part is the employees all look out for each other and in a way set their own rules that are stricter than ones I would put into place.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve heard Google is pretty laid back.

Seek's avatar

Along the same vein, I wish I was knowledgeable enough to work in a marijuana dispensary. I bet it would be a fantastic environment.

Maybe I could bake for one. Yes on 2, Floridians!

janbb's avatar

Libraries are often surprisingly pleasant places to work in.

ucme's avatar

Brothel
Yoga clinic
Jamaican fire station, “Yea, chill mon, de wind will put out the fyiar, nottin ta worry aboot.”

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Self-employment.

I have my own sole-proprietorship, and I love it. My schedule’s 100% flexible, my boss is terrific, and I adore my co-workers. :-) And, the commute can’t be beat – from my bed to my desk.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^ Nice. I owned my own business. I loved it. No one to tell me how to do something USELESSLY AND WRONG!! But the stress was overwhelming too.

cookieman's avatar

College Professor.

At least at the college I work at, the teachers are physically in class 12–16 hours a week, at their desks for “office hours” an additional 4 hours a week for a total of 16–20 a week on campus.

The remaining hours can be spent off campus, at home, or wherever for “professional development”. This can be for grading, curriculum development, or simply reading. No one checks and they don’t have to document this time. It’s very chill.

gailcalled's avatar

Quaker secondary schools.

Coloma's avatar

Interior design, my passion.
It is a cardinal rule that the home owners/sellers are gone, gone, gone, and not allowed to drop in unless called for until the job is complete.
Work for me, I am super easy going and very diplomatic when I want something.
I believe in taking lots of breaks and flowing along, it always comes together. :-)

I need creative flexibility and do not do well in rigidly structured and micro-managed environments.

Juliasmile's avatar

I bet a tree and plant nursery would be Heavenly.

JLeslie's avatar

Assuming we are not counting having your own business, I liked working in retail for those reasons. I was paid to talk and socialize most of the time. Working in the stores can have brutal hours, which is it’s big negative. I worked for a while for vendors and that was fun and the hours are easier and more flexible. I went in the stores, straightened up, talked to the managers and sales associates, and looked for selling opportunities to tell the home office. Depends how much money you want to make though.

A lot of the tech companies are laid back, but not as social as retail. Most of those companies you can dress comfortable and as long as you are getting your work done you are valued and managers tend to be easy going, straight forward people.

There are so many careers it is almost impossible to really answer the question, because so much matters on the particular company and particular management.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Sailing yachts from point of purchase to the buyers has been a nice way to make a living. Barely. But it’s a lot of fun.

Recently, I’ve been herding goats and looking after some fruit trees with the help of a hilarious border collie named Sam and a sugar-cane addicted burro named Betsy. It’s a nice way to live.

My Day:
Milk and feed the the goats, feed the sheep, feed Betsy, feed the chickens, cut all the animals loose, gather the eggs, take the milk and eggs into town with Sam, talk to a man about getting some labor up here during harvest, check on the boat, get Betsy out of the sugar cane, make cheese and check the cellar, get Betsy out of the sugar cane again, make repairs to the fence where Betsy got into the sugar cane, check the cane press and make sure it’s in working order (Betsy watches warily knowing that a working press means she will soon be harnessed to it) check on the pecan, avocado, mango, banana and mandarin trees with Sam; get that goddamed burro out of the sugar cane again, round up the goats and a few sheep with Sam; milk the goats, feed the all the animals and put ‘em to bed. Go for a an evening walk around the place with Sam.

Seems like a full day, but it’s really not. There’s a lot of time left over to mess around in the kitchen, read, write, watch old movies, hang out with Sam. It’s not a bad life. I eat and sleep good.

I always thought being a gardner at San Simeon in California or the Biltmore Estate in Ashville would be a pleasant gig. Working with hybrids in the greenhouse during inclement weather, otherwise out in the sun planting my creations in these beautiful, serene environments. A few good horticulture courses would probably get you onboard.

Or work as the librarian or curator in a small library, art collection, or history museum somewhere. Sweet.

Blackberry's avatar

@gailcalled That’s…very specific.

Blackberry's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus That’s amazing. Is that you, Candide? :)

Seek's avatar

I want @Espiritus_Corvus ‘s day.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Blackberry ?Que?
How the hell do you print upside down on this site?

JLeslie's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus It’s not the site it’s your keyboard. Do you have a traditional keyboard on a laptop or an ipad? Or, you can copy paste it. ¿

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Traditional. I thought there was a code for this. I suppose I could get into the Contol Panel and change keyboards if I really, really, really wanted to. But not for one upside down Spanish question mark. PIA.

Thanks, @Seek_Kolinahr. I’d like to invite you, Ian, and the hub, and a few from others Fluther up here, but I’m just the caretaker here and thankful for the gig. I really needed to get off the water for a while.

gailcalled's avatar

@Blackberry: It is but it is still a wonderful working environment.

@Espiritus_Corvus; Among your astonishing and enviable skills, can you draw or do cartoons? There’s a charming book starring Betsy the burro; it has almost written itself. (I know a really nice librarian who can draw)

With a Mac desktop or laptop, there’s an easy trick for the upside-down question mark. Hold down “shift,” and “control” and hit “right slash.” ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ Olé. (Note the accent/)

Seek's avatar

My five year old would love to read about Betsy and Sam in the Sugar Cane.

JLeslie's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I found this “holding down the Alt key and pressing 0191, 6824, or 168 on the number pad and the inverted exclamation mark ”¡” with number pad code 0161 or 173. In Microsoft Word, the inverted question and exclamation marks can be typed by holding down the Ctrl, Alt, and shift keys while typing a normal question or exclamation mark, or by typing either mark at the start of the sentence whilst in the Spanish language mode.”

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, and the character map. I think it is under programs. Programs, accessories, tools, characters, something like that. Mac is easier, but I assume you don’t have a mac.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@gailcalled Funny you should mention that. I was racking my brain just yesterday for a project this librarian and I could work on. I think we both could use one right now. No, I don’t draw that well.

@JLeslie Got it. Thank you.

@Blackberry ¿Que?

JLeslie's avatar

¡Perfecto! Which method did you use?

gailcalled's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus; Our mutual friend can. I have a seventeen-year old buddy who just wrote, illustrated and published this charmer about a near-sighted bee.

Theodore’s Valley

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@JLeslie Um, uh.. I copypasta’d from another thread. Sorry.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@gailcalled I know. Theodor’s Valley looks really good. And Sierra is addressing a universal obstacle all schoolchildren face. I will order it. I suppose I better start reading the genre. My feeling is that you really have to be clean, very special, pure place to think like a kid. I’m living in the right place for that. .

Coloma's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus
I am officially proposing in front of the Universe and Fluther.

Will you marry me?

Your goats my geese, a decent little dowry. lol

gailcalled's avatar

I will immediately get a “Minister by mail” degree and marry you. Oh, wait. @Seek_Kolinahr already is online-ordained. And is living relatively near-by.

One of my nephews was recently married. His bride’s two goats were the ring bearers. I will try to find the pictures. They stole the show.

Seek's avatar

I am! I can legally marry in most states in our fine Union.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Jesus. Does the groom have anythihng to say about this? I have a feeling you guys are about to launch into writing up the place setting cards, ordering the cake, deciding on what horrible dresses you will inflict upon the maidens of honor…

Coloma, I have always respected everything you’ve written here and I wouldn’t want to hurt you for the world….

Winston is backing out of thhe room…

Coloma's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Hahaha…..tongue in cheek my dear fellow, not my tongue in your cheek. Well damn, if you don;t have a good sense of humor it would never work. Got your goat a wee bit maybe. lol ;-P

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Of coourse, of coourse, of course… (Phew!)

Seek's avatar

Aw, man. And I just finished embroidering my priest’s collar.

gailcalled's avatar

‘The goats’ outfits are already in place. A good bath and shampoo and some colorful satin ribbens with bells attached. Sorry, Winston. Alea jacta est.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Box cars? Like the one I just about hopped out of here a moment ago?

kritiper's avatar

As a mechanic, a fleet shop. (A place where you work on your own company’s vehicles.)

Buttonstc's avatar

Face Painter, Balloon sculpturer, Magician, Clown or Family entertainer. Pick one or dabble among them. Plenty of smiles, fun and flexible scheduling.

If you don’t really enjoy working with kids then ignore the above suggestions :)

Buttonstc's avatar

Someone above mentioned Google and I second the motion. They’ve got a fabulous cafeteria with more types of food than you can count, a concierge service to handle things like your laundry and dry cleaning and just about anything else that would take you off the property.

People can bring their pets in to work. They have several playrooms for video games or ping pong as well as a gym and people can take breaks whenever they want.

As long as the work is getting done, they don’t care when or how you schedule it.

I saw a lengthy segment on a news show (like 60 Mins.) which showed all this and its the only time I’ve ever wished I were more tech savvy.

They receive tons of applications of course but if you land a job at Google, its a pretty sweet gig.

janbb's avatar

@Buttonstc the trade-off is that you have to work your ass off. For all the bells and whistles, working for Google is not a walk in the park.

Haleth's avatar

Working at an adult bookstore was like that. It’s the only retail job I’ve ever heard of where you didn’t HAVE to be nice to the customers. It was way more important for us to be on the lookout for things like shoplifters, drunk people trying to have sex in the dressing room, and creepy flasher guys.

The owners were like the ladies from the Portlandia feminist bookstore and the staff were like the kids from Empire Records. (I got a job there because they didn’t mind me having blue hair.) It was the kind of job that people got to pay for ramen noodles and weed while crashing on a friend’s couch.

We would mostly just stand around talking about Star Wars or our favorite bands or whatever, except that sex talk was part of the watercooler chat. Whenever I used to tell people I worked there, the reaction would be sort of, wink, wink, nudge nudge, OH REALLY? as if we were having pillow fights in our underwear all day or something. It was more like, everyone told lots of dick jokes, and we would talk about queefing while making armpit farts for sound effects. Or we would, like, have swordfights with the merchandise. A while ago I went back there to visit one of my friends, and he was just sitting on the counter strumming a guitar, not a care in the world.

Buttonstc's avatar

@janbb

I see the point but for people who are good at techy computer stuff and are young without family commitments, they’re spending the day doing what they love.

And many wise people have observed, if you’re doing what you love, you never have to work a day in your life. For people who enjoy this stuff, that’s certainly true.

And employees who feel valued by their employers are happy to work however hard or long as its necessary.

For me it would be torture but give me a library or teaching job and I’m happy as a clam.

But for people who dislike dealing with children, being a teacher could be torture. Its all a matter of perspective.

And Google attracts computer nerds who love this stuff. The fact that they can take breaks when THEY feel like it plus all the other perks is just icing on the cake.

In the beginning days of both Apple and Microsoft both Jobs and Gates worked killer hours. The lived ate and slept computer code frequently camping in their offices. But they loved this stuff.

For you and me it might appear as inhumane torture, but they loved every demanding minute of it and recalled it fondly when speaking about it.

But they were young, without wife and kids and subsisting on pizza and grabbing a few hours shut eye on the office floor in between hours upon hours of coding was Nirvana for them.

My hunch is that its likely similar at Google. One of the owners admitted that ONE of the reasons for the concierge service, pets and other perks is so that people willingly spend the majority of their time at work. They want it to be attractive to them to do so rather than an oppressive sweatshop type of atmosphere.

Its the old “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” wisdom. But they’re being quite upfront about it. And if anyone working there is unhappy with it they can leave and it won’t take long go replace them.

Somehow, I’ve got a feeling that they have remarkably low employee turnover. Just a hunch.

Cruiser's avatar

@ucme That made me laugh Mon!

Blackberry's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Oh, I was referencing Voltaire’s Candide. :)

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Blackberry Yeah, I’ve lately envisioned the end of the journey like Candide’s; or old, benign Casanova happily organising the good Baron’s library, writing his memoirs by lamplight until the quill drops from his hands.

janbb's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Perhaps you could be a Visiting Writer in my special collections room? I’m not sure where Betsy would fit though.

Dutchess_III's avatar

BETSY’S IN THE SUGAR CANE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

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