Heywood House News

Toast Talks Highlights – The Importance of Office Culture

‘The Importance of Office Culture’

Thursday 30th January 2020Giant Peach Agency
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

January’s Toast Talk welcomed Head Peach, James Read of Giant Peach Marketing agency delivered an engaging discussion on the importance of office culture and how to achieve happiness and wellbeing within the workplace by adapting old traditional ideas on our ‘work selves’ and creating a more positive link to our ‘true selves’ by introducing important factors such as flexibility, community and care.

Feeling more yourself and ‘at home’ within the office community can lead to an increased result in freedom and productivity. Here, we recap on the highlights of James’ discussion and explain his tips on how to leverage business culture for growth.


What Office Culture is NOT?

So, what images may spring to mind when you think ‘office culture’? Perhaps free food, a quirky office fashioned with rainbow coloured bean bags? Perhaps an office slide or even a rock-climbing wall? Maybe even workmates engaging in a nerf gun fight in their coffee break? As fun and original as these things may sound, sadly, they are not the right idea of a positive office culture. It’s actually a lot simpler and more authentic than this, it all stems from good old-fashioned beliefs and values.


So, What IS Office Culture?

Summed up in one perfect quote; ‘A pattern of shared basic assumption that a group has learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems’ – Edgar Schein.

Great office culture = better performance and productivity


Why Office Culture is so Important

“Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people” – Steve Jobs

It is said that you are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. So having a great office culture for the team as a whole to feel happy and confident, can lead to an increase in productivity and growth as well as other positive results including:

  • People are happy
  • Good communication within the team
  • Gives staff the opportunity to be the best that they can be
  • Tasks get completed successfully
  • A work community that feels nice to be a part of.

Don’t these factors sound rather appealing to you?


Creating Your Core Values

Creating your core values along with your team can itself be a fantastic opportunity to build some positive connections and implement a new structure within the daily running of the business, and create a healthier work environment. Factors to consider whilst outlining your core values as a team were:

  • Treat staff and clients like family
  • Positivity
  • Be driven
  • Creativity and sustainability

You can use these as your base and then build upon these together in a ‘development meeting’.


Attracting and Maintaining Teammates

Roald Dahl wrote “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”; this principle can apply to office culture. If you have a good workplace environment, your staff will shine, and your business will look great. This may be helpful when looking to attract and maintain the right talent for your business. Potential staff on applying for a job often look for the benefits of working for a company and the office culture they will be joining. Many employees are experiencing such great job satisfaction that they are positively posting on social media about their jobs and place of work without direct leadership from their management and companies.


The Importance of Social Media

Marketing and social media are a huge part of running a business and having an online presence is imperative today. James lists some of the main benefits of social media platforms.


    • Shows how the company operates
    • Talent retention
    • Talent attraction
    • Client attraction
    • Will result in a better customer experience


Creating content for social media platforms can not always be easy, especially if you’re not familiar with the channels. James has some handy tips on how to reflect your office culture via your social media.

  • Humour is a great place to start, people love seeing posts that can make them feel something like joy and laughter, but just remember to keep it fun and not inappropriate.
  • Highlighting your team and their successes and accomplishments is a great way to showcase the incredible members you have in your office community.
  • Show photos or videos from your team outings. It is good to show that a positive community exists outside of the office too and highlighting your team having fun with each other is a great way to showcase that.
  • Show ‘behind the scenes’ of the office and the day to day running of the business. People love to see sneak peeks of projects or special occasions within a company and team.

Quick Wins for Office Culture

Here are some simple techniques you could easily apply today within your workspace which will help you and your team to achieve a more positive workplace wellbeing.

  • Have the difficult conversations

It may be hard to confront someone who is bringing the team down but in their absence, the gains may be worth it as your team will feel more lifted and positive and will therefore be more productive in their work.

  • Be flexible with working hours

Not to the extent where staff come and go as they please but understand that we all lead busy lives and allowing people the flexibility to start later or finish earlier goes a long, long way.

  • Take breaks together

Sometimes this can be easier said than done but taking a short break with the team for a coffee and a chat or having lunch together is a great way to form bonds with your co-workers and strengthen the office community.

  • Drop the smart office attire

People tend to feel more comfortable and confident when they are dressed in clothing that makes them feel like themselves. This can lead to an increase in happiness and productivity.

  • Rearrange the office

If the office has looked the same for years, it’s amazing what a shift around of desks can do. Creating more space and a re-energising work area is such an easy but effective way to brighten up the team.


Time to act

If this article has sparked your creativity and motivation to start creating a more positive work environment, then here are 3 steps to start you on your mission.


  • Create your company values
  • Focus on your culture
  • Apply your culture to your marketing strategy


If this topic has interested you and you would like to find out more information on techniques you could implement in order to promote more wellbeing and productivity in your business, James recommends reading ‘Drive’ by Daniel H Pink. In this book Daniel focuses on the 3 elements of true motivation that lead to a better performance; Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose and advises smart and very surprising techniques that we can put into action which can transform how we think and live.

Thank you to James for an incredibly interesting talk!



Join us for a motivational start to your working day, a delicious breakfast and an opportunity to network with others from the business community.

Tickets can be booked here: https://www.heywoodhouse.com/events-calendar/