Stand Up Desks
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.
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.
There are many forms of behavioral conditioning and mind control that can be used to get what you want out of the people you employ. In the end, however, cash is still king. But don’t waste this opportunity for some sly brand promotion, or to give them a subtle reminder of who pays the bills around here.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.