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Silicon Valley Offices Offer Plenty Of Play Spaces For Creative Minds

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Most of us have heard of Silicon Valley companies' famous perks, but some of the most unique and playful office spaces are making work more fun and fostering creativity.

San Francisco-based Weebly has a secret room behind a bookcase. It's an ode to the 1900s building's speakeasy past. "The best part about having a secret room has got to be the Friday afternoon poker," said Weebly founder and CEO David Rusenko.

You can also enjoy a glass of whiskey, play chess, relax and maybe think about the next great idea in tech.

"It's very important for us to create a creative space to get work done, because at the end of the day, whether it's in product, design, or even especially engineering, these are creative professions," said Rusenko. And so we wanted to create an office where you can go to work, feel good about that.

Rusenko wanted the entire office to reflect that culture. Weebly helps millions of people around the world build websites, and create blogs and online stores. It's modern space boasts a jam room, plenty of games, and a gym.

At Mozilla headquarters in Mountain View, the company ball pit started as a little office prank. "It's a little more colorful than your normal cubicle," said Matt Claypotch of Developer Relations.

Now, it's a permanent fixture in a conference room. Company executives have even held meetings in the ball pit.

"I think it helps promote creativity, put people in a different place of mind," said matt. "It's supporting people going out and doing something a little bit strange, a little bit silly, and sort of embracing it with open arms."

Mozilla is like many tech companies packed with engineering talent. Workers often create office hacks for fun, or to increase office productivity and efficiency.

At San Francisco's Envoy, the startup that makes digital sign-in systems, a gong goes off every time the company makes a sale. A worker engineered the web server to set off the motor, which is connected to a circuit board.

"It's a cool thing that really helps morale around here, it really helps people know that they're part of something bigger," said CEO Larry Gadea. "These things are just little side things that these companies have, but it adds a massive amount of culture and it shows their innovation, it helps for recruiting, it just makes it fun and interesting."

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