I used to work in an office. A pretty normal office in the energy industry. Now, I work from home. The first couple years, I kind of hated it. I missed having co-workers to interact with. Social media changed all that for me. Now I LOVE working from home.
Since I have been working from home and found ways to love it, I have started paying attention to businesses who are doing awesome things with their offices. I’ve also been thinking about what I would do if I ever end up opening another office.
Here are my top ideas for how to make your office a heck of a lot of fun, to make your employees LOVE coming to work, and to build love and loyalty with your customers. I will also include some links to companies that I believe are doing it right.
11. Pay employees to spend 10% of their work day/week executing humanitarian efforts.
“Inspiring others towards happiness will bring you happiness…” and wealth, and success, and love, and loyalty.
Giving time is an even better way than just writing a check. This way, you can do both while demonstrating to your employees your commitment to their lives and communities. You may also be exposing your employees to their first volunteer opportunity. Overall, it’s a great way to improve the greater good of the world. Plus, your customers will notice.
A business I love that does this: Interiority Complex
10. Install clean energy measures at your work.
Not only will it save your company a bunch of money, your employees can learn about some cool ways to reduce their impact on the environment. Plus, you can do some pretty cool contests and games with this.
A business I love that does this: Incenergy
Incenergy’s device allows you to set a price point that you’d like to reach by saving on energy consumption. Making a contest for the employee that contributes the most to your effort could be a cool way for your employees to earn an incentive of some kind. Check out the technology and get creative (and playful).
Incenergy’s owner also installed an outdoor solar charging station for electric vehicles. (He drives a cherry red Tesla to work every day.)
A business I love that can help you create ways to reduce: Carbon Clear
9. Ditch the cheap coffee! Offer high quality coffee and tea.
Stop buying Foldger’s. Seriously. Good coffee doesn’t need to cost a lot. Eight O-Clock Coffee, while being the cheapest at the grocery store is, in my opinion, incredibly good coffee for the price. WAY better than Foldger’s or Starbuck’s.
Want to offer the top shelf stuff at an affordable price? Have this stuff roasted to order and delivered to your work: Dark Hollow Roasters. This little micro-roaster is the “dream made real” of a completely in love husband and wife duo. You’ll get unparalleled personal service, delicious custom coffees, and even white labeling if you are looking for it. (How cool would it be to have your own brand of company coffee???)
8. Have a monthly happy hour or after work social at the office or a near by location.
Pay for this. Don’t make your employees pay for it. Buy a couple giant bottles of red and white wine, a reasonable array of nice beers, some n/a drinks (buy single serving cans… trust me), and get some delicious cheese wheels, meats, and crackers.
Make the theme a celebration of a wonderful work life together and to making the dreams real of your company and the people who make it happen.
This little (rather inexpensive) token of appreciation can go a long way. Don’t wait for the holidays to show your appreciation.
A business I love that does this: The GoodLife Team
7. Get to know the hopes and dreams of your employees – then support them.
A big fear of many employees is their work finding out that they have big dreams and goals outside the company and the company pre-emptively firing them because of it.
Make sure your employees know you actually care about them as people and that you want to grow with them. Show them you want to help them not only make more money but also make their dreams real – inside and outside the company.
Learn more techniques in this podcast: Don’t Surround Your Great Dane with Chihuahuas.
6. Offer life coaching services.
This is an extension of No. 6. Your employees have dreams. They also have issues they are having a tough time resolving in their work and personal lives. It could be relationships with co-workers, relationships at home, or not knowing how to accomplish various goals in work or life.
Life coaching is an action oriented way to get to the heart of what your employees are experiencing and help them develop a plan of action they can implement to make their lives easier and better for everyone.
You don’t have to pay for this but you can talk with a life coach or network or coaches to negotiate a corporate discount for your employees.
Ninty percent of employees leave because of work place conflict. It doesn’t have to be that way. A small investment like coaching can change everything – and reduce employee turnover.
5. Allow employees to work from home or a coffee shop at least 2 days per week.
So many companies are afraid that if their employees don’t come to work, they will not do the work. I have one thought on this: if you are hiring people who will not do the work, you are making bad hires.
It is human nature to want to produce, create, and work. If your employees are not producing, you likely have communication, leadership, and/or HR problems.
Allowing autonomy, freedom of schedule, and the ability for employees to manage their output is empowering and will inspire employees to work harder when they are at their best. Clear, realistic, weekly milestones and deliverables paired with a strong, supportive manager is the key to success with this.
4. Offer nutritional and healthy lifestyle coaching.
Reduce missed days at work by helping your employees educate themselves about how to stay healthy. Ditch the boring educational videos from the 19 hundreds! Have a professional engage with the group once per month or once per quarter.
3. Offer delicious, healthy foods in your vending machines.
I have no idea why I don’t see this more often. Why the heck are you putting only chemically processed, preservative soaked garbage in your vending machines?! Then, you add 5 Hour Energy to wake people up – more garbage.
STOP IT! Put fresh sandwiches, vegetables, and delicious foods in there. Stuff that will expire this week. Then only stock it with what you need.
Real food will keep your employees performing at their best with the highest levels of energy. Stop filling their bodies with garbage and then wondering why you only get garbage ideas and garbage output. Good grief!
2. Co-worker fitness at lunch.
Have a yoga, running, or group fitness instructor come to your office and lead a 30-45 minute group fitness event at least once per week at lunch. This can be something your company pays for or something that each employee pays a few bucks to attend.
A business I love that does this: The GoodLife Team
1. Take daily dance breaks.
I don’t know any company that does this but – dang it – I think more people should do it.
If I ever open another office, I will have at least two dance breaks per day. We will all dance like we are dancing by ourselves for the duration of at least one song – before and after lunch. Not everyone has to participate and I doubt everyone will participate at first, but after seeing me do it everyday, you will confidently dance knowing that you are far better than your boss (me).
Plus, it is a lot more fun and calorie burning than a 5-15 minute walk twice per day.
Have some great ideas I should add to this list? Please do share!