2017 Office Culture in Review
Office perks reached new heights of insanity last year. The media is rife with stories of communal yachts, gourmet cooking classes — even egg freezing. If it seems like the perks are getting more and more outrageous, they are. Millennials are driving the change because they care about culture as much as, if not more than, salary and benefits. Essentially, they want their jobs to be fun, which is one trend everyone can agree on.
Office culture is always top of mind at Boxed. No matter what new initiatives we implement, authenticity is key. From monthly off-site volunteer days to trivia Fridays with our CEO (with prizes, of course), we’re always seeking fresh ways to show the team we care.
What to Expect in 2018
Creating a genuine culture is an ongoing process. It’s about acknowledging trends and employee expectations and letting it all manifest in a way that’s unique to your company, mission, and team. Here are some things that are currently inspiring us and shaping our thinking for 2018.
1. Inspired Breakrooms
When the company breakroom is as inviting as Sunday brunch with friends or your own home, isolating yourself with a desk lunch loses its appeal. Consider communal tables that encourage cross-department mingling and replace harsh fluorescent lights with inviting lamps and cozy couches. Check out these inspiring spaces in Entrepreneur.
2. Unlimited Snacks & Drinks
With a renewed focus on wellness and productivity and a desire to surprise and delight, employers have come to realize that snacking hits all the right notes. Snacking habits are getting more refined and smart organizations are relying on subscription and delivery services (like yours truly) to keep up. Would you work somewhere without free LaCroix? We didn’t think so.
3. Supporting Your Side Hustle
High-performing employees have a multitude of skills and interests. The savviest companies will give employees a combination of time, funding, and other support to bring their passion projects and side businesses to life. Employers understand the skills that emerge from side projects make employees better at their day jobs. If you haven’t found your own side gig, here are a few ideas to get you started.
4. Office Playgrounds
Companies will continue to pursue space that inspires people to get up from their desks and make time for silly spontaneity. These play breaks are great for the mind and body and let people return to their work refreshed. When it’s time to redecorate Boxed HQ, Google will be our inspiration.
5. Living Walls/Cubicles
Interiorscape experts tout the benefits of living green walls and employers are following their lead by bringing foliage into shared office spaces and cubicles. Plants you get to enjoy, but someone else takes care of? This is a trend we absolutely support. Plus, green walls act as nature’s headphones by reducing office noise. Whether you think that plants improve air quality or productivity, there’s no doubt they are aesthetically gorgeous, which always makes life under the fluorescent lights a little more tolerable. Let’s hope that green walls will soon be replacing motivational posters in a cubicle near you.
6. Volunteer Sabbaticals
As work interests and life interests continue to merge, more and more companies are seeking out involved, compassionate employees and supporting their efforts to make the world a better place. Companies like Patagonia are leading the way with its Environmental Internship Program. Can’t afford a full sabbatical? At Boxed, our solution is to host monthly off-site volunteering days when our teams come together and bond over different causes, like caring for shelter pets, cleaning up schools in need and feeding the homeless.
7. Funding Life-altering Events
Many of life’s big milestones are accompanied by debt. Boxed CEO Chieh Huang knows his company wouldn’t exist without its employees, so he picks up the tab for their weddings and their children’s education. Ok, we know it’s kind of shameless to include ourselves on the list, but office culture is kind of our thing. Bolstering the prospects for future generations is so much bigger than a trend. We want to spread the word so it catches on everywhere.
Creating Culture on a Budget
Luckily, participating in office culture trends isn’t only for startups. There are still plenty of ways to bring fun to your office even if free fitness bands and chair massages aren’t in your budget.
Snacking is a culture builder you can afford on a regular basis. Putting a Saver Box on subscription is far less expensive than a team happy hour, but it still brings everyone together without worrying about the cab rides home. Once your office has its snacking sea legs, you can graduate to a Premium Box and fill the internet with #snackgoals posts.
Put Your Culture on Display
When the snacks arrive, be sure to hang on to the box (unless someone needs it for moving). It folds out into a handy display case for your snacks — no more meticulously putting out food in DIY containers or doing dishes. Bonus: Its fun design makes it a gathering place. Basically, the Boxed box is the new water cooler.
People Are The Best Perk of All
Creating an atmosphere where people want to spend time together is the best culture of all. If you don’t bond with the people you work with, the rest of it doesn’t matter very much. Setting up a Boxed subscription is a great way to make sure people gather on a regular basis. Sign up for your free account today and start building culture around snacks — because free food never goes out of style.