I will tell you who was onto something: Mr. Rogers.
That cat got it right. He came in from the elements and immediately dressed down. And while I am not suggesting we all grab some lace-up Keds to wear around the house, I think it is a good reference point on how humans are creatures that crave comfort.
9.SQUARE is a small business; we write our own rules. Everything from where we choose to office, what printer paper we use, and how we create invoices, was an intentional decision. There are thousands of these tiny decisions that go into creating a business. Many of which have zero impact on a bottom line.
But what smart employers have discovered, is that their ability to attract and retain the best talent is what will differentiate themselves in the next decade. Making those employees happy (and comfortable) takes on increased importance.
Policy is a funny word. It evokes either images of the movie Office Space, or stuffy politicians stumping in congress. But policies can be fun! They can be intentional efforts to create a pleasant environment. For instance, I was a part of a team that enacted a "lights off" policy during the summer months when there was abundant natural light in our office and thus no need to burn the kilowatts on fluorescent lighting.
Here at 9.SQUARE we informally created a Mr. Rogers Policy. The winter months are hard on attire. Fashion is jettisoned in favor of utility. So why not come into work, kick off your muttluks, and don a pair of comfy slippers? Why should you spend the entire work day with wet boots or cold toes? What is the worst that can happen? A client sees you in your slippers? They would simply think to themselves, "Damn, that is a great idea!"
That policy has spread throughout our co-working space and now declares at our front door: "THIS IS AN OFFICE WITH HUMAN BEINGS, AND HUMAN BEINGS CARE ABOUT COMFORT. COME ON IN, AND BE COMFORTABLE."
So what's your policy?