Written by Grace Chen, Head of Content Marketing at Hubble, London’s largest digital office broker.
Lately, there’s been a lot of discussion around how casual office cultures can foster a more productive team in comparison to traditional corporate office cultures. Leading the way in redefining company culture are tech startups – and the effectiveness of direction can be seen in the market dominance of companies such as Google, Facebook, and Uber.
While the culture in such companies – where employees can use slides to get between floors or jump into ball pits during breaktime – may be frowned upon by more traditionally conservative industries, Tushar Agarwal, co-founder and CEO of Hubble, discusses how “it’s important to create the distinction between ‘corporate’ and ‘casual’. Corporate doesn’t mean you’re productive and casual doesn’t mean you’re not. Businesses operating in casual work environments are some of the biggest companies in the world where people work extremely hard and create world-changing products with huge amounts of value.”
Jennifer Chiang, co-founder and CEO of MuseFind – a platform to organise and manage influencer marketing – says that “every single person in the team is responsible for company culture, ultimately empowering them to change and uplift it.” She goes on to say that while dress code at MuseFind is casual and they have a ping pong table in the office, work culture is intense. Every team member is on the ball and knows what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.
Let’s take a closer look at some core values that are prevalent among tech startups, the pioneers of casual office cultures that have also produced some of the highest-earning companies in the world.
Hiring and empowerment Many tech startups aim to hire talented, creative, and motivated people, then empower them to do their best work autonomously rather than enforcing strict hierarchies. By giving each team member ownership of their work, each person feels more motivated to perform, knowing that their work has a direct impact on the success of the company.
Friends first, colleagues second approach The casual environment provided in such companies encourages friendlier therefore stronger working relationships with team members. The attention that is dedicated to dressing well and speaking professionally every day can instead be diverted to company growth and performance.
Great experiences A school of thought that is widely embraced by companies that practice casual work culture is that providing great experiences for team members will in turn inspire them to create great experiences for customers.
Empathy for customers Empathy is one of the major factors in creating great customer experiences. This is tried and true regardless of company culture or industry. For example, Hubble’s mission is to create a world where everyone loves where they work. The company aims to do so starting right in our own office. By creating a great work environment for all team members, Hubble allows us to empathise with customers who are in similar situations – companies looking for great offices to grow in.
Professional work ethic And even though many tech startups have office facilities such as beer taps and nerf guns, and are casual in attire and communication style, every member of such companies is driven and has a professional work ethic. Tech startups hire for such and ensure that each team member understands their value to the company, feel empowered to help push the company forward, and know that their individual contribution is imperative for collective success.
Written by Grace Chen
Grace is Head of Content Marketing at Hubble. Hubble was launched in 2014 and is London’s largest digital office broker, with over 1,500 offices available on monthly rolling contracts and over 30,000 businesses signed up. Their mission is to provide a space for every business to grow, wherever they are on their journey from idea to IPO.
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