Three Strategies to Steal from Google for a Happier WorkplacePeople often spend more time at work than at home. If a workplace is not fun or, at the very least, pleasant, people can dread it. Happier workers are also more productive, or so conventional wisdom holds.

Companies try all sorts of ways to boost morale. In fact, we talked about how to keep your team motivated, here on this blog as well.

Google is known to be a great place to work. It was named the best company to work for by Fortune for the seventh year. Employees get free haircuts, onsite doctors and laundry, shuttle buses, and more.

While your company may lack the abundant resources Google has, staff writer Laura Entis, shares a few key company practices that can still be applied to your business.

Act Like a Scientist

Entis suggests you have employees fill out surveys to collect data and if it challenges current company policy, investigate and find a better solution.

For instance, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin presumed you could run a company where no one was the boss of anyone else.

Feedback from company surveys indicated the opposite, and now Google understands the value of middle managers.

Have a Reason for Perks

Don’t just give employees perks. There should be a reason for each one.

For instance, Google noticed many women were leaving the company, which affected their bottom line because of the costs associated with hiring and retraining employees, according to a Slate article.

When they looked into the problem, they discovered it was a new mother problem. Women who had recently given birth left at twice the average departure rate.

To help with this problem, Google changed their maternity leave to five months off with full pay and full benefits. New mothers are also allowed to split up that time however they wish. Google also offers seven weeks of new parent leave to its workers around the world.

Little Things Can Have a Big Effect

Something as simple as the length of the tables in a lunchroom or the amount of time you spend in line (if you’re company has a cafeteria) can have a big effect.

Entis says researchers hired by Google found the ideal lunch line wait should be three to four minutes, which is long enough for people to talk and make new connections, but short enough to minimize wasted time.

A longer lunch table enables you to branch out more than a table that seats four people. “Small, inexpensive changes can have a big effect on employee satisfaction,” says Entis.

In general, workplaces that make us feel included, valued, and cared for bring out our best efforts. Any workplace can be fun, but it needs to come from the top. It takes a little creativity and effort, but it is worth it in the end.

What are some of the biggest stressors you meet in your workplace? How do you get past them?

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