5 Office No-Nos and the Companies that Break them
Sometimes itΓÇÖs good to be different. We take a look at some high-achieving companies who are rewriting the rules in the office.
1. No holidays
Employment law aside, if you want motivated workers, it pays to make sure they get some time off once in a while. So it stands to reason that not making provisions for allocated holiday entitlement would be a bad idea, surely?
Who does this? Ditching allocated holiday is a big trend among tech giants right now, including Hubspot, Evernote and Netflix.
Why it works: Instead of thirty paid days a year, Hubspot et al. allow workers to take as much holiday as they like ΓÇô so long as they fit it in around their work responsibilities.
Giving employees the opportunity to take as much time off as they need means they can take that holiday, spend time with family and pursue their hobbies ΓÇô returning to the office more refreshed, more motivated and more committed.
2. Disrespect personal belongings
If you want employees to respect company property, you have to respect their personal property too. Smashing family photos and binning holiday mementoes isnΓÇÖt going to win you any favour among your team.
Who does this? Vodafone UK: their clean desk policy means that any personal belongings left on desks at the end of each working day are incinerated.
Why it works: VodafoneΓÇÖs approach might sound harsh ΓÇô but given that employees donΓÇÖt actually have desks of their own, they shouldnΓÇÖt be leaving belongings at all. The incineration policy is intended to stop them trying to claim desks by covering them with their belongings. ItΓÇÖs the same rule for everyone, even the CEO.
Since they also operate a hot-desking policy, with only enough desks for seventy per cent of workers to have a seat at any one time, keeping desks clean and ready to use is essential to the smooth running of the office.
3. Encourage workers to sleep on the job
Convention says that when you hire workers to do a 9-5, you want them to spend that time working. Who wants to pay employees to sleep?
Who does this? Google and Buffer are among the Silicon Valley companies who believe snoozing is good for business. Google has even installed state-of-the-art nap pods to help enhance the quality of workersΓÇÖ sleep.
Why it works: Instead of dosing up on caffeinated drinks, drowsy employees can retreat to a nap pod for twenty minutesΓÇÖ sleep, before waking up feeling refreshed and raring to go. The practice has its roots in the siesta tradition which countries like Spain and Greece have been practising for centuries.
4. Drop the temperature
Here in the UK, workers do enough complaining about the temperature without setting the thermostat to ΓÇ£chillyΓÇ¥. After all, you should be looking out for employeesΓÇÖ thermal comfort, right?
Who does this? Facebook ΓÇô its 15┬░C policy has become legendary since it was revealed in Cheryl SandbergΓÇÖs book.
Why it works: Well, if you listen to Zuckerberg, shivering workers are more productive workers. However, while this might be his experience at Facebook, thereΓÇÖs a whole wealth of research and advice (not to mention common sense) to contradict it. (Take a look at our post on How Cold is Too Cold in the Office? here.)
5. DonΓÇÖt give them a desk
On their first day in a new job, there are a few things most office workers expect: a stack of induction paperwork, someone else to make the first tea round, and usually, a desk. Not an unreasonable expectation, surely?
Who does this? AccentureΓÇÖs ΓÇ£hotellingΓÇ¥ approach to office space allows employees to book and check in to desk space at any of the companyΓÇÖs offices, by using a special app.
Why it works: Cost savings, happier employees, better staff retention, the list goes on. Plus, you get a reputation for being a forward-thinking company and that has implications for branding way beyond your staff.
Productive rule-breaking or bad idea? What do you think?