Tag Archives: Starbucks

Your customers can feel if your workplace is unhealthy

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There are many reasons why a workplace could be “unhealthy.” An unhealthy workplace have too many people cramped in a small space. There might not be enough windows. The windows in offices generally don’t open which is why I don’t work in that type of environment. You might have argumentative people, or mean bosses. There could be office politics, overly long work days or other things to create an unhealthy environment.

Customers pick up on your office environment.
Customers enjoy working with pleasant businesses who get the job done with a smile. Most companies out there do not do their work correctly, have managers running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and workers who are either incompetent or don’t care — or both. Add stress and vindictive office relationships to the mix, and you’ve got a really unhealthy office environment.

Your Vision
The solution to this problem all starts with a vision. There have been cool companies in America that had a cool vision. Cliffbar has upbeat staff creating healthy food products. Starbucks created a pleasant environment with happy staff that the public can’t stay away from. Google creates workplaces that are customized for innovative collaboration. But, most other companies just don’t even start to think about optimizing their environment. Do you want to create a wonderful work environment, or do you prefer to take the easy way out and keep things the same? Maybe it’s easier if you can’t stand your environment, but are forced to stay and work in it. Then, you would have to change it or risk going insane.

Solutions to an unhealthy work place
Changing around the office space or getting a new office that is more appealing might be a good start. Aspiring to create a company culture of upbeat people would help a lot. Getting rid of sour employees who ruin everyone else’s day could be a life saver. Hiring a few people with bubbly personalities might add joy to the other people’s lives even if the bubbly folks were not good workers themselves. Having plants in your office might create some oxygen and lower stress. But, what about animals? I have seen offices in Hollywood allow people to bring their dogs and cats to work. It was a little unusual, but since their dogs were quiet, it worked out.

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Compilation of posts about offices

A coffee house guy hired by corporate America

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His name was Dale. He worked at a local coffee house. Dale was easy going, very sociable, smart, but also hard working. He liked music, the arts, but had also worked in landscaping, call centers, and other types of jobs. He prefered a low key profession, and hadn’t decided what he wanted to do with his life.

Then Max came around. He had just left one of his daily corporate board room meetings. There was stress, there were arguments. Many people who would have been critical to the conversation had been left out due to a combination of office politics and negligence. Max’s boss was one of the several VP’s of the company. They had decided that they needed a change of pace from this typical corporate head banging sessions. But, what to do? Max had an idea. He noticed how Dale was so pleasant to talk to, so laid back, yet attentiive to his work. A personality like Dale’s could do wonders for their insane corporate environment — if only they could figure out how to not scare him away.

So, Max went to visit Dale. They shmoozed, and talked about the regular things. Then Max asked Dale if he would like to try to work in their office as a personality coordinator. His job would be to talk with different people, compare ideas, invite people to meetings, and be a part of meetings. Max decided that Dale would need to have a serious of seminars about business, marketing, and the widget industry that they were in. He would need to be clued in to the company’s clients, their needs, and the various issues they faced.

Dale was given a little cubicle and was to manage a lot of the daily meetings. Although Dale was just learning about their business and their business model, he was so pleasant to talk to, that everyone enjoyed working there all the more. Everyone, except for Dale. But, the salary was so good. Dale finally talked to Max.

DALE: Max, I like the job I’m doing, but I don’t like working here. Or, should I say I don’t like being here. I feel so confined, there is no fresh air, and something is missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Let’s go out and talk about it over a cup of coffee.

MAX: Okay…. let’s visit the one down the street

(5 minutes later)

MAX: (sipping his mocha) I figured out what is missing that you can’t put your finger on.

DALE: (sipping a latte) What is it? I’m stumped!

MAX: How do you feel now?

DALE: I’m in my natural habitat. This is where my species exist in nature. At a coffee house with people chatting, browsing the internet and enjoying biscottis.

MAX: Exactly. What is missing is: coffee, fresh air, people, and the coffee house atmosphere. But, there is one thing you should know. Your personality IS the coffee house atmosphere and you bring that atmosphere wherever you go which is why we hired you. The problem is that the atmosphere we put you in is like a type of soil that your roots don’t take to.

DALE: You have figured me out to a T. So, I have another idea. Since I don’t want to give up my $60,000 entry level salary which is unheard of, let’s create that coffee house atmosphere on your property. We can build one outside, on the roof, or in the board room. I’ll need some fresh air piped in, or some plants to create oxygen. I feel so stifled in your building.

MAX: I’ll talk to my boss, and I’ll bet he can do it. Since you’ve come on board, people who never interacted before have been interacting. It is exciting to see. Marketing would never talk to Tech for example. The marketing guys were too busy to talk, and the tech guys were too nerdy and focused to interact. But, you brought them together, and now they have found common ground — or since you are in the coffee business — common “grounds.” If they would have the same interaction over a mocha, I bet the conversation would be even better.

DALE: Yeah, they could palpitate while talking about the next merger!

MAX: I have an ever better idea to add to this idea. We can invite some laid back people to hang out in our cafe once its built to create a mood. The people who hang out in our cafe now are uptight administrators, stressed our secretaries, and busy executives. We need to build a more laid back and interactive mood.

DALE: I can save you the trouble, instead of building a new cafe and inviting the crowd from the cafe down the street, why not hold your business meetings down the street. We could reserve hours, and put the tables in a circle which is the most optimal shape for a meeting.

MAX: Hmm, well, we could try it both ways. But, I like the way you think kid. That’s why we hired you!

A month later, corporate built a large coffee house that was only open to certain people in the law in front of the high rise. The open aired building had its seating section shaped in a circle to optimize the flow of conversations at meetings. Coffee and other drinks were served at all meetings. The most important fact of all is that Dale and Max were finally happy. Dale could be in his natural habitat while expanding his mind and helping others to connect ideas in a healthy way. Oh, and one final though.

In dream dictionaries, a coffee house is a powerful dream symbol. If you dream about a coffee house it represents, philosophizing, deep thought, interaction, and stimulation. If you ask me, it is my favorite dream symbol of all — besides tsunamis.