Augmented Digital Paper
The tactile satisfaction of writing on real paper is still valuable, and many people take notes and capture ideas better when using a pen than when typing in a digital device. The problem is that paper gets lost in desktop jumbles, thrown away accidentally, or eaten by one’s dog. That’s where digital synchronization and storage come in. The cloud never gets accidentally thrown out, and as far as we know, dogs still can’t eat digital information (though they would if they could figure out how).
Nothing interrupts productivity like the intrusion of inane chatter, construction noise, fire alarms, and other nuisances. And try as you might to erase it from existence, every office has its fair share of explosive interpersonal drama. The only solution is to give your most dedicated employees the means to physically block it out, and let all the other unhinged maniacs eat each other alive. Hey, it’s your fault for hiring them. That makes it your job to shelter the innocent.
You’ve never expected your employees to build the castle alone. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. But when you give a competent, conscientious person the guidance they need - in the form of instructions they can’t possibly f— up - that’s when the magic happens. Blue Apron works on the same principle. The recipient does the cooking, but everything has been planned, portioned, delivered, and explained by a master chef, ensuring that the final product is something everyone can be proud of.
The quality of someone’s baggage isn’t just a consideration when you’re entering a relationship - it’s a fundamental way that your employees are going to be judged when they enter meetings with clients as well. And while you can’t do anything about Jim from sales’ mommy issues, you can certainly make sure he looks a lot better when he’s pulling out his laptop to fire up that slam dunk powerpoint presentation he spent so much time putting together. It’s all about the details.
It only took us several hundred years, but we’ve figured out that chairs are the worst thing ever. The option of working on your feet has come to seem more attractive than ever, and some say it facilitates greater productivity. And if you’re not comfortable forcing your employees to stand all day, there are plenty of adjustable desks that allow them to choose how lazy they want to be.
Location is just a state of mind, and traveling is a fool’s paradise anyway. If you’ve got any imagination at all, then your musty old office is as good as the brightest, sexiest beach on the planet. A simple mindset shift - along with one of these miniature sandboxes - is all it takes to transport yourself across the world to the oceanside destination of your dreams. If you’ve been hearing grumblings through the grapevine about “not enough vacation time”, give your employees one of these and see if that doesn’t shut them up for a couple more years.
Who has time for trial and error? Folks today demand fast-acting, proven solutions to their everyday conundrums. A modern stand-in for the tried and trusted Farmer’s Almanac, this back pocket companion is more reliable than your great-grandmother and more concise than an open-ended Google search. Believe it or not, some of the “smartest” solutions have been around for ages.
When your employees say in their interviews that they’re looking for a workplace with a great “culture”, this is what they mean. Team building activities, group outings, honest communication, integrity, and a sense that they’re making a difference in the world are great, but those are all forms of beating around the bush. And that bush is beer. Because anyone who feeds them free beer earns their trust and respect. Anyone who feeds them free beer while paying them earns their eternal loyalty and the keys to their soul. Talk about a return on investment.
From an ergonomic perspective, the verdict is in: chairs are a public nuisance, contributing to all manner of aches, pains, muscle imbalances, and other dreaded physical dysfunctions. In fact, there’s only one thing worse than chairs: old chairs. As an employer, you’ve taken an implied oath to limit the psychological, physical, and spiritual damage you inflict on your employees. Subjecting them to the torment of antiquated furniture is like a doctor shooting his patients. We can do better.