The business press is dominated with stories of start-up success and with many claiming their culture is better than all the rest, it’s time to take a look at just what makes the newbies really stand out when it comes to creating a workplace that thrives.
Saying goodbye to drab offices, awkward conversations by the water cooler and dull office lunches, these new start-ups have been shaking up office culture and putting employees first. Because as many savvy business owners know, happy employees equal more productive employees, and thus a successful business is born.
But what’s the secret ingredient that goes into a start-up to make it just so magical compared to its outdated counterparts? Well, we’ve delved deeper into new business cultures and spoken to some of the experts too, so that you can start your journey to a happier, more successful business.
Your Office Speaks Volumes
Days spent hunched over a desk with the 9 to 5 ticking along counting down the hours until home time are long gone. The office is where many of us ultimately spend the majority of our lives, it’s simply a fact of life. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a boring chore we have to muddle on through.
The office not only reflects your business but can make or break employees too. A boring office will create boring employees, and a boring atmosphere won’t do anything for staff morale. You might not have the budget to create a space to rival Google, but take their lead and make your workspace a unique hub with a special buzz.
Bright colours – blue and green in particular – are said to do wonders for productivity, and standing is the new sitting too, with standing desks found to increase energy and engagement with fellow employees. Play music and games at lunch and most importantly have fun – it’s the little things that can go a long way into making your business different.
The space your business calls home also impacts how clients see you too, so keep that in mind when creating your office. “The space you occupy speaks volumes, you want your clients to look forward to agency visits and feel the buzz,” comments David Dews Creative Director at Speed Agency*.
Let the Ideas Flow
Idea creation shouldn’t just be restricted to those in top level positions, in fact some of the best ideas can be found from those you least expect. Closing doors and keeping secrets will lead to a culture where frustration flows, so let employees in on what’s really going on in the business. Trust me, they will thank you for it.
Whilst there may be some things you simply have to keep quiet about, keep the company culture an open one with regular update meetings and get employee feedback too. Keep the old age adage in mind; a problem shared is a problem halved and you’ll soon have solutions to any business woes you may be harbouring.
Remember that no idea is too big or too small either, Johnny Luk, NACUE** CEO comments. “Start-up culture is all about communication and collaboration. The ability for entrepreneurs to bounce around ideas, expand networks and share challenges is key to progress. This culture of sharing is something other companies can learn.”
If there’s one thing many of us are guilty of it’s running for the door when 5 pm hits, and whilst it’s only natural and normal that many of us have a life outside of our workplace, keeping things social with colleagues can help to create a friendlier atmosphere come 9 am.
If it’s the old favourite of a Friday afternoon pub gathering or a motivational team lunch, whatever it is up to you so be as creative as you like. Dedicate someone in the office to be events team leader and keep the calendar updated with the latest activities planned – just don’t forget to ask team members for their input.
The office is no longer where we come to work, it’s where we play too. Keeping things social is essential when it comes to that special start-up ingredient. As Matthew de la Hey, CEO of Inploi*** comments. “We should be enjoying the adventure as we hustle to make it.”
Start-ups are unique in that they rip the rule book up, policies and outdated structures are there to be challenged. So take a leaf out of their book and reassess what you can change in your business to give it a fresh new outlook.
About the author: Emily Jarvis is a former business consultant, she is currently working as a freelance writer sharing her expert advice and tips within the business industry.