With the rise of technology and innovation startup companies have boomed over the last two decades. In the current economy, startups are in a race to create the next best “thing” that will change the scope of the market. Creative, informal, competitive, these are just a few terms that describe the environment within a startup company office. Startup companies have changed the norm when it comes to workplace do’s and dont’s and many workplace practices within modern startups go completely against the traditional corporate office environment.
Work life balance in modern startups is very important for a range of different reasons. In general startups don’t follow standard workplace etiquette and as a result, the norm of working from 9 to 5 with an hour lunch break is a thing of the past. More often than not startup employees need to work long rigorous hours in order to get their product or service to market and thus it is extremely important to have an office environment where employees can escape the hustle and bustle for a few minutes in order to give their minds a break.
Both startup and tech companies aim to create a work environment where their employees can thrive professionally as well as on a personal level. The use of activities such as ping pong, foosball, and video games are featured widely in startup offices to create a balanced work environment. Ping pong, in particular, has become a huge part of the startup office culture.
Why ping pong?
Anyone that has ever played ping pong will be able to testify that it is a fun, competitive, and action-packed game that can be enjoyed by both young and old and by players of all skill levels.
A game of ping pong is almost synonymous with the culture within a modern startup company. Startups and ping pong are both action-packed, creativity is required to beat your opponent, it is competitive and it can all change within the blink of an eye.
Ping pong is a great way to add fun and balance into the workplace but it also creates a culture among employees that is far more powerful than a vision or mission statement written on a poster against the wall.
Founder of games room specialists The Bro Zone, James Vernon has described the way that ping-pong “Brings teams closer together in a way that just isn’t possible through other workplace activities. By fostering a competitive and fun atmosphere around the table you can tap into this spirit in other areas work as well”.
Who does it?
A ping pong table can be found in almost every startup company around the globe, Campaign Monitor, one of Australia’s most successful technology companies takes it’s office ping pong so seriously that two of their engineers designed an app that is used around the world by offices to keep track of ping pong matches and player rankings.
Word on the street
Wendy Suzuki, a Ph.D. Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the New York University studied how ping-pong affects the brain and according to her research ping pong is a “brain sport” that stimulates strategic thinking. Startup companies are in the business of problem-solving and playing ping pong for fun indirectly enhances the ability of employees to solve problems within the workplace. Ping pong doesn’t only add balance to the workplace it also enhances the productivity of employees as well.