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Nothing kills creativity and innovative ideas more than the monotonous company culture some businesses have and I think this stems from the fact that in our part of the world, we prioritize and spend more on the products and services we sell over our employees. Our indifference to our employees is obvious in the way we treat them as alternatives instead of partners and an integral part of our company system. Taking care of your employees is indirectly proportional to how fast your company will grow as happy employees are highly creative, productive and more likely to have a positive outlook of their company.
Here are some some slight offices changes to consider that will keep your employees positive and productive.
1. Encourage more breaks at work: Most companies restrict their employees to taking a one-hour break in a day. Then for the rest of the day, they monitor employees to make sure that they are on their seats working. I am sorry to inform you but enforcing this as a rule of thumb just kills creativity. Having at least two – three breaks from the work table is not too much when one of those breaks is given to employees as nap time. The benefit of power naps at work is not valued much in our part of the world but a 5 – 10 minutes nap can might be the jolt your team needs.
2. Make work schedule flexible: Gone are the days when employees must resume by 7am and close by 7pm. Keep this up in your company and very soon, you will be responsible for the burnout of your staff members. Employees are not super humans. The best ones will do the best they can and when they are pushed to the edge, they’ll leave. Encourage working remotely and discuss other flexible work options with them.
3. Urge them towards becoming their own boss: Remember you were once an employee yourself and some people believed in you and urged you to start something which brought about your company. Encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in your employees. Allow them to start a side business if they so wish and help them become entrepreneurs too.
4. Encourage team spirit outside of work: Once in a while, allow your employees come together as a team on different fun activities. Let it be the custom that the company remembers team members’ birthdays and celebrates them. Hold team building activities and challenges to build the team spirit and allow for team retreats, lunches, and timeout so that your employees can socialize and keep their creative juices flowing.
5. Create virtual meeting spaces: Sometimes, it is best to hold office meetings virtually. Face to face meetings take time although this is the oldest and the most effective way of holding meetings. Yet if the reason for the meeting is not clearly defined, having face to face meetings every time wastes time and can tire employees out. For quick tasks and for passing of urgent information, there are some virtual free tools that your company can use. There’s the Skype that is useful for chats, video conferencing and file transfers. There’s the Google docs that can help teams manage spreadsheets and other documents together. There’s Yammer – a private Twitter for businesses to communicate online securely. With these tools at your company’s disposal, communication and information transfer in your company would be faster, documented and more effective.

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This article was first published on 31st December 2015

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