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5 cheap, old-school hacks for building company culture in 2017

Ryan Holmes
Jan 4, 2017 · 6 min read

The rooftop patio principle

After my first experience with a rooftop patio, I was hooked. My second office had one and, when we outgrew that, so did my third. These weren’t fancy spots, by any measure (and they didn’t add much to our leasing costs). But they did offer a space to retreat to that wasn’t a workspace.

The company that eats together, stays together

Food is a natural bridge builder. But company dinners, especially when you grow to a certain size, can get prohibitively expensive. Not to mention, when you’re stuck at a table it can be a challenge to mix and mingle, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Company clothes people actually wear

Lots of companies pump out piles of t-shirts, beer koozies, keychains, hats and stickers with their name and logo on them. This swag is then pawned off on employees, as well as customers and prospects. Nine times out of 10, it’s ugly, poorly made and discarded as soon as it’s handed out.

The power of random coffees

One of the biggest challenges in fast-growing companies is silos. Imaginary walls spring up between departments. Before you know it, the sales team and the engineering team, for instance, feel like two totally different companies. They’re not meshing socially and — just as worrying — they’re not collaborating or exchanging information on projects.

DIY parties are more fun

Company parties aren’t just a nice perk, they’re also a way to strengthen bonds between team members. But here’s the thing: gatherings for dozens — if not hundreds — of people can easily get cost-prohibitive. If there’s a restaurant or venue involved, even a simple event can break budgets.

Startup Grind

The life, work, and tactics of entrepreneurs around the world. Welcoming submissions on technology trends, product design, growth strategies, and venture investing. Learn more about how you can get involved at startupgrind.com.

Ryan Holmes

Written by

Entrepreneur, investor, future enthusiast, inventor, hacker. Lover of dogs, owls and outdoor pursuits. Best-known as the founder and CEO of Hootsuite.

Startup Grind

The life, work, and tactics of entrepreneurs around the world. Welcoming submissions on technology trends, product design, growth strategies, and venture investing. Learn more about how you can get involved at startupgrind.com.