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How to Create a Workplace That Feels Like a Home Away From Home

May 5, 2016 Eric Stewart



If you haven’t seen my name on any of the eQ blogs yet, that’s because I’m the resident “new guy.” Starting a new job can be tough, and stressful, no matter who you are. But what can make it even more strenuous is the atmosphere. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad intimidated to be working alongside such an immensely talented group of people. The amazing thing was, that feeling lasted all of about five minutes. And here’s why…

I was welcomed to the eQ team with open arms. Before my very first day I received email after email from my future colleagues, many of whom I have never met, welcoming me to the team and telling me that they can’t wait to work with me. I was blown away. This is probably because at my last job I was more of a number. I was just another cog in the machine. I felt like the equivalent of the guy who stamps “inspected by #6” on the back of a washing machine. The sad part is, my brief tenure in the professional world has shown me this to be the norm. If you ask me, the culture behind this is all wrong.

It may come as a crazy notion for some, but the workplace is kind of a home away from home. There are only 168 hours in a week, and according to a recent Gallup poll the average person no longer clocks in the typical 40 hour work week. No, in fact, the average is now 47 hours a week. That’s 28% of your week in the office! So why can’t the office be a warm and welcoming place? One where you look forward to spending time alongside your colleagues? It can be, and should be. I can assure you that a happy employee, someone who feels at home in their work environment, will produce much greater work than inspector #6. The school systems spend quite a lot of time and money on researching how to make the classroom a more warm and inclusive place for children to work and learn. So why do we do it for our children and not ourselves? The instructional techniques of a comprehensive environment shouldn’t stop after we receive our high school diploma. These simple, yet positive and stimulating tactics work in the professional world as well. Let’s try inviting people in, instead of dragging them into work kicking and screaming. I think you’ll be surprised by the results of such a simple culture change.

At eQ, I was embraced as the newest member of the family. All before day 1! By turning the workplace into a more inviting place to be, you create that home away from home environment that truly cultivates growth. As for me, I could practically smell the apple pie cooling in the window. 

As eQ's Writing Specialist, Eric Stewart works his creative magic by putting our Team's concepts, ideas, and methodologies into words!

TOPICS: High Performance, Employee Engagement