Noise Cancelling Headphones
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When it comes to your workplace, there are so many things your minions love. The open lines of communication, the abundant praise for good work, the absence of backstabbing politics. The free donuts. But more than anything, they love being paid not to be there. Let’s stop messing around and make them really happy.
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.
Your employees have sacrificed so much for the present and future of your company. But like it or not, they still have to eat. In fact, besides plotting your demise, it’s one of the few things you can be sure they all do. Which makes a grocery card the perfect gift.
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.