The Google offices are legendary—and most of us have definitely daydreamed of working in a space that’s fun and innovative. Free meals! Slides instead of stairs! On-site fitness centers! Lego stations! Looking around your own office, you might be feeling less than inspired right now.
You might not have the budget to host free meals and your office might not have the capacity for an indoor slide, but we’ve found that snacks—especially healthy snacks—are the number one wish-list item for workplaces.
Here are some other tips we borrowed from Google and other smart offices that any small business can implement:
Have a supply of coffee and afternoon snacks available so you don’t lose your team to super-long coffee breaks (sorry Starbucks!).
Experiment with how you display snacks.
Google moved from offering big self-serving bins of M&Ms to portioning them out in small, individually-wrapped packs.
As a result, they reduced the average serving from 308 calories to 130.
Encourage regular fitness sessions—even weekly 15-minute exercise ‘dates’ get the office energized.
One week might focus on planks, the next week, all about star jumps!
Or you could always plan after-hours team building exercises, like rock climbing.
Offer encouragement with smart facts around the office.
One of the posters above a beverage station at a Google office says that “It takes two hours to walk off the calories in a can of soda.”
You don’t want to guilt-trip, but think about how that message is both fun and informative.
Standing desks are nothing new—Winston Churchill loved his!—but they’re big at Google and Facebook and offered to any employee.
Why not try them out?
Keep the snacks varied. No one wants to eat the same flavor of granola bar every day!
Do like Google and keep drinks separated from snacks. It’s too easy to grab a cookie when you’ve made yourself a coffee, after all.
Google found that people who used the beverage station near the snack station were 50% more likely to grab a snack with their drink.
They also found that male employees who picked up a snack when they got a drink ended up adding about one pound of fat per year for each daily cup of coffee!
Set up an ordering cadence by adding a reminder to your calendar – for example, order every Monday morning to keep the office stocked up for the week ahead.
You don’t need to have an office cafeteria with endless menu options like Google to make your team feel cared for. Treat them to a weekly office breakfast or lunch.
Don’t run out of other essentials that provide a sense of general office happiness, like cutlery, napkins and Sriracha!
Luckily for small businesses, it doesn’t take a lot of resources or budget to create an inspiring office like Google’s.
Just keep your office stocked up with a variety of options including healthy snacks, drinks and their favorite treats. Buy in bulk to keep costs down and have everything delivered so you can spend more time growing your business.
And don’t forget to keep things fun with regular fitness or team building exercises!