Apart from our own homes, the place where we usually spend the most amount of time is at work. Typically, all of us spend more than 10 hours a day at work. This means more than 50 hours per week. It is not an exaggeration to call the office our second home, and just as any home should, the office too should foster growth and learning and facilitate bonds between family members.
In an environment where we feel at home, we will also feel connected to the organisation, its values, vision, and goals. This, in turn, will lead to showing more ownership at work, more engagement, and employees generally feeling passionate and excited to go to work every morning.
The big question that arises here is how do you make your employees feel at home? How do you give them the comfort and support that a home provides and yet ensure that work gets done? We swear by the ACT philosophy – Agility, Communication, and Transparency.
Your workplace should encourage agility among employees. We can understand agility through a gymnast – always flexible, innovative, and highly skilled. Similarly, the work environment should encourage your employees to be adaptable and flexible with their strategies, continuously innovating, and always up to date with their skills.
Your workplace should encourage your employees to freely communicate with each other. Communication should be as open as possible, such that employees feel that it is a safe space to discuss challenges and failures. This promotes learning and growth. It helps employees collaborate with one another and ensures that the organization can consistently move forward.
Everybody works better when they have full clarity about the organisation, its purpose, and goals. An open working atmosphere builds trust in the minds of employees. This helps them be more committed towards their work.
The ACT philosophy is simple and easy to follow. By keeping this philosophy in mind, employees will feel safe and at home at work, and automatically have more commitment and be more passionate.
But we understand that employers are not the only ones concerned about performance at work. As an employee too, we are concerned about whether our work satisfies and fulfils us, and if we are performing to the best of our abilities. There is one critical tip to all those who struggle with this – have fun while learning!
Having fun while learning is actually a very natural tendency for us. As children, we learned through play. But as we grew into adults, we forgot how joyful it is to learn something new, and how to make that learning process more enjoyable.
Learning while playing is not only very enjoyable but it also has proven benefits. Playing engages all our senses and this makes it more likely that we will remember what we learn. Consequently, it becomes easier to apply this learning immediately back in the workplace because the learning took place at a much deeper level.
Learning through play has another benefit. Play happens with a group of people, in this case, your team or colleagues. Playing with a group of people facilitates a deep bonding between them which is unlikely to happen through anything else. This bonding is not seen by attending a lecture together or a dull training session. This team bonding, in turn, will no doubt be seen in the quality of work that the team produces.
Ultimately, the workplace should always promote enjoyment and rigour simultaneously. Either of these, in the absence of the other, can be harmful. But together, they have the potential to completely transform your office, employees, and the general work culture.
Pooja Bajaj is the Founder and CEO of Extra Mile.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)