February 4, 2020
WeWork Failed and Experts Criticized Millennial Office Culture. We Disagree.
When it comes to building a successful company your employees will want to work for, there’s a fine line between being culture-driven and doing too much.
An opinion piece was recently published by Business Insider contributors Sarah Wittman and Kevin Rockmann documenting the downfall of WeWork and how what transpired there with their failed IPO was “the perfect example of why employees should not expect our workplaces to meet every physical, social, and spiritual need”.
In many ways, good points were made and I do agree the obsession with work hard play hard “perk culture” has perhaps clouded the vision of some of the fastest growing young companies and more established firms to boot here in the United States and abroad. That said, high quality work-life balance has been proven to lead to more successful companies.
Plus, at the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do.
As project manager and Advertise Purple employee number four Marissa Valentino says, “We make employees feel right at home and welcomed to the family from their very first day. From birthday celebrations, to holiday events, to quarterly awards, we find every reason we can to celebrate. Not only do we love to celebrate but we love to take advantage of the beautiful California summers.”
She added, “Per request from Kyle (the CEO) himself, we love making time to get down to the beach for some fun in the sun. From my past 3 years experience, not only does hosting these events give employees something to look forward to, but also keeps us motivated to work hard knowing it will pay off for a good time.”
A Forbes article from two years ago detailed the many tangible benefits of a true work-life balance. The term and ideology are not a new concept. But with the jobs we have nowadays and the output we’re expected to produce, it’s indescribably important to prioritize health and wellness, to give your employees’ minds and bodies a break.
As Forbes contributor Alan Kohll mentions, “Work-life balance is an important aspect of a healthy work environment. Maintaining work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout in the workplace. Chronic stress is one of the most common health issues in the workplace. It can lead to physical consequences such as hypertension, digestive troubles, chronic aches and pains and heart problems. Chronic stress can also negatively impact mental health because it’s linked to a higher risk of depression, anxiety and insomnia.”
At Advertise Purple, we work with a company called Unplug Meditation based here in Los Angeles to periodically meditate and destress with anyone who feels they’d like to. Of course, there is no pressure on people to commit if their day is busy or they have deadlines to meet.
Marissa again had the following to say about meditation: “I’ve always believed that it is extremely unproductive to work in a stressful environment. Having events such as Wine Wednesday and Unplug Mediation help us unwind and feel relaxed at the end of a long work day. From personal experience, having a clear mind helps me to be more productive and stress-free throughout my work week.”
When a work-life balance feels forced, people can tell.
I think that’s the hardest part about trying to foster a supportive and productive environment that truly lets people be themselves. This is especially true if you are working in an environment with a lot of millennials.
Millennials were always taught from a young age that everyone mattered, optimism was the name of the game, and as many people like to mock now, “participation” trophies were often handed out at the end of our sports seasons. We desire affirmation and acceptance, and of course that trickles into the workplace.
This is something growing companies need to adapt for. Because, this idea that all millennials are lazy, live with their parents, want to be DJs, etc is fun to joke about, however, let’s look at the facts.
According to Catalyst.org, “By 2025, Millennials Will Comprise Three-Quarters of the Global Workforce. People between the ages 15 to 24 make up almost 20% of the world’s population. They account for more than 15% of the global labor force.”
You’ll be hiring mostly millennials soon, and if you don’t know how to attract and retain us, your company will suffer the potential repercussions.
Assistant Project Manager Christina Ferrada mentioned she was attracted to Advertise Purple as a potential employer because of the work-life balance that was described to during the interview process and company discovery phase.
“Now that I’ve officially been a part of the team for more than six months, I can say that it was all 100% accurate. People work hard here and they also have a good time. Everyone is extremely helpful and collaborative regardless of department.”
She adds, “And a big reason for that is the culture that has been a priority since the early days and has continued to be a priority as the company grows. I feel like many millennials prioritize work-life balance when looking for the next step in their careers, just like I did when I made the move to Advertise Purple.”
So specifically, what is that culture made up of? She continued:
“Part of our job is to schedule things like team bonding events, meditation, wine and cheese tastings, group workouts, mentorship programs, ping pong tournaments, volunteer work, charity drives, happy hours etc., not only to have fun and prevent burnout, but to inspire camaraderie with our coworkers, and I believe that builds loyalty to the company. All these things inspire us to work hard and contribute to the company’s continued growth and success.”
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