Modern tech businesses are notorious for their relaxed work environment, yet it is often the case that their employees produce highly creative and innovative material. This can be explained by considering what employees view as valuable contributions in their role. Because their time is not as structured, their work is less of the “busy” variety. They do not feel pressure to burn the clock, but rather to work smarter in order to increase their value at the company. The businesses themselves are responsible for creating this environment, and need to make intelligent decisions to ensure that employees use their freedom productively.
So what does this reduced structure look like? Some businesses have made major strides by setting up communal work areas for marketing teams. By allowing both a personal work space and an open, collaborative environment, employees can reap the benefit of colleague input and brainstorming. The freedom of mobility and collaboration within an office setting facilitates “out of the box” thinking while still operating within a traditional office environment. Other businesses allow employees to work outside the office for some of the day. Of course, it is important to manage expectations and include the caveat that employees must be productive while working remotely. This is a license for creativity, not laziness.
It is important to determine who exactly will benefit from these incentives, and who they can feasibly be given to. It makes the most sense to give these incentives to employees who do not operate on a rigidly structured schedule. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense for technical support agents because they are required to work around customer schedules, necessitating that they make themselves available at any time. Similarly, sales and some managerial roles will likely not fit the bill. By correlating time-based productivity data with the type of work performed, you can determine who in your organization will gain value from reduced structure.
If you are able to offer increased freedom for creative employees, you can increase job satisfaction and incentives for future hires. You will also create an environment for original and valuable contributions. It can be a win-win situation that benefits companies in any industry.