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).
Agift card is like a magic key that opens doors all across the land. Which is handy, because not everyone is comfortable sleeping in the woods while on vacation. For those with delicate sensibilities, this gift is worth its weight in gold. Your employees deserve some time off to unwind, but some may choose to use their PTO for a “staycation” to save a few bucks, which is a sad substitute for an actual vacation. With a gift card they can use at almost any hotel you can help make sure they make the most of their time away from work.
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.
Mainstream wine snobbery has never taken hold in the New World like it did in Europe, so we use coffee and beer as vehicles to look down on each other in its place. Your grandpa may have been more than happy with a cup of Maxwell House every day for 70 years, but that was a different time. The masses have developed a palate, and there’s no looking back. But with all the thousands of artisan roasters out there, anyone trying to keep up on their own is likely to go insane. Luckily, some already insane person has taken on the job of curating, so the rest of us can pretend we’re experts.
This is the perfect metaphor for an idealized workplace: a self-contained ecosystem where the needs of every organism are met without any input from the outside world, harmony is maintained effortlessly, and if one organism dies, the rest feed off it and get stronger. Your company’s culture probably can’t compete with this little glass orb, but let it serve as a model for all to follow in the hopes that one day you can approach its perfection. Subconscious guidance can be very powerful.
Knowledge is the lifeblood of commerce, and sharing knowledge is how the human race continues its noble march toward destruction. But these days, people would just as soon carry a stone tablet as a paperback. An Amazon Kindle is the best way to look smart in public without seeming like a relic.
Don’t bother trying to figure out what your employees really want to do in their spare time. The tickets to Marylin Manson’s reunion tour that you gave away at Christmas last year? Those went straight to StubHub. Making a misstep with event tickets makes your entire team wonder if you know them at all. One Nickleback ticket can undo a whole year of culture building. You’re a firm believer in delegating responsibility to lower level managers. It’s time you let them have control over their personal lives as well.
You might call your toes “little piggies,” but the truth is that feet are the real workhorses of the human body. And we tend to be pretty merciless toward them for long stretches of the day, so it’s a nice gesture to show them some love when it’s all over with. And healthy feet make a happy human, so you could try giving a foot hammock to the most unlikeable person you know and see if it brightens them up a bit. Or better yet, give it to someone you like. Trust us, they’ll appreciate it.
You put plenty of work into assembling your team of the best and brightest. Or at least the most tolerable you could find. Now they can re-create that process of assembly piece by tiny piece. Even if only to see how funny you all look together. But every employee is an indispensable part of that big picture that defines your company, and what better way to show it then with a custom printed jigsaw puzzle?