You can read article after article on how to transform your home into a work-like atmosphere, full of all kinds of efficiencies and organizing principles that will help you be a better person, spouse and parent. Makes sense, right? We know that being organized reduces stress and anxiety, helps assure you won’t miss a beat – like your turn for car pool – and keeps things in good running order so that everyone in the home is taken care of and feeling loved. It sets expectations, a certain rigor and, well instills a type of professionalism in how things get done at home. No middle child should ever be chanting, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha” in the organized household of today. And for everyone reading this who has no idea who “Marsha” is, this is a Brady Bunch reference.
As a working mother of three children (now grown) and at one point the “parent” to three dogs, 2 cats, two ferrets, a bunny and a gerbil, I know how important it is to be organized. I can tell you first hand that when I didn’t have it together for one reason or another, everything from the food shopping to errands to family-time, all suffered.
There are many tools from the workplace that can be applied for home use. Calendars, planners, group chats, white boards and even meetings have a place in the home, allowing us to use the processes that work at work to help the home work better too.
But what if we also take the elements that make us love being home and bring them to the office? Environments influence our motivation, mood and happiness. Workplace culture is valued more than many other workplace benefits and is seen by over 90% of workers as critical to success.
So what is it that we like about home? Being home makes us happy. We feel safe when we’re home and we trust what’s happening around us. We love the smell of dinner cooking, the sound of laughter and a comfy place to sit down and put our feet up. The ease and informality of connecting and communicating at home is natural. We’re less stressed and on our guard when happily at home. At home, you’re a family unit that cares about each other and is committed to one another’s health and happiness.
Culture is a living, breathing thing that needs nurturing. Bringing home-like elements into the workplace can have just as beneficial an effect as bringing work-like elements into the home. If we treated our co-workers more like family – were more invested in their well-being and happiness, and not just their productivity, talent and contribution to business – we would be able to create energetic, passion-driven co-workers, willing to work together for fun, love and mutual happiness. More like family.
Family comes to life in comforting rooms, at get-togethers, in communication and in shared goals and needs. We know what’s expected of us at home. We know how our home-life works. It’s not always so obvious at the office, especially one where directions are not always clear and goals are only shared with those at the top. At home, you know you need to make your bed and that it’s part of your responsibility as a member of the household. If you’re not this clear at work as to your role and responsibilities and what you are accountable for on a daily basis, you will not succeed and going to work won’t feel homey.
For everyone who’s running a company, culture starts with you. Put your human kindness and values into everything you do and set the culture based on your behavior, interactions, desires and caring relationships with the people who look to you –like you would do at home. This isn’t about adding a couch and a lamp – although these are nice to have. This is about how you feel about the people in the office, how you care for them and how you work together to achieve shared success and happiness.
After all, home is where the heart is. Why not bring a little of this love to work too!