Culture

5 Radical Ideas to Create an Awesome Place to Work

September 1, 2016

On my podcast The Awesome Office Show, I interview CEOs, HR leaders and employee engagement experts about creating amazing workplaces and irresistible company cultures.

Whether it’s the CEO of a multinational company with thousands of employees or the founder of a startup who feels the growing pains of going from five employees to 50, I hear the same sentiment again and again:

It’s all about the people.

No matter what the industry, talent is every company’s most valuable asset - and everyone’s competing for it.

In the escalating war for talent, creating an awesome workplace isn’t a luxury… it’s an absolute necessity. And a ping pong table just isn’t going to cut it these days.

With all the competition, companies are pushing things to the extreme and keeping up with the Joneses might start to seem like an impossible task.

But much like a late 1980s vert-style skateboarder, sometimes you just need to get radical.

So here are five radical ideas to help set your company apart and turn your ordinary office into an awesome office.

1) Unlimited PTO, no set hours and sabbaticals for tenured employees
Unlimited vacation? That’s outrageous!

Well, not so fast. Before you assume that employees who benefit from these policies spend half the year on a beach in Tahiti, consider this - the key to making these ultra-flexible, freedom-based attendance policies is to make them contingent upon results.

As long as your employees consistently hit their goals, time off is technically unlimited. Of course, results like these require a lot of facetime.

So why consider it? Data shows that employees crave perks like these. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, it’s one of the top perks that employees value more than a pay raise.

2) Designated nap pods
Sleeping at work… crazy, right?

Crazy like a fox, perhaps. The fact is, your company is losing money due to sleep-deprived employees. That’s according to a 2011 study from the Journal of Sleep, which found that a lack of sleep costs American companies $63 billion in productivity loss.

Companies like Uber, Google, and even PwC have taken a proactive step, installing nap pods in their corporate headquarters. A snooze lasting just 20-30 minutes should be enough to energize you and get your day back on track.

3) Unlimited parental leave
Netflix made headlines last year when it announced they were giving up to a year of time off for new parents. Employees love this policy because it signals that you actually care about their family lives.

It’s not just the ‘flix. Other companies - like Amazon and Patagonia - are seeing the value and following suit.

4) Allowing employees to bring their dogs
Pets are proven stress relievers. Their presence brightens people’s day and giving your employees the option to bring their pets to work helps create a fun environment where people actually want to spend their time. (Imagine that!) 

Bark & Co - makers of BarkBox - created the ultimate dog-friendly office at their NYC headquarters. Dog treats greet visitors as they walk in and the company holds designated “off-leash hours,” when the dogs essentially take over the office.

While you don’t have to turn your office over to the dogs, the presence of animals helps create a fun environment with less stress- and that’s good for everyone.

5) Office health: in-office massages and yoga
Since stress weakens our immune system, stress-busting activities like yoga and massages will help keep your employees healthy.

The Soothe App - which provides on-demand massage services - is an easy way to provide your team with in-office massages.

Onsite yoga has the added advantage of providing an opportunity for your employees to bond via group activity.

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The opinions and views expressed by guest authors of the TriNet blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of TriNet or any of its affiliates or partners.

By Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is the CEO and co-founder of SnackNation, a healthy food-as-a-service company that helps make healthy snacking fun, life more productive and workplaces awesome. SnackNation provides thousands of offices across America with a curated selection of healthy snacks and emerging brands on a recurring membership basis. Sean also hosts The Awesome Office Show, an award-winning podcast that helps people-focused executives and HR pros become better leaders and create more inspiring organizational cultures.

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