One of the most notable parts of startup culture from the outside looking in is trends. You know the stereotype of the startup CEO — he’s wearing a hoodie that probably cost hundreds of dollars and running meetings from a bean bag chair. However, trendiness isn’t always the right choice for your business. It can be good for your startup to branch out, but some risks aren’t worth taking.
How do you make that choice? Keep reading; we’ll walk you through 3 workplace trends to see if they’re worth the hype for your startup.
1. Do you need a ‘fun’ office? Probably not
We’ve all heard about Google’s legendary campus and the perks therein: free meals, massages, work out classes, and more. We also know not everyone can be Google. There’s always a lot of buzz about ‘fun’ office spaces. But are these benefits worth it? Increasingly, no.
In an article from Forbes, they found that workplace perks aren’t a top reason people enjoy working for a certain company. Quoted from the article, “Workplace perks aren’t…what make or break the decision for talent to stay and deliver great work. Instead, it’s the thought behind the workplace perks that counts.”
Don’t make flashy workplace perks a priority, especially if you’re a small business. Build your team carefully and treat them well, but don’t try to attract talent with superficial perks. If your team isn’t doing meaningful work or they’re not compensated fairly, a fun office won’t matter.
“The most essential quality for a good team is trust.” – Dina Kaplan
2. Keep boundaries as the boss
Another stereotype about startups is a more casual leadership style. CEOs and executive leadership are informal and don’t treat their team like subordinates, but instead, treat them like peers.
This leadership style encourages collaboration, which is definitely a good thing for startups. However, there’s a reason why businesses have traditionally been more formal. Setting boundaries in the workplace is a crucial part of your success, long term. If your team starts to view you as a friend, they might slack off or not take feedback seriously.
The key here, as it is for many things, is balance. Make sure your team feels comfortable bringing problems to your attention, and leave your ego at the door. However, make sure you are the authority figure for your team. You need to be able to inspire and lead, as well as focus and give direction. That beanbag chair might not do the trick.
This trend is becoming so popular, it might not be considered a trend for much longer and might just become a regular part of the workplace. People want more flexibility than what an in-office 8 to 5 position gives them. Millennials in particular, desire flexible work environments more than other groups, and they currently comprise more than half of the job market.
You need to weigh the pros and cons of flexible office hours to find out if they’re a good choice for your startup. Remember, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing here. You can compromise by instituting flexible PTO, leaving early on Fridays, early start/early leaving or vice versa.
You’ll want to work together in person on a regular basis, to encourage collaboration and establish company culture. But allowing people to work from home when they need it is a huge perk and will make a substantial difference to talent you want to attract.
Follow trends that make sense for your business
Trends become popular for a reason, but sometimes that reason doesn’t make sense for your startup. You need to use your better judgement and structure your company in a way that will sustain long term growth.
Establish firm leadership roles, allow flexible working hours up to a point, and make sure not to fall for the allure of ‘fun’ work places. If you make the right choices and think things through for your business, you’ll come out on top.