Desktop Aquatic Ecosystem
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.
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.
Like happiness, most peoples’ wealth is intangible. It’s just a number that represents a theoretical claim on a few bars of metal locked in a vault somewhere that probably don’t exist anyway. So what’s better than happiness and fake money? Gold! And nothing but gold! But you’re way too sophisticated to give your employees a shapeless ball of ore. Gold coins allow you to hand over timeless wealth in a package that’s fit to be displayed. Just like a king of yore.
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.
You may think you all know each other, but as any shipwreck survivor can tell you, real bonding happens in the wild. After a few days on vacation together, everyone will know what it’s like to turn to the person in the next cubicle, reach into their chest, and feel their squishy, pulsating heart. Okay, maybe it won’t get that intimate, but at least you’ll get to see people let their guard down for a few minutes.
You demand a lot from your employees (as you should), and they give you the bulk of their precious energy day after day. And nothing is worse than getting done with a long day’s work, only to stop at the supermarket and find you have to pick through piles of brown, wilted lettuce that’s already been groped by a thousand strangers. Is that your idea of the American Dream? The employees who hand you their soul on a silver platter every day should come home to a hand-picked box of the freshest vegetables their boss’ money can buy.
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.
How do you know you’ve really made it? When you’ve finally put your stamp on the food supply — literally. The shrewd business moves of your company’s executives have nourished your employees in many ways, filling their lives with meaning and putting food on the table for their families. But nothing is as satisfying as seeing the workers you command physically assimilating your corporate logo. It’s like watching the circle finally be completed, right before your eyes.
Your employees are the most dedicated group of people you can imagine. They would run through a brick wall for you. But brick walls are significantly more robust than the human frame, and too many in one pay period requires some equally hardcore rest and recovery. A Spa Finder gift card even lets them choose where to go, if you can stand to stop bossing them around for a minute.