Culture is a word you hear thrown around a lot nowadays to describe workplace atmospheres. Creating a culture around your office is a good way to develop a comfortable office atmosphere: one that is inviting and fun to show up to every day.
Formstack takes its culture very seriously. We believe that having a fun and accommodating company culture goes a long way to foster an environment of creativity, collaboration, and accountability.
Here are a few things we do to help sustain our culture and can be applied to any office:
1. “Casual” is the new “Business Casual” is the new “Business Professional.”
Formstack has no dress code, and neither should your office. Allowing employees to wear whatever they think they work best in (for me: jeans, Tshirt, zipup, and sneakers) brings a sense of comfort to the workplace. This does open the door for inappropriate attire, but by and large your employees will follow casual wear with common sense.
2. New tools for better collaboration
Company email chains are so 90s. Microsoft Office is too restrictive. Formstack ditches these in order to provide better collaboration and team building. For company wide messages we use the free software Yammer (think of it as Facebook for companies). And to share and collaborate documents we stick with Google Docs (reasonably priced for businesses). And last for taking lunch orders, to job applications, to company surveys we use… Formstack of course!
3. Weekly company-wide meetings
It seems like an insignificant gesture, but being able to have a formal company-wide meeting is the best way to get every employee on the same plateau. It gives everyone the opportunity to speak about what they’ve done to better the biz and hear about coworkers accomplishments. If you can’t do a company meeting, you should at least get your department to do one. Formstack does a standup company meeting every Friday at 10am sharp! Following up with a joke or group activity is a good way to cap the meeting.
4. Group activities
Get your employees up and moving around and interacting with each other. It not only blows off steam from a stressful day but helps to generate a free exchange of ideas. Formstack puts a heavy emphasis on group activities with random ping-pong tournaments, our invented game of Volleypong (volleyball and ping-pong), which accommodates six players, to Power Struggle, which is a Volleypong-esque game that involves the entire company. See our About Us video to see Power struggle in action.
5. Friday lunches
Having an informal meal at the end of the week with all the employees brings about good team camaraderie. Providing said lunch is also one of those perks that employees LOVE. If not provided, office lunches can often be met with gripes of discontent. Formstack knows the value in an office lunch and always provides it for its employees on Fridays. Though not mandatory, almost no one seems to pass up a free lunch. Funny how that works…
6. Frequent group outings
Don’t confine your employees to the office, get them out into the natural light! At Formstack we take frequent office excursions, either as team building exercises or just a break from the desks. Since I’ve been on the team, our outings have included laser tag, ice cream shoppes, and a really awesome holiday dinner at the Oceanaire.
7. Don’t stop at coffee, provide snacks too
Everybody gets cravings for a snack throughout the day. Why have your employees stare at the clock waiting for the next break to get a meal? Or why have them make trips down to a vending machine to overpay for an unhealthy bag of chips or candy bar? Formstack forgoes those scenarios and provides healthy snack options to all its employees along with some salty snacks (nothing too unhealthy though) and diet sodas. Quick snacks and caffeinated drinks help keep the work flow going in between meals.
8. Care for a beer with those pretzels?
This would probably make a lot of executives cringe in today’s world, but the fact of the matter is that beer probably does more to endear your employees to your workspace than most anything you can do. Nothing brings about complete easiness and comfort than enjoying a beer with your coworkers at your desk while you’re at work. It breaks the professional ice and blends your true self with your work.
Formstack provides beer for its employees, but like a responsible party should, never encourages or pressures employees to partake. And as responsible employees it is never an abused perk, one that typically only comes out at the end of a busy week of making Formstack better.
What are some ways your company reemphasizes culture? We’re always open to new ideas!