12 years.

12 years is a long time. In fact, 12 years is the average time a person spends at work during their lifetime. For many, an office isn’t the ideal place to spend so much time, but what if I told you something that could make it better?

Recently, I read The Best Place to Work by Ron Friedman, a book full of proven advice for working smarter in an extraordinary workplace. If you’re interested in enhancing your work experience, keep reading! I have listed three concepts from the book and how I’ve seen them exemplified at Stone Ward.

1. The amount of direct sunlight entering an office can reliably predict the level of employee satisfaction in a workplace.

Friedman notes a study revealing call-center employees who were placed near a window generated an additional $3,000 of productivity per year. Deprived of sunlight, our bodies have an imbalance of melatonin, negatively affecting our sleep schedules and immune systems.

My expectation for the internship was to be trapped in a cubicle. Instead, I’m in an awesome office overlooking Junction Bridge and the Arkansas River!

2. Feeling playful makes us more optimistic, increasing our willingness to take on challenges and maintain a flexible mindset.

Friedman writes that as we age, we’re trained to believe that play is wasteful. Unless we’re producing or consuming information, we are wasting time. However, as the complexity of our work increases, play can actually serve as a vehicle for innovation. He concludes that a thirty-minute diversion is ideal to spark creativity.

What better way to implement this strategy than a company game of PIG? The occasional 3:00 PIG game is a fun way to break up a long day and provide the spark to finish the day.

3. Use meetings as an opportunity for staff members to share what they are most proud of accomplishing since the group last met.

Friedman notes that in most organizations, staff meetings are run by a small group of top-tier executives who discuss upcoming tasks and plans. Instead of asking everyone to talk about what they haven’t done, Friedman suggests using the meeting as an opportunity for staff members to share what they are most proud of accomplishing.

At Stone Ward, the Friday staff meeting has both a highlights and victories segment. I’ve noticed that in celebrating victories, employees are more likely to give credit to other team members, facilitating positive company culture and cohesion.

I feel as if I’ve hardly scratched the surface of both The Best Place to Work and the extraordinary atmosphere at Stone Ward. If you are looking for some tips on how to enhance your workspace, check out The Best Place to Work by Ron Friedman. I hope you enjoy!