Have you ever heard “What a wonderful world” by Louis Armstrong? It’s a song that’s full of life and happiness…it makes you ‘happy’. But, does it play in your head when you enter your office? Do you ever feel a sense of elation or excitement at the sight of your office? Do you ever forget your personal life worries cause you’re going to meet your friends at work? Does where you work, what you do and who you work with matters more to you than just remuneration? Then please read on, ‘cause you my friend- are a work culture junkie just like me.

So, what is this elusive work culture that everyone wants, talks about and only a few have experienced? What should it entail? To understand that lets take a look at the word culture. It comes from the Greek word “Cultus” which means “Care”. So, any organization that cares about its people and where the people care about the organization- the culture ought to be rocking!

I have worked in various work cultures, right from Manufacturing, Education, and Infrastructure to IT. And, all this while one song played almost on a loop: U2’s “I still haven’t found what I am looking for”. Till I came to SourceFuse. So what’s so special about SF that paused the song? It is the cultus, the culture.

In SF, employees are trusted. I have worked in some super structured industries like Manufacturing, Education, but for me the concept of “work from home” was alien. And, add to that the SF specialty- no fixed number on the days that you can opt to work from home. It is the ‘trust’ that SF puts in its people and that its people value, that has kept this trend going for 9 long years. So yes, trust is a really important ingredient to get that great elusive ‘work culture’. One of the most horrid things an organization can do is to explicitly show a complete lack of trust in its employees, for example when you ask for a death certificate to avail bereavement leave: that is a bad practice and must be thrown out the window for awesome culture to walk in.

All work and no play makes not just Jack but Jill, Jaspinder, Rahul and everyone else dull too. Yes we come to work, and yes that’s the primary purpose; but, we spend 8-9 hours (on regular) and perhaps 10-11 hours (on crazy) per day at our work places. So, we need to be invigorated and need to have the monotony of a work day broken by FUN. SF last year did not give out the traditional ‘dibbas of mithai’ for Diwali. Instead, got a Pool and a Foosball Table for people. And, I’m happy to report that, there are some serious Pool and Foosball experts here. You can often find meetings happening around our pool tables where work is being discussed while fun is being had.

The idea is to disconnect work from toil and sweat and attach it to fun. Just like the new age schools where learning happens through play, in all new age organizations, work needs to happen through fun. Fun really is the new mantra for all culture driven organizations. At SF work has been made FUN by giving ‘BUGHUNTS’, no we aren’t into creepy crawlies, but we have hunted bugs in applications and products. Work was made a game and turned into FUN. So, look for ways to infuse fun into your everyday work and voila- culture comes alive!

So, apart from trust and fun, what else do you need? Go back to para two- cultus= care. Any organization that cares about its employees and where employees care about the organization the culture would be rocking. Like in life even in an Organization, it’s not the big things but the small things that matter. Send someone a get well soon plant, we do, with a little note- we miss you, and don’t just send it but mean it. Throw a birthday party: everyone likes to feel unique and everyone is unique so go ahead and make their special day more so by celebrating it with everyone. Infuse your parties with a fun element, a game, involve everyone. We spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our family and friends, so, when in office one must feel like they are among friends or extended family. Basically, stand with them in their tough times and in their happy ones as well devise policies that show that you (Organization) care.

To recap: ‘trust’, ‘fun’ and ‘caring’ will change the atmosphere of an organization. You will have a symphony (U2’s “Beautiful Day”) playing every time you enter office instead of the Nirupa Roy’s sad sitaar. So let the symphony play on…