3 trendy office habits that destroy productivity – Pick Dave’s Brain

This week’s question comes from Srikumar in New York.

Q: Can you discuss office practices which people are hesitant to speak about, which are accepted as the norm, but people secretly dislike?

Click to tweet this: Trendy offices dazzle you with freebies. Productive ones cultivate focus, health, and success. @DaveCrenshaw

Are trendy office practices killing your productivity?

This week’s question comes from Srikumar in New York.

Hello Dave. This is Srikumar Rao. I love your piece about the open space office where you point out that many people dislike it. But it’s politically incorrect to say they do, so they bear with it. Can you give me other examples of practices which people are hesitant to speak about, which are accepted as the norm, but people secretly dislike?



Thank you for the question, Srikumar. It’s an honor to get a question from a fellow author. For those interested in your book, here is a link to Happiness at Work.

To answer your question, there are a myriad of trends that workers put up with that are simply counter-productive. I’m going to only share a few, but perhaps others will share in the comments what they secretly dislike.

The first is pets in the workplace. Now, I know that this is a little controversial. To clarify, I am not talking about service animals, which are essential for many people to function and live a productive, happy life. I am talking about the dog as an office mascot, or even people bringing their dogs to work simply because they like their dogs.

Look, I love animals. I’ve had both dogs and cats. I also know that animals in a workplace create a lot of switches throughout the day. It’s a huge distraction. Even the best-behaving animals are going to have needs that you’re going to constantly need to pay attention to.

Rather than allowing people to bring pets to work, allow people to work from home. This will not only improve overall productivity but it allows people to connect with pets, and connect with their children or family members in a way that is not distracting to their coworkers.

The second trend is the office barista or even the office bar. Many companies have adopted the habit of caffeinating their employees and even provide alcohol. Besides the legal issues, and there are many, you want to empower others to have a healthy lifestyle.

One way to do that instead is to encourage the “Oasis.” The Work Oasis is something that I talk about in my book, The Power of Having Fun. It’s just giving people space to relax, to do something fun on a regular, repeated period during the day.

And the last practice that a lot of people struggle with is the budget toward company culture. What I mean by that is companies that spend a lot of money on activities, or snacks, or décor—anything that it does to build up the company culture.

Now those things in and of themselves can be good. But the problem occurs when employees are not paid a reasonable wage. When you spend more on culture than you’re spending on your employees, it builds resentment. Now first, make sure that you have policies in place that are properly paying people for the work that they do. Only when this is achieved should you devote time, attention, and a larger budget to company culture.

Thanks for the question, Srikumar. And if you have questions that you’d like to ask me, all you need to do is go to davecrenshaw.com/ask.

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