How to thrive in the office? To constantly push to be the best you. To help the company improve? Or rather let’s begin with why we need to be concerned with this topic. Doesn’t matter if you’re an employee, the head of human resources or the boss — everyone has a part to play in creating an environment for growth.
Thrive. To thrive, according to Merriam-Webster’s definition of thrive, is to grow vigorously and to gain in wealth or possessions. Essentially, to thrive is to flourish and prosper. Why is there a need to focus on it? No doubt every company would want their business to flourish and prosper and that is a want. However, it is important to know that thriving is a need.
It is crucial for the company to continue growing and improving constantly. The moment a company does not make a conscious effort to continue growing, they stagnate. “What’s wrong with that? Isn’t it just being constant? We’re technically not making any losses.” That’s the mentality you have to change right there. As a company comes to plateau in their business processes, you’re giving your competitors to catch up and even surpass you. Wouldn’t that be a loss as you’ve lost out on the potential growth you could have explored?
This isn’t the only misconception many people have! Unfortunately, there are more misconceptions that people have with regards to progression/growth in the office. Misconceptions can be deadly as they hinder us from taking a look at the process and changing them. So let’s get these major misconceptions out of the way first!
Misconception #1: Drastic changes are needed
The myth here is that in order for exponential growth, there is a major shift that has to be made in business processes. With this mindset, it’s as if there’s this expectation that one major change can redefine the whole ball game. Truth is, growth means progression and progression is about taking little but meaningful steps to improve. Athletes don’t become the great athletes that they are overnight. It’s really about the small change we take that make the difference.
For instance, a study journal discovered that death rates decreased by 40% after hospitals implemented a checklist before a surgical procedure. We can see that the difference, in this case, can literally save lives. In an office context, a simple thing such as reducing working hours can change our productivity levels like it did at Marriott. At Marriott, low-value work had dropped to 6.8 hours per week” compared to 11.7 hours without it.
In fact, small changes in company processes include you. Changing the things you do that affect productivity can help boost the company processes a little more. You can check out 5 small changes you can make to be more productive in this Times article. Don’t underestimate the small changes! Such as putting in more thought into your office pantry. Who knows, maybe one of these changes you make could really be the game changer.
Misconception #2: The only kind of change needed is provided by technology
We understand how in this 21st century we live in, technological advancements seem to be the main driving force for progression. From barcoding to RFID and multiple excel functions, we have seen the tangible and extremely satisfying results. While we completely agree that technology has changed the way we work and boosted us forward, it’s not the only way. We’ll leave it to the experts at Microsoft to share how companies can thrive with technology.
On this note, what can we do to boost productivity apart from technology? It’s simple — taking care of yourself, employees and colleagues. For starters, let’s set everyone on the right note, aligning everyone to the company culture and really sticking to it. This sets everyone on the same page and creates a synergy that could cause greater teamwork or simply a better environment to work in. If you’re a regular worker, time to do a self-check— are you on the same page as the rest?
Unfortunately, if you’re in human resources or the boss, your job is a little harder. You need to think of what can you do to emphasize the company culture. Fret not because here are some employee perks:
- Paid sick leave
- Parental leave
- Company retreats
- Tuition reimbursement
- Employee discounts
- Office perks
We’ll expound on what exactly office perks could include in our next point.
Misconception # 3: All work and no games?
Well, of course not— it’s not all work. It doesn’t mean that continuously pushing for more work done means more results. If any of that work done was not done productively or meaningfully, it would have gone to waste. There’s definitely a need to strike a balance and it could actually turn out for the better. As mentioned above, we can see how shortening the working hours pushed for greater productivity.
Then what could “games” include? We’re not referring games like literal board games (although that could be a good time out). Rather, we’re talking about office perks that could help you be more productive. As a worker, enjoy the facilities or features that your company provides. If they don’t have office perks, time to voice out your opinions and value-add to the company! Your colleagues will be thankful. As the boss/HR, this is what you’re looking out for, here are a few office perks you should have!
- Gym/Studio Membership
- (Healthier) Office Pantry
- On-site wellness workshops (yoga/pilates/dance)
- Office Lounge
- Flexible working schedules
These could prevent burnout in yourself/employees and really be taking a step back to not add too much on your plate. Eventually, this helps in the long run so you could see it as a long-term investment in your wellness!
Misconception # 4: The boss takes the lead
Don’t leave everything to your boss! I’m sure your boss would appreciate an employee who takes the initiative to inspire a change, impressed even. Sometimes change can’t happen without you! Our bosses don’t really see things from our point of view sometimes and don’t understand the challenges we face or what could be improved. You know what’s best for you. If you don’t sound out or try to create that change for yourself, how could you expect someone else to do so? Don’t be afraid to share your ideas with everyone!
Misconception #5 : To thrive is to get to a destination
If you were to take away anything from this article, take note of this point! “Thriving is our goal and our end-point.” Well, yes thriving is your goal as a person and for the company. However, it’s not an end-point, it’s not a destination. It’s easy to see it as such when the world is so goal-oriented and result-based. Thriving is about continually improving, pushing and going above and beyond. The moment you see it as a destination, you put a roadblock in front of you that prevents you from pushing the limits and trying to go further.
In fact, this applies to life and not just your workplace. Don’t think about a destination but rather what you take away from the journey and how you can apply what you’ve learnt to push yourself next time. It’s curious as to why we ask little children – “what do you want to be when you grow up?” like that’s the end point. “A doctor”— then what, what’s after that? Wouldn’t you think it’ll be more meaningful to ask: “what do you want your life to look like?” Ask yourself that question and if the answer you have is not satisfactory, a change could be made to switch that around.
Getting all these misconceptions out of the way, you’re one step closer to making your life better— for yourself, for the people around you and for the company.