A List Of The Best Office Culture Initiatives

admin by: Jonathan Shapiro, Chief Snack Officer

Company culture is growing increasingly important. What are you doing to stay on top of your office culture game? Investopedia states that corporate culture “develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.” There’s some truth to this – like any seed you plant in your garden, it’s important to provide the right soil, plant food, lighting, etc to really help support and maintain the growth of that plant. The same holds true for corporate culture. Your company can and should help to influence its corporate culture.

Having an office culture that promotes productivity, community, and collaboration helps to create a more engaging work environment, happier, more loyal employees, and ultimately greater customer success and satisfaction.

We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite office culture initiatives that can make a huge impact, but won’t break the bank:

1. Office Hobbies – The saying goes, “teamwork makes the dreamwork.” Creating an inner-office hobby can be a great team building exercise and expand upon comradery within an office. Something as simple as a ping-pong table or a dart board can go a long way in adding a small yet impactful twist to your office environment.

2. Support Co-Worker Passions – It’s often difficult to see past the 9-5 and realize that your co-workers have lives outside of the office, but when you take the time to get to know your co-workers, you’ll realize that just like you, they have interests and talents that you should be supportive of! Whether you have a colleague who participates in an indoor hockey league or one who coaches their daughters bowling league, making plans to bring co-workers together to show up in support outside of the workplace!

3. Office Pranks – Work can be stressful, deadlines can seem impossible, but a sense of humor can help to lighten any mood. Add a little fun to your office but occasionally partaking in some office pranks. Keep in mind that you work in a professional environment, so be mindful that your pranks are in good taste, but lighten up and have some fun! After all, laughter is the best de-stresser!

4. Shadow Other Departments – Most businesses keep their departments very separate, often to the point that one department may not even truly know what another does on a daily basis. This isn’t good for cohesiveness, understanding or the business as a whole. By creating a program where employees from different departments can spend some time shadowing various departments, they’ll gain greater understanding and respect for the inner-workings of the company.

5. Volunteering – Whether a company has a specific non-profit that they support, or whether the HR department gives a few options for employees, volunteering is important. It not only makes a difference in the community, but helps from a PR perspective and ultimately makes the employees feel that they’re making an impact on others lives. Encourage volunteer initiatives by providing options for employees either once per month or quarterly, to take a day and participate in opportunities to volunteer with various organizations. Better yet, create a panel and let the employees organize these initiatives.

6. Meditation/Healthy Snack Options – After a long day, it can be difficult to unwind. Incorporating an optional meditation session and a healthy snack social (which we at WorkPerks are more than happy to help organize!) gives employees something to look forward to throughout the week/month.

7. Co-Worker Recognition Notes – Recognition is always nice, but sometimes what’s even nicer than being recognized by a superior, is being recognized by a peer. Encouraging peer acknowledgment can go a long way to employees feeling appreciated in their roles.

8. Lighten Up! – Believe it or not, the lighting in your office can really set the tone for productivity. If possible, allow for natural light. If not, make sure that your light is reflective of your work space. You’ll want to avoid lighting that’s too dark and can make your employees sleepy, or light that’s too bright and can seem sterile.

9. Photo Ops! – It may seem silly, but encourage your employees to bring photos of their families and pets to the office and display them. Maybe even host a “When I was a kid” day, and everyone can pass around a funny picture of themselves as a kid and share a funny story of themselves. Everyone loves cute kids and animals and it creates an instant way for employees to connect with one another.

We hope these relatively simple office culture tips can make a big impact on your business. Remember, making changes to your office culture can be subtle. You don’t need to invest in nap cubes tomorrow to make your team feel appreciated, more relaxed and ultimately happier in their work environment! As Brian Chesky, Co-Founder, CEO of Airbnb puts it – “Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.”