In our modern world, start-ups have pervaded the professional landscape. According to the statistics provided by “Get2Growth”, there have been as many as 305 million total start-ups annually in the year of 2014 alone. An astounding number, for sure, but another surprising fact is that most of them are run in almost the same way. As the stories of successful start-ups circulate the internet and the business community, a pattern has started to emerge. Most believe that being a “free, fun, and hip” company is just as important as having a hardworking one. But then, is that really the case?
Realistically speaking, the merits of this kind of work environment have its positives points. Firstly, flexible hours allow for open workflow and less stress. Allowing employees to come and go as they please will let them balance their professional and personal lives better. In addition, they’ll experience less pressure when it comes to having to finish an ostensibly difficult task within a given amount of time – removing the limit altogether will allow for better pacing. Secondly, the personal freedom afforded to them will undoubtedly lead to happiness, and in turn, increased productivity. Of course, this is better for the business overall. Lastly, the heightened focus on fun will ensure that the company atmosphere never falls into mediocrity.
Unfortunately, being the “free, fun, and hip” company can’t be good for all – especially not for start-ups. While there are many advantages to being one, there are also the disadvantages to consider.
Over focusing on appeal
Appeal goes both ways – company, and personal. Some companies are over-reliant on presenting itself as the company everyone wants to go to, while there are also people who introduce themselves as the ones that should be hired. Appeal is good and all, but it can lead to negligence for other qualities that are just as critical. For companies, start-ups shouldn’t spend too much of their capital on “perks” like game rooms or free food. On the other hand, on the employee side of things, remember that skill and background should always be considered as well as those traits are what will fundamentally contribute to the overall productivity of your team, and by extension, your company.
Having too much expenses
A centre on fun will undoubtedly require paraphernalia that promotes such activity. As such, it’ll require additional funds to supply it. Contrary to what most people think, this shouldn’t be a priority – if your starting budget doesn’t allow for it, then don’t go for it. These things can come later. Just make sure to allot your capital properly and only buy the things you need. The fun things can come when the profit start rolling in.
Diverting from the end goal
Start-ups inevitably begin their business because they want to turn a profit – but sometimes they forget this goal. Instead of managing their company to make money, others tend to alter their attention elsewhere such as having more fun with friends. Ensure that your goal, no matter what happens, is always on the forefront of your office activities. IT’s what will fund your further operations, after all.
Don’t buy into the universal attitude of starting up as a hip company. Build your own culture. Assess your people and your goals then tailor your culture to ft. While the stories of success and fun are great to aspire to, you too can make that a reality as long as you’re able to turn a profit first.
In this time and age, information is freely accessible from a myriad of devices, from cellular phones to tablets to the more traditional desktop computers but with these many advantages comes the disadvantages. While information is now freely accessible, so are workplace distractions such as various entertainment-centric websites such as YouTube and Social Media Services like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. While some have argued that internet freedom has a positive impact with regards to productivity and overall morale, it is still a fact that unrestrained internet access for employees provide more harm than good.
Don’t let trends dictate the way you run your company and try to enforce some technology-related, internet-centric policies such as limiting the use of non-work related websites in times when employees are supposed to be working. While a total ban may indeed decrease office morale instead of increasing it, a subtle agreement between employer and employee limiting their use of the internet may instead boost morale and bolster a trust-based relationship between the two parties. As they say, to receive trust, one has to give it in turn.
As stated above, there are a few success stories that have influenced the influx of start-ups with regards to company culture but the best advice that you should take is that running your company is your business so you should run it the way you want it to run, not because of how the many do it but do it based on your preferences and your employees wants and suit them to your company’s needs.
Kimberly Marie Gayeta (Kimmy) is a Communications Degree holder, currently working as an online Marketing Representative for Jerry Angping.