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Five ways to improve your office culture

The HubbleHQ Team
The HubbleHQ Team|Updated January 16th 2020

If you have an office, you have an office culture.

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A good office culture improves everything from team happiness and talent acquisition to productivity and output—while a bad office culture can land you in all sorts of trouble.

Whether you’re concerned that your workplace may fall under the latter more than the former, or you’re just looking for new ideas, we’ve put together a few tips on how to improve office culture, and get those fabled five stars on Glassdoor.

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1. Make your onboarding work for you

22% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days of a new hire starting, which is not just expensive and time-consuming, but also incredibly disruptive to a team and damaging to overall morale.

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According to a study carried out by the people behind onboarding tool donut (which we use here at HubbleHQ), a good onboarding experience can:

  • Improve new-hire retention by 82%
  • Improve productivity by 70%
  • Increase the likelihood of a new hire staying for three years or longer by 58%

By implementing a robust onboarding process or tool that makes the process easier for new hires by assigning buddies, giving a direct line to management and providing all of the resources they need to hit the ground running, you can reduce this churn and receive invaluable feedback and metrics, so you know how to hone your process in the future.

Read our COO David’s tips on efficient onboarding for new hires

Empower—and listen to—your employees

Working with idea management platform Wazoku, supermarket chain Waitrose saved £3.5m by listening to their employees. One idea alone—making receipts shorter—saved £167,000.

Employees have daily experience with user sticking points, potential product improvements and more that can help streamline and improve your business.

Just as importantly for improving office culture, an employee who feels listened to is more invested in a company’s success. Regularly asking for opinions, ideas and feedback, and demonstrating that they’re sincerely desired and considered, is a win/win.

Let’s talk about flex

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Not everyone needs to be tied to a desk from 9.30-6 every day. The Office for National Statistics predicts that 50% of the UK workforce will be working remotely by 2020, as companies around the country come to the realisation that remote working:

  • Is better for the environment
  • Brings office costs down
  • Opens roles up to talent living outside of a commutable distance
  • Increases productivity (a CoSo Cloud study found that 77% of remote workers felt more productive, and 30% produced more in less time)
  • Reduces the amount of time people take off work

The future is flexible, read about our UI/UX designer Vinnie’s experiences with remote working

Define your values

A company’s values should be decided upon and defined, communicated internally and broadcast externally, informing everything that a company does. These values are essential in driving an overall mission, and giving teams a unifying ethos.

Sometimes, however, the hectic nature of running a business can push this process down a list of priorities. In this case, external help can be enlisted (from companies like CultureGene) to create and hone values that suit your company and culture.

Talking the talk is easy, but walking the walk is what’s needed to grow trust, loyalty and belief in the company mission.

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A good example of successful company values comes from Squarespace, whose values are:

  • Be your own customer
  • Empower individuals
  • Design is not a luxury
  • Good work takes time
  • Optimise towards ideals
  • Simplify

Provide opportunities for growth

According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay longer at a company that invested in their career, while the number one reason for not taking on workplace learning and training is a lack of time.

Companies are increasingly providing employees not just with the resources to grow, but also the time. By giving people a few hours a week for personal development, employees not only feel more loyal to a company, they also bring added value and skills to their role.

Remove biases in your hiring process

In the words of HubbleHQ co-founder and CTO Tom Watson, ‘the danger of having a unidimensional culture of any type, male or not, is that it lacks diversity of opinion and producing better solutions’. A white paper produced by decision-making platform Cloverpop found that diverse teams:

  • Make better business decisions 87% of the time
  • Drive decision-making 2x faster with half the meetings
  • Improve decision team results by 60%

At HubbleHQ, we’re very conscious of the value of diverse teams. It gives us a wide range of voices and opinions, allows us to understand our customers better and is great for our workplace culture.

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In order to do this, we set up a rigorous hiring process that eliminated as many unconscious biases as possible. This process starts with running all of our job ads through a tool that analyses the language for gender neutrality, followed by interviews with team members from various departments and the opportunity for feedback throughout. We want to make HubbleHQ a welcoming place to work, and recruit the best talent from every background.

Find out more about our commitment to eliminating unconscious biases

Let your collective hair down

‘Friends first, employees second’ is the way we work at HubbleHQ; it’s a key component in our quest for the best office culture. We firmly believe that a happy team is a productive team, and so we make sure to pump the brakes regularly and get together for team socials.

Bonding outside of an office context encourages collaboration, breaks down silos and makes your company a better place to work, and it doesn’t have to revolve around the local boozer. We created this guide with ideas for company socials that don’t end with your CMO slipping a disc while trying to do the splits, including:

  • Zorbing (granted, there’s potential disc-slippage here)
  • Murder mystery evenings
  • Escape rooms
  • Sports days

Also, here at HubbleHQ, we have the Friday Fika, a Swedish tradition that gets the entire company together for coffee, cakes and conversation to round out the week convivially, helping us create and strengthen bonds amongst teams. 

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Perk things up

Perks shouldn’t be used as a substitute for a commitment to making real improvements to company culture. Without the points above being taken into consideration, free prosecco on a Friday isn’t going to cut it when it comes to instilling a sense of togetherness in a business.

However, it doesn’t hurt.

According to a survey carried out by Clutch, 53% of employees who receive perks say they improve their quality of life, over 66% of employees who receive perks are happy with them, and 49% of employees say that perks make them feel valued.

Perks can come in all shapes and sizes, from a jar of sweets in the kitchen to unlimited vacation days. Other examples of effective employee perks are:

  • Personal development budgets
  • Pet-friendly offices
  • Gym membership
  • Regular free meals
  • Frequent salary reviews
  • Away days and socials

Check out our guide on the new approaches to employee perks

One easy way to improve your office culture is to choose an office that suits your team and business requirements. Ready to start the search? Click the button below to search the whole office market:

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