How to Make Working in the Office Cool Again
Did you know that 37% of U.S. workers telecommute? It makes sense: Flexwork options improve efficiency and lower employee stress. But the question is, now that it’s so common to work from home or other spaces, how do you get employees to actually want to come into the office? How do you make working in the office cool again?
At EventBoard, we have very flexible work schedules, so we are totally OK with people working from home. But I’ve heard from multiple people that they enjoy coming to the office so much more than working at home by themselves. I like to think it’s because you’re basically coming to work where you get to see all of your best friends. There’s nothing better than that.
I don’t know what exactly is going to work for your office, but I do know a few things we’ve tried that have worked for us and made our office a place our employees have said they really enjoy coming to. So who knows, maybe some of our ideas will work for you, too!
Mingle + Food
Nothing brings people together better than food.
Every month after our company "All Hands" meeting, we bring in food and encourage our employees to stick around to munch and mingle and get to know each other a little better.
Because we’re growing so quickly, we’ve found that it’s really important to take time out of our busy work schedules to provide some food and an opportunity for new employees – and employees from different teams who don’t have much daily contact with each other – to get to know each other.
We love to celebrate anything we can, so we really try hard to make every holiday a party in our office. Last year for example, we went out and bought a grill so we could BBQ and have a fun Fourth of July party.
It was a spur of the moment thing, but it turned into such a good opportunity for everyone to take a break, celebrate this holiday and get more excited about the company they work for.
Some other holiday events we do fun stuff for are our salsa-off for Cinco de Mayo, a costume contest for Halloween and an ugly Christmas sweater competition in December.
Lighten the Mood with Music
We’ve found that playing music keeps our office positive and upbeat. We’ve recently added Sonos, basically a large speaker anyone can control from their computer, and it’s been a really fun addition.
We’ve made playlists, like “Throwback Thursday,” and play them for everyone to enjoy. Some days our CFO really gets into it and jams out to his favorite music, which everyone in the office loves and gets a good laugh from.
Celebrate Personal Milestones
Another thing to be mindful of and celebrate are your employees’ personal milestones. It helps build stronger relationships when the entire office is excited about something happening in a coworker’s personal life.
Throwing small baby showers have been fun for our office. We walk around the office and get guesses from each employee for the gender of the baby and then get cupcakes to announce whether it’s a boy or a girl.
Take Time to Play
We have a ping pong table and also tabletop games like Bananagrams around the office. It’s very common to see our CTO killing the Bananagram game, which makes me want to learn a lot of words to beat him next time that I pass him by our lunch table.
Do Something Just Because
You don’t need some big reason to do something nice for your employees.
A few months ago, we had massage therapists come in, and everyone got a free massage just because. And even though it happened months ago, it’s still something everyone talks about.
Taking the time to recognize and reward your employees shows your appreciation for their hard work, and they’ll appreciate you even more for doing so.
Improving your working environment, whether it’s offering a catered lunch once a month, celebrating holidays or offering other unique perks, will positively impact your office and make your employees wake up every morning and want to come into the office.
What have you done in your office that you’ve found works? We’d love to hear some of your ideas, so leave us a comment!Miki DeMann is EventBoard’s HR manager and happiness coordinator.