Guest Contributor – Michael Moulton
We spend a lot of our time working. 40 hours a week for 50+ years translates into a pretty hefty portion of our waking hours dedicated to work. Since we spend so much time working, shouldn’t work be an enjoyable place to be?
Over the course of my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some incredible companies. These companies understood the importance of making the workplace somewhere employees want to be. From my experience, there are a few key defining features that unite these companies’ approaches.
1. Employees are Treated like People
A constant across workplaces where people want to be is the organization’s approach to its biggest asset—its people. Of course, at the end of the day, a business exists to make profit. However, it’s a humanistic approach to managing people that will lead to the greatest success.
2. Everyone Cares About What’s Created
I don’t care how many Foosball tables, coconut water stations, or wellness programs you throw at me—if the “thing” we make is boring or uninspiring, I’ll have a hard time staying engaged. But it’s not necessarily about simply having a “cool” product. It’s about filling your organization with people who believe in the company’s mission and vision.
When everyone is passionate about why they’re working, the impacts are far-reaching. Employees are more likely to lift eachother up to help achieve the overarching goal, rather than undercut one another in the name of personal gains.
3. The Work Environment is, Well, Cool
Here’s where that “cool” factor comes into play. Anyone who has ever worked in a sea of beige cubicles can attest to the fact that your work environment matters. From personal experience, the offices I work in now are just plain rad. The Teem offices are nestled in downtown Salt Lake City, in a historic candy factory.
We have huge open ceilings with beautiful windows to match, framed by exposed brick and a wealth of glass conference rooms. Our break room is generously stocked with healthy snacks, drinks and even iced coffee on tap! We have quick access to all the great food and parks downtown SLC has to offer, and we take advantage with many employees taking the time to work outside of the office.
All this and I haven’t even mentioned the slide yet.
4. There’s Abundant Mutual Respect and Admiration
I don’t care what you are doing or how much you are getting paid to do it—coworkers can make or break a job. Once again, this comes down to curating the right employees who are driven by your company’s mission. The goal is to surround yourself with smart people at the top of their game, and the auxiliary benefit is that these people are incredible to work with.
Your employees are collaborating to solve complex problems and passion will often lead to head-butting. But a great company functions like a family. There will always be instances where thoughts collide, but that doesn’t mean the people dislike one another. In fact, this tension (when backed with respect and support) can create incredible environments for innovation.
Even though this list is certainly not exhaustive, creating an enjoyable workplace depends on your people and spaces. Both should be selected with the utmost care and intention. Because, after all, we all work—so work should be enjoyable!