Are companies becoming trendy? Today’s ‘fun’ companies offer offices with designer furniture, themed restaurants and relaxation bubbles. They offer cool after-work activities, corporate vegetable garden and other activities.
The atmosphere is casual and employees are encouraged not to dress up. They can also personalise their workstations and express their opinions freely. Flexible hours, mobile working and telecommuting are all available.
These practices, which were once the exclusive domain of tech start-ups are now being adopted by more established companies. Superdrug, a health and beauty retailer, recently opened its new headquarters in Croydon (South of Greater London), where employees can enjoy a nail salon, a wellness center, and ping pong tables.
PKF Cooper Parry, a Midlands-based business adviser and accountant, provides Segways for employees. They can ride in the stylish design headquarter to enjoy a refreshing drink at the bar or to work out at the corporate running track.
These practices show a fundamental shift to the ‘cool effect’ as a resource for the company’s management team. A cool company doesn’t celebrate the image of a “young dynamic executive” in a stuffed shirt.
Instead, employees are encouraged and encouraged to be ‘cool’. That is to say, to be natural, creative, authentic, spontaneous ….. Simply put, employees are encouraged to be ‘cool’. Cool management can actually be very beneficial, as it can help to bring together economic and social performance.
This management style can be used to motivate employees, decrease absenteism, increase innovation, and strengthen team spirit.
Companies can become more flexible, creative, and social by encouraging employees to express themselves in a casual, collaborative environment. Rather than being clones competing against one another, it is possible to encourage employees to be their own unique selves.
Cool management is also an effective tool to manage talent and a powerful marketing tool to reach customers who are more inclined to buy products from companies that reflect their values, life style, and aspirations.
It can also help employees’ personal quality of life, as the company is a place for them to express themselves and not be forced to play a role. This can be a significant contribution to their professional and personal growth.
There are however some risks associated with this cool management style.
First, there may be a gap between the company’s ‘coolness and actual management practices. In this case, the “cool effect” becomes an external communication tool to hide poor internal management practices.
Amazon is the perfect example of this phenomenon. The company’s design offices are a perfect example of coolness, providing ‘Amazonians with pedal tricycles to move around in style. However, the Financial Times revealed that the company has extremely strict management practices in 2015.
This ‘cool culture’ can also be used to increase productivity and employee engagement. The ‘cool effect’ can actually increase employee engagement by being more personal and subtle emotional manipulations.
It wouldn’t look very cool to refuse to work late at night or on weekends if asked… because the company is so cool with its employees.
This management style can also blur the lines between work and leisure and, more generally, between personal and professional life. Flexible schedules and nomadism can seem positive, but it can also mean that employees who work remotely are never disconnected from their work.
It can also cause employees to over-invest.