Thank you Google! While you weren’t the first, you’ve certainly popularized fun work environments. The word has spread, and at many companies the 9-to-5 cubicle is a thing of the past. Most employees will tell you it is for the better – but how do you offer a great environment at your office without breaking the bank? Here are some tips we’ve gathered from PaymentEvolution clients across Canada:
One way to attract great talent and create a fun work environment is to offer freedom to your staff. It’s the simple things that matter. For example, do you give your employees the freedom to work at their own pace? Can they set their own break schedules? Do you offer a flex work environment with the freedom to work from home or other sites? Can your staff use their favourite mobile devices at work?
Everyone wants to feel that sense of trust, especially from an employer. Employees who are given freedoms in trust often feel a greater need to deliver. Many of the employers we’ve surveyed have said their work-from-home staff are often extra-productive. They want to show that they can be trusted when working from home in their PJs or in a private office. The same goes when allowing flexible working hours. Employees will come in late but stay later other days to make up for the time. Without a set schedule, people find that much sought after sense of balance between their personal and work lives.
How often have you gotten the response “boring” or “just OK” when asking a friend about their work day? It’s rare that someone will answer “fun” – unless their employer takes time to make the work environment fun. It starts with a great a team.
It can be as simple as taking employees out for a quick coffee to have a general chat, or hosting an office party. Office parties are great opportunities for team building events that will help employees meet, bond, and let loose. Team building and general office fun – such as office lounges where employees can chat, get to know each other better, or be a little competitive (those heated foosball games!) – help build a comfortable work place that people enjoy being a part of. Going to work on a Monday morning isn’t a drag when work is exciting! Try something unusual – Axe throwing seems popular.
Benefits are not just a hiring perk. For some people, they may even be a deal breaker when choosing a new job. There are many companies that offer employee benefits at a low rate. The option for employees to select their own benefits also exists. (This can save money by allowing employees to only choose the benefits they need. Why should someone pay for glasses when they don’t need the prescription?) Health is extremely important to everyone and benefits should be a priority for every company.
There are so many ways to leverage technology no matter what type of business you run. Social media, task tracking, Skype, and payroll and accounting software are a few very common tools companies will use to help save time and money. Efficiency is something everyone looks for – and not just at work. Technology provides tools to make you both efficient and mobile. When spending the day working from home, task tracking or chat tools can keep people on top of their work and communicating with fellow employees in real time. Everything is in one place and everyone sees the same things.
Smart use of technology also improves the work environment. For example, online employee payroll allows you to pay your employees through direct deposit and issue them online pay slips. This essentially allows your company to go paperless while still providing your employees with the tools they need and are entitled to. Online access to T4s cuts down the time it takes to issue T4s during an already busy tax season. It’s this kind of freedom and use of technology that makes your work environment fun for your staff.
What do you do to make your workplace more engaging, more fun and more productive?