One question I see a lot when reading up on various businesses is “How do we keep employees motivated?”. It’s a tough question, but one which I think the tech sector, in particular, is tackling very well. There are many reasons why tech companies are one of the very few turning a profit these days; one of them is how things are run.
Tech companies don’t do things ‘normally’. Well, normal to others. It’s pretty common to get nearly mowed down by a software developer bouncing around on a space hopper, hit by a Ping-Pong ball as one goes a stray from the table or even shot with a NERF gun from across the room/battlefield. But it’s a business, why the hell is this let happen. The answer is actually surprisingly easy; creativeness. It’s proven that those who have more fun are more creative. Add some coffee to the equation and your employees are almost unstoppable They are more efficient, more creative and an even better employee as a result. No, we don’t have any space hoppers in the Trustev office – but DC does have a nice armoury of NERF guns, which he is ready to unleash at any moment. Also if he is let have his way I think we would all be hooked up to Xbox live at all times and would conduct business meetings while shooting each other in Call of Duty. I highly endorse this behaviour.
Most of us know our own limits, so I think you should let employees be responsible for themselves and their jobs. We’ve all been thought from a young age that we’re individuals, so how do you expect everyone to work in the exact same way as the person at the desk next to them – it’s just not a viable option. Give employees a chance to relax during the day too. If someone is working from eight in the morning until six at night with just one break, you can be pretty sure that they’re tired, hungry, and not productive in the slightest. This doesn’t mean there should not be deadlines and you should not be strict with employees, by all means you can but you can do both at the same time. Let them do their job. It is, what 90% of footballers say in interviews; "at the end of the day", what you’re paying them to do. Put the deadline in place and just let them at it. Trust them.
Although I would advise that on the off chance that they have left everything until last minute make sure you’ve a nice collection of coffee and energy drinks in the kitchen for them to get their hands on. They will be busy for the night.
Regardless I think employees should be let ‘run-wild’ in the sense of having fun while you work. Allow them to get in treadmill desks if they want to, allow them to build a fort with bean bags and by all means definitely allow them to shoot each other with NERF guns. They’re more inclined to enjoy their job and as a result put in more of an effort. Everyone wins.