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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Everyday life has plenty of unavoidable indignities; there’s no reason to add cold coffee to the list. We’ve come so far technologically, yet we’re still relying on basic pottery to keep our coffee warm, like it’s the Stone Age or something. And your employees are too busy making your business AWESOME to pay attention to how long their coffee mug has been sitting out on the desktop. Place it on one of these instead, and they never have to worry about it again.
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.
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.