What makes a workplace (part 4)
- Biscuits (nice to have)
- Flexible hours
- The odd pot plant!
It shouldn’t be a problem to provide a friendly, safe, healthy environment. I’ve worked in places that provide basic tea/coffee/milk facilities, and also in some where they think they’re saving money by making the employees provide their own. I think that’s a false economy – the value of better moral surely outweighs the insignificant cost. If you’re lucky, throw in some bickies (cream assorted would be nice!), or one of those fancy coffee machines. On the other hand, if you have those things and then management takes them away – don’t expect any productivity improvements! You don’t realise how useful flexible hours are until you have kids. Not everyone lives close to their place of work, so the option of working from home, or doing that extra work at home instead of the office means you’re more likely to be around home – just so the kids and spouse remember you live there too! Finally, the physical location of your team is also important. Having a space where all your team can sit in close proximity really helps with communication, team identity, and ideally reduces outside interruptions.. There are few things more distracting than a non-team co-worker with a particularly loud, carrying voice - especially in a large open-plan office. Martin Fowler posted recently on his thoughts on the ideal team room.