Tags: company

Giving Your Office the X-Factor: What You Need for an Incredibly Cool Workspace

Beyond • March 6, 2015

Quite possibly the saddest thing in the world is a company that looks great online but rather dilapidated in person. Unfortunately, this is most companies – and here’s why. Today’s cultural currency means that your value as a company is derived from not only what you can offer your clients, but the cultural value they receive. The same holds true for recruitment when trying to hold your company as superior to the competition in order to attract the most innovative recruits. So what does that cultural currency really mean? First, it’s beyond what your digital presence may be. It’s quite easy to create a glossy website and some excellently branded marketing materials – but does that ‘vibe’ carry over to your in-person presence? Answering that question involves taking one brief glance at your work environment and asking what your office (and your employees) look like. If there are only light traces of innovative spirt and bright, enthusiastic employees, then you’re missing what I call the “x-factor” of company culture. You can fix this though and I’ve provided some super quick and easy ways to do it. And, as I’m sure you’ll find, adding these hacks to your office will have a positive effect on your employees, inspiring them to be more innovative and imaginative – and excited about coming to work every day. Chalkboard Walls Though you may have seen this idea on Pinterest, it works really great in a corporate environment. Having multiple chalkboard walls is a really dynamically way to speak out loud. Try having one wall reserved for guests and visitors, and another for employees to doodle on. Punching Bags Aside from being just incredibly cool-looking, having a punching bag promotes mental and physical fitness, and gives the company a gritty feel that says “we’re not afraid to work hard and break a sweat.” For extra measure, add a speed bag too. For a lot of people, a working a speed bag is like stretching out on a yoga mat. It’s calming and stress-relieving. A Wellness Room You can find a better name for it than that, but this room should really be well-decorated in soothing hues with dim lights and comfortable couches. It can be a place for employees to go to catch a quick lunch-time nap, de-stress, having a more intimate meeting or chat, or simply to catch a quick breather in-between projects. If you can’t have a wellness room, have wellness “tents.” Two or three floor to ceiling canopy tents anchored with comfortable rugs and pillows is a stunning (and useful) office statement – and a great place to have a quick 10 minute brainstorm or meeting. Toys Who doesn’t love toys? Toys remind us to play, experiment and not take ourselves too seriously. I recommend having a lot of toys laying around – on desks, on breakout tables, conference tables. Some really great ideas include kinetic sand, brain teaser puzzles, smaller sensory gadgets that you’d find at specialty stores, and even Legos. In fact, having a very large tray or pit of kinetic sand running through your conference table is not only super creative, but also gives people something to do during all those long meetings. A Proper Kitchen Though not all companies have the space for this, having a proper kitchen is a really communal piece that brings people together. You see these more in co-working spaces. Perhaps that’s something to keep in mind as you outgrow your current space. A kitchen gives you a chance to host a weekly lunch for your work family, and even create team building opportunities around cooking challenges that pair people up that may otherwise not work together. Branding Your Workspace You see this often in companies that are dominated by one aesthetic, and usually it’s either a more masculine aesthetic or it’s overly generic of what you imagine a typical agency to look like. Try this: give each employees $100 to “brand” their workspace with things that reflect them. Of course, create guidelines, but encourage them to spend half a work day to go out, get what they want, and really make their space their own. Not only is it a quick way to bring a space to live, it also creates a feeling of ownership which often translates to better work output. The theory being that you’re more inclined to offer higher quality work if it’s something you truly feel is yours.


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Talking Content, Context and More with Fast Company’s Jason Feifer

Talking Content, Context and More with Fast Company’s Jason Feifer

Beyond • December 24, 2014

Jason Feifer is a senior editor at Fast Company. We talked about how he got there and a whole lot more about him. What is and isn\'t appropriate as content and for social media, about The Interview and Selfies at Funerals. Engineer Claude even dug up some old dirt on Jason in the form of videos from college. It was a fun conversation and great info for anyone looking to explore a career in journalism. We discussed what it takes to make it as a journalist today, where to draw the appropriateness line in your content and all sorts of other fun stuff. Listen and enjoy!


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Email Marketing Frequency: Sending on a Regular Basis

Email Marketing Frequency: Sending on a Regular Basis

Beyond • June 11, 2009

Most email marketing experts warn you against sending too frequently or even too infrequently. But few address the basic concept of consistency in your email marketing campaigns. In other words,  not sending on a regular basis is the same as sending too frequently or infrequently. Imagine email marketing to be like a new relationship. If you see the other person on a regular basis, you get some steam going. You build trust. Things feel more natural and normal. But if you show up twice in one week, but not for the next two months, things are going to be weird. And it\'s exactly the same with your email marketing recipients. So, how do you do it? How do you create a plan that makes certain you send your emails on a regular basis? We\'ve got some tips for you, so keep reading: 1. Create an editorial calendar Editorial calendars are what magazine editors and writers use to keep track of what they\'re doing months or weeks ahead. As an email marketer, you should create the same kind of calendar.  Mark the days that you plan on sending your emails. Now, try to figure out what you\'ll focus on during those days. For instance, suppose you run a stationary shop. You don\'t know for certain what you\'ll be doing six months from now, but you can guess that you\'ll probably be gearing up for wedding season, Easter, and even college graduation. Ballpark it and mark your calendar and you\'ll always know how much time you\'ll need to get your specific emails together. 2. Appoint a newsletter guardian Running a business takes lots of time, which is why many business owners and managers tend to shuffle their company email and newsletter campaigns to whoever seems to have a light moment. But by not giving your email or newsletter to the same person every time, you\'re not only putting out a different product each time, but you\'re increasing your chances that your email will be sent out irregularly. To combat this scenario, make your email the job of only one responsible person. Let that person shepherd it from start to finish. Not only will this person make sure it goes out on time, but they\'ll be there to make sure everyone turns in what they need (artwork, shipping schedules, product schematics) long before the email campaign is finally sent. 3. Bank Evergreen copy Start putting together copy for your newsletter that can be used at any time. This copy might include  tips on how to use a product, or even a how-to list that helps recipients save time and money. The key to this copy is to have it ready to drop in when you\'re short on time and need to fill space in your email campaign or company newsletter. So, how do you create this copy? Every day, create a task for yourself. Come up with one tip on how to save money, one “do you know?” factlet about your realm of business, or even just one way customers can use your products or services that they might not have known about previously. Add these things up and in a month, you should have at least three or four articles or tip sheets you can use in a pinch. 4. Create custom email or newsletter departments Break your newsletter or email down into sections. What do you write about each time? New features? General industry news? Tips? Once you have a good idea of what you\'ve been doing every time, you can adjust your template accordingly so that all you need to do is drop in the appropriate section-focused text or images every single time. The key to this exercise is not to reinvent the wheel, but rather come up with a system that helps you easily stick with a schedule. As an email marketer, you want a routine that you can stick to all the time, even during the busiest parts of the year. By putting these measures into place, you\'ll know well ahead of time how much time you\'ll need to dedicate to every single newsletter, and exactly what\'s needed both text and art-wise to keep your campaigns on schedule.


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