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I have had reason recently to think about what time in my career that I had the most enjoyable workplace. I am not talking about what company I wanted to work for, but what kind of environment that I felt the most enabled, empowered and enthusiastic about being there.

And what struck me it was related to where in the lifecycle of the company that the company was at that moment.  A company with experience and customers that is not a start-up, but is still growing, is a wonderful place to work.   People want to come to the office, want to talk to each other over lunch and want to do activities together. They feel the energy of the environment and the sense of community as the firm is healthy and growing.

When a company is in start-up phase, people are too focused on corporate survival to enjoy the experience fully.   And when a company matures, gets acquired, goes into crisis mode, or is stagnating, people start to fend for themselves and ignore the team mentality.  The sense of community becomes more like survivors of a shipwreck…..

Why am I writing about this?   It is a note for my HR friends to understand what keeps people coming to the office is a feeling of contribution, excitement to work and being a valued part of a community.  Too often, the community forming activities for the human assets are ignored, and then you wonder why people work from home more often that not……

Note:  Yes, I am writing this from my home office.

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