One of the most notable parts of startup culture from the outside looking in is trends. You know the stereotype of the startup CEO — he’s wearing a hoodie that probably cost hundreds of dollars and running meetings from a bean bag chair. However, trendiness isn’t always the right choice for your business. It can be good for your startup to branch out, but some risks aren’t worth taking.
How do you make that choice? Keep reading; we’ll walk you through 3 workplace trends to see if they’re worth the hype for your startup.
1. Do you need a ‘fun’ office? Probably not
We’ve all heard about Google’s legendary campus and the perks therein: free meals, massages, work out classes, and more. We also know not everyone can be Google. There’s always a lot of buzz about ‘fun’ office spaces. But are these benefits worth it? Increasingly, no.
In an article from Forbes, they found that workplace perks aren’t a top reason people enjoy working for a certain company. Quoted from the article, “Workplace perks aren’t…what make or break the decision for talent to stay and deliver great work. Instead, it’s the thought behind the workplace perks that counts.”
Don’t make flashy workplace perks a priority, especially if you’re a small business. Build your team carefully and treat them well, but don’t try to attract talent with superficial perks. If your team isn’t doing meaningful work or they’re not compensated fairly, a fun office won’t matter.
“The most essential quality for a good team is trust.” – Dina Kaplan
2. Keep boundaries as the boss
Another stereotype about startups is a more casual leadership style. CEOs and executive leadership are informal and don’t treat their team like subordinates, but instead, treat them like peers.
This leadership style encourages collaboration, which is definitely a good thing for startups. However, there’s a reason why businesses have traditionally been more formal. Setting boundaries in the workplace is a crucial part of your success, long term. If your team starts to view you as a friend, they might slack off or not take feedback seriously.
The key here, as it is for many things, is balance. Make sure your team feels comfortable bringing problems to your attention, and leave your ego at the door. However, make sure you are the authority figure for your team. You need to be able to inspire and lead, as well as focus and give direction. That beanbag chair might not do the trick.
This trend is becoming so popular, it might not be considered a trend for much longer and might just become a regular part of the workplace. People want more flexibility than what an in-office 8 to 5 position gives them. Millennials in particular, desire flexible work environments more than other groups, and they currently comprise more than half of the job market.
You need to weigh the pros and cons of flexible office hours to find out if they’re a good choice for your startup. Remember, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing here. You can compromise by instituting flexible PTO, leaving early on Fridays, early start/early leaving or vice versa.
You’ll want to work together in person on a regular basis, to encourage collaboration and establish company culture. But allowing people to work from home when they need it is a huge perk and will make a substantial difference to talent you want to attract.
Follow trends that make sense for your business
Trends become popular for a reason, but sometimes that reason doesn’t make sense for your startup. You need to use your better judgement and structure your company in a way that will sustain long term growth.
Establish firm leadership roles, allow flexible working hours up to a point, and make sure not to fall for the allure of ‘fun’ work places. If you make the right choices and think things through for your business, you’ll come out on top.
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Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up.
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Control Your Environment
Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.
You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.
Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.
Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language.
Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.
Writing Is The Answer
If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly.
Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.
Learn In a Group
It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.
The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.
Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently.
This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.
The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process.
A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few.
Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!
Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson.
Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!
Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!
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