SINGAPORE - Last year, I became worried about my employees at Leaderonomics.
I noticed that fewer of them were interacting with each other, with many opting to work from home (we have a flexi-work policy).
Working from home was great for work-life balance, but it did nothing to help ideation and foster creativity.
I had a significant problem - working from home had become a habit for many.
I could have made it mandatory for staff to work in the office, but that would have created very unhappy employees.
Knowing full well that such a change would have resulted in negative sentiments, I decided to tweak the environment instead.
We made the new office feel like home. Everyone has to remove their shoes before coming in. We even have patches of grass to create a homely vibe.
The result - without any new rules - was that employees started making the office their home.
They stayed late, had numerous casual conversations with each other as if they were part of a family, and frequently stayed at the office overnight, interacting and ideating.
I recently read a great book by brothers Chip and Dan Health, titled Switch. Their research concluded that our brains have two systems - a rational and an emotional system.