We take a look at some of the most inspiring and truly enjoyable places to work.

Manufactured corporate fun is the killer of souls. We’ve all endured it at some point: I nearly broke my neck during a team-building game of Red Rover because I was consumed by a desperate need to run to the nearest exit instead of into my co-workers’ waiting arms. Then there was the corporate canoe trip memorable mostly for the mad scramble not to be the company president’s paddle buddy.

According to the National Institute for Play, the underlying reason behind these uncomfortable experiments is a lack of understanding of the science of play on the part of the C-suite.

“The intellectual and scientific basis of play can provide the understanding—and permission—to deploy new play-based practices in their organizations. But, they must also value the new practices; without a positive play ethic, the climate for innovation is spoken of as important, but is not acted upon,” the Institute’s website said.

Not only do each of the companies on our 20 Incredible Workplaces list invest time and energy into their communities, they also demonstrate real commitments to workplace equality and diversity.

Coincidence? We think not. When workplace engagement is understood at a company’s highest levels, implemented thoughtfully, and maintained with great care, play leads to innovation, true enjoyment, and new levels of personal investment in the organization.

Here’s our choice of the 20 most playful places to work. Please enjoy; and for those of you still recovering from nasty trust fall incidents, thank you for your service.

Acuity Insurance
Location: Sheboygan, WI
Industry: Insurance
Number of Employees: 1,000

Not only do each of the companies on our 20 Incredible Workplaces list invest time and energy into their communities, they also demonstrate real commitments to workplace equality and diversity.“At our headquarters you will find fantastic and whimsical artwork, Ping-Pong tables, free popcorn, a 65-foot Charity Wheel, and 40-foot rock climbing wall. If you visit our headquarters, you might find a beach bash with a 6-foot tall sand sculpture, a chocolate fair, an ice cream day, or even a tailgate lunch.”

Adobe Systems
Location: San Jose, CA
Industry: Software
Number of employees: 6695

As the preeminent producer of graphic design software, Adobe knows more than just a little something about creativity. In addition to offering a dream list of perks that include an onsite car wash, hair salon, and massage therapy, Adobe’s #Adobe Life workplace and numerous other employee communications efforts have kept them on “best of…” lists since the company’s inception.

BambooHr
Location: Lindon, UT
Industry: HR Consulting
Number of employees: 272

“Although it isn’t necessarily a company program, the natural camaraderie that exists among Bambooligans definitely starts with and adds to our culture. Departments get together at cabins for potluck dinners often. Coworkers have met up to help an employee put a new roof on his house. Teams play ultimate frisbee and board games during lunch. Mountain bikers meet before work to hit a trail or two. We genuinely love being around each other—so much so that we choose to do it outside of work hours, too.”

Ben and Jerry’s
Location: South Burlington, VT
Industry: Manufacturing
Number of employees: 500 – 1,000

 In addition to offering a dream list of perks that include an onsite car wash, hair salon, and massage therapy, Adobe’s #Adobe Life workplace and numerous other employee communications efforts have kept them on “best of…” lists since the company’s inception.Although this ice cream giant is now part of Unilever, the company’s workplace remains as connected to its beginnings as it was at the start. Working in concert with the founders’ values of diversity, social justice and equality, Ben and Jerry’s are dedicated to filling the world with flavor and joy.

Big Nerd Ranch
Location: Atlanta, GA
Industry: IT
Number of employees: 51 – 200

Big Nerd Ranch hires people who are brilliant, kind, hardworking, and committed to lifelong learning. Their monthly craft nights have produced a dozen Chewbacca related items. “We’re a team of instructors, authors, and prodigies. We’re artists, chemists, and beer brewers. We are passionate about what we do, whether that’s programming and designing, running a marathon, or even winning an Emmy or two.”

Build-A-Bear Workshop
Location: St. Louis, MO
Industry: Retail
Number of employees: 1,000 – 5,000

Not only is every day bring your dog to work day at Build-A-Bear, but the company also encourages whimsy in the application process. “It’s all about play with a purpose […] An applicant for a graphic design role submitted a can of SPAM with a custom label as a resume. SPAM stood for Seriously Professional Artist & Manager and the label contained a comprehensive ingredient grid that identified the daily allowance of various skills.”

Fast Enterprises
Location: Centennial, CO
Industry: IT
Number of employees: 1,001 – 5,000

Fast made Fortune’s “Best Companies for Millennials to Work For 2017” list, and it’s also one of Glassdoor’s most highly rated places to work. In addition to glorious perks, “Fasties” are encouraged to see and make a difference in the world.

Funeral Directors Life
Location: Abilene, TX
Industry: Insurance
Number of employees: 51 – 200

Employees work in a joyful atmosphere that encourages fun and supports faith. “We’ve had salsa making contests, lip sync contests, Nerf basketball tournaments, a hula hoop competition, talent shows, and even a giant tug of war. We also love to relax and enjoy some good food and fellowship at our monthly company luncheons. Oh, and let’s not forget our standing Friday afternoon kickball games which have become a time-honored tradition at FDLIC.”

Hubspot
Location: Cambridge, MA
Industry: IT
Number of employees: 1,001 – 5,000

HubSpotters are routinely treated to mystery lunches and dinners, and get together “for activities ranging from fitness classes to craft nights for good company and new adventures. Past events include rock climbing, cider tasting, volunteer projects, and even a trip to watch a boxing match whose proceeds are donated towards cancer research.”

Infoscout
Location: San Francisco, CA
Industry: Marketing
Number of employees: 84

Although this ice cream giant is now part of Unilever, the company's workplace remains as connected to its beginnings as it was at the start. Playful perks offered by this marketing data firm include quarterly hackathons where workers are encouraged to hack into the site of their choice to find and report vulnerabilities. “Our engineering hurdles sit at the intersection of technologies ranging from mobile and social media, computer vision and crowdsourcing, to machine learning and big data analytics.”

Johnsonville Sausage
Location: Sheboygan Falls, WI
Industry: Manufacturing
Number of employees: 1,430

“Who knows Johnsonville products better than the people who make them? So we asked our Members to come up with our TV commercials, and they amazed us with their creativity. After selecting three of the very best (and wildest) suggestions, we put their contributors to work on the filming set, where their inspirations were turned into reality. The results were fantastic. For example, Brett, a line leader at our Riverside plant, riveted us with his action-packed yet very safety-conscious (and hilarious) highway mini-drama, ‘Regular Speed Chase’.”

Lush Cosmetics USA
Location: Vancouver, BC
Industry: Manufacturing and Retail
Number of employees: 1,001 – 5,000

Forbes recently chose this fresh, handmade cosmetics maker as the Best Midsize Company in America 2017. “We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud. We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again.”

O.C. Tanner
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Industry: Professional Services
Number of employees: 1,600

These employee engagement specialists practice what they preach in their workplace.These employee engagement specialists practice what they preach in their workplace. “Sure we’ve got ping-pong tables and personal trainers, but our purpose is what makes working here so cool. O.C. Tanner employees are on a mission to help organizations accomplish great work and appreciate the people behind it. Together, we’re creating a world where people who do great work are the most celebrated people of all.”

One World Play Project
Location: Berkeley, CA
Industry: Retail
Number of employees: 1 – 50

“One World Play Project makes, sells, and distributes products and services to enable play around the world, especially for those living in the harshest environments where play is nearly non-existent. Collaborating with sponsors, organizations and individuals, we work to support, enable and expand the transformative power of play in all its forms—anywhere and everywhere.”

Patagonia
Location: Ventura, CA
Industry: Retail
Number of employees: 1,311

The “Let My People Go Surfing” policy should be universally adopted, dude. “Patagonia was founded by self-proclaimed ‘dirtbags’ and holds true to their laid-back lifestyle to this day. At all locations you will immediately sense a relaxed, familial vibe […] There are no dress codes, flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts prevail. Furthermore, all work and social spaces are intentionally planned to be open and accessible. Not even the CEO has a private office!”

REI Co-Op
Location: Kent, WA
Industry: Retail
Number of employees: 12,992

“We hire people who are already living by our values—authenticity, integrity, quality, respect, balance and service. […] We work hard and we play hard—balancing our love of being outside with our drive to provide the highest level of service and support for our co-op members, customers, and each other.”

Tek Systems
Location: Hanover, MD
Industry: Professional Services
Number of employees: 1,001 – 5,000

This innovative IT staffing firm touts one of its nicest workplace benefits as “the opportunity to make lifelong friendships.” If that’s not fun, we don’t know what is. “What can TEKsystems offer you as an employer that you can’t find anywhere else? A family-like work environment that will enable you to produce your best work, accomplish personal and professional goals, and form strong bonds with colleagues and mentors.”

Trial Runners
Location: Dickinson, ND
Industry: Biotech and Pharma
Number of employees: 44

This ophthalmology clinical research workplace offers cookies on rainy days, and claim that their potlucks are decadent. Their annual Gratitude Party sounds pretty decadent, too: “Trial Runners founders Jill and Patrick Healy and their staff pay tribute to the holiday season with a week-long celebration of gratitude and blessing, including daytime fun and fellowship and extravagant after-hours entertainment.”

Vynamic
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Industry: Professional Services
Number of employees: 100

This healthcare management consultancy workplace developed a culture that’s centered on health, inside and out. The one perk that sounds the most fun is their e-mail policy. “To promote better balance, the zzzMail policy was created: employees are to refrain from sending emails to other employees between 10pm and 6am Monday through Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday, and all Vynamic holidays. In urgent matters, a call or text is preferred over email.”

Willow Tree, Inc.
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Industry: IT
Number of employees: 51 – 100

“WillowTree organizes and hosts fun events throughout the year including two large company-wide parties; company-sponsored sports teams (e.g. kickball, softball, curling, etc.); tech and design meetups; happy hours; video game nights; movie nights; board game nights; company band practice; and lots of other events that appeal to a wide variety of team member interests. We also have a weekly happy hour.”