In my work/life travels from working for corporate, running my own business to working for startups and ultimately working here at Hub, I’ve seen many talented people in the workforce never assume a good “fit” or, just no longer fit at the company, business culture they are with.
The result is high employee turnover and what I call the “clock-in” and “clock-out” employee. These people may stay in their positions but have zero passion for what they do, are unhappy, disengaged, and totally have no drive. When this state of workplace existence hits a critical friction point, most people are compelled to leave, try to find what they hope is a better position somewhere else or, even start their own business venture out of dire need.
The fact of the matter is, employee retention and growth is the secret sauce/ unique asset a small business or startup can have up it’s sleeve. Small, lean businesses don’t have the time nor the resources to constantly attract talent, train and educate new staff thanks to good ol’ churn. And, it directly impacts your ability to advance as a company and stay competitive in the market if you keep having to go back to square one.
But what if I told you, on some level, you could outsource employee happiness?
Where you work can have a dramatic affect on your mindset and overall attitude to work. Look at the google offices, you have interns; talent lining up to work, because the environment in which they work is so engaging. Now, I in no way expect a small business, a lost talent starting their own venture to be in a position to create their own google office. However, with the dawn of the sharing economy there are amazing spaces that offer collaborative work environments in an effort to curate workplace happiness.
But why are they so effective in facilitating happiness in the workplace?
Because of the way our brains are wired. When you are part of a small team and business is going great your brain still does not necessarily translate the reward for the contribution you have given to the team to produce this result. Seeing numbers on a page doesn’t really hit home especially for team members that have no direct dealings with the financials. But a space that is constantly evolving and get’s a new coffee machine, or a meditation area or new technology to play with, free wine, it is easy for your brain to register the positive progress, the reward that in turn keeps your staff motivated. And all this can be outsourced to a coworking space.
Not all workspaces are created equal
Don’t be fooled, not all spaces are equal and it is a very personal choice. What is a great workplace environment for one, may be hell on earth for another. But there are some simple questions, that Marshall Goldsmith, a renowned business educator asks about picking the right job that aptly translates to picking the right workplace to curate your own workplace happiness.
- Know Thyself: Understand yourself as fully as possible — especially your business-related beliefs and decision-making processes. It’s also helpful to identify those aspects of different cultures that you relate to and those you don’t. Write them down and refer to them as you gather data about the spaces under consideration and make sure they align.
- Understand your optimal working environment and do not deviate. Are you someone that needs dead silence? Is being 10min away from the office of intrinsic value to you? Do you need ample natural light? Is the ability to have your dog with you at work of high importance? Is there a certain size desk or height that you just must have? Do you need green things in the space? Lastly, visit and trial the spaces as sometimes you don’t know, what you don’t know is optimal.
- Inquire about the culture in the space: Do people engage in social activities? Is there a culture to celebrate specific milestones and wins? Are there any partnership or incentive programs? Have there been conflicts in the space? Do people collaborate or do they just “check-in” and “check-out” of the space? And so forth. This will tell you a great deal about with whom you will be surrounded by at work and the mindset of those running the space.
- Use your network to verify what you have observed about the spaces culture. Former members, staff or business partners can shed light on what you will actually encounter. You can also talk to a few potential peers in the space.
At the end of the day happiness is a journey. So why not start yours today and visit us at Hub, why not have a free day on us?