Avoiding a Stale Office Environment: The THUNDER Method

By Kevin Knecht

Suddenly you snap out of it and you find yourself sitting in a cubicle, wondering how this sad, monotonous existence became your reality. Everywhere you look you see a frown. Even the bluest skies seem sad. A perpetual grey hue looms over the horizon. You never imagined as a child that your future profession would consist of such awful truths. Working in the doldrums has made you a cynic. It pains you to open your eyes in the morning because you loathe the way your coworkers seemed to have settled for this egregious work environment. The fact that you’re the only one who seems to “get it” makes it even worse. Is there a way to remedy this situation? Will this cruel farce ever be concluded?

Luckily for you, the answer is YES. There exists a plan that is widely regarded as the SEO community’s foremost authority on workplace happiness techniques. The THUNDER Method has a proven track record of success. It doesn’t require a vast human resources campaign or a company meeting. All you need is to be open to trying new things, a sincere effort, and of course a positive attitude. Now, let us dive in and find out what each segment of the THUNDER Method stands for. So without further ado…

T weet – People in the today’s workforce continue to miss the opportunities presented by Twitter. Here in the office we use it regularly to share insightful comments, questions, and concerns. We use hashtags in a fun way and apply them to certain days of the week. It’s a great way to make a group of employees more cohesive. For example, Wednesday is dedicated to Jumanji. If you are unfamiliar with this wonderful film, I suggest you go down to blockbuster and take a look before they go out of business. Here is my tweet to Gary and Shawn.

And his response…

In case you were wondering, we dedicated Thursday to Home Alone, and Friday is for Lil Wayne.

Another delightful way to engage your coworkers on Twitter is by creating an account that is dedicated solely to the things that someone says. This was just brought to my attention last week…

Not only did I not approve of the creation of this account, I also cannot recall uttering any of these speech fragments. But you know, if this has brought some joy to my coworkers, then that’s fine. It’s all part of the Method.

H ear – Just like Julie Andrews used to say, “the hills are alive with the sound of Spotify music.” The office should be no exception. Here at Thunder, we often liven up the hills by creating custom playlists for each other to enjoy while we plug away at those citations. Kenny G has his sax, Miles Davis had his trumpet, and we have our Spotify. Just today I created this playlist for Gary to enjoy in the spirit of the holiday season.

These classic tunes helped him get through his busy day. Remember too, that you can do some research to determine what you think would be a nice playlist for someone. I happen to know that Monique is a big time Ace of Base fan so I sent her this.

I thought it was a nice gesture. She saw the sign. Let us never forget the power that music has in determining our moods, and let us always remember its magical place within the Method.

U nity – Maintaining a proper rapport with those around you is a required step in the Method. A unified group of workers is a happy group. At Thunder, we’re unified in our desire to help our clients in every facet of their campaign. One of the best and most entertaining ways to unify your office is with a little friendly competition. Our chosen competition is to compare Klout scores. My Klout score is very dear to me. It’s like holding a sweet puppy, or when I get goosebumps watching the end of Cool Runnings where they are carrying the bobsled across the finish line. They walk past Junior’s Dad, and he lifts his coat to reveal that he is wearing the Jamaican Bobsled Team shirt, and that he is indeed proud of his son. One of the best things about my Klout in particular is that it is currently the highest in the office. People talk about not tooting their own horns, but in this case, I’ll toot as much as I please. Its all for the sake of unity. Below are the Klout scores for members of our office who use it.

I know what you’re thinking. How is my Klout so high? I know. I think that sometimes too, but all I know is that it’s the best as of today. My Klout makes me feel like James Brown. “I feel gooooood.” Feeling good comes from the unity we all share in our common goal to have the highest score, and its all part of the Method.

N ecessities – They say that it’s the mother of invention. Now, I don’t know about all that, but what I do know is that part of keeping an office happy involves some indulgence every once in a while. I am not one to judge based on what you feel is necessary. Hey man, to each his own. Just like that old game Connect Four used to say, Go for it! If you take the time to unwind and enjoy what makes you happy, it will translate to how you feel at work. We all enjoy different things, and that’s what makes us special. Gary enjoys his new iPhone 4s. Siri has been a great addition to our office.

This picture is pretty awesome.

Brian found this necessary…

To this day not all of us understand why Brian decided to take on that Goliath. All we know is that we filmed it, Brian has for some reason not been back to that establishment, and that I somehow want to be a vegetarian every time I see this photo.

Here’s what I found necessary…

I found that hat at a 7-11 for like two bucks. Why wouldn’t I purchase it?

The moral here ladies and gentlemen is that sometimes you need to do what makes you happy. It’s not always pretty, and sometimes can change your eating habits, but it’s necessary if it makes for a more pleasant work environment.

D o Your Part – Responsibility is a virtue that everyone would do well to abide by. It’s fair to say that if you are reading this you probably have a computer or have access to one. So, that being the case, you probably earned some kind of currency to pay for it, and that makes you responsible enough. Why don’t you translate some of that responsibility to what you do around the office? I’m not talking about your day-to-day work duties. I’m talking about doing your part to make people feel like they are appreciated. Go the extra effort. When Monique was in New York for Searchlove, she asked me to look after her plants. I saw them from time to time throughout the week, but I managed to forget to water them. Naturally, I was reminded of my mistake upon her return, but hey, I assumed that cacti store water on their own (I watered them eventually.) When everyone chooses to care about something, we all benefit.

Here’s Brian enjoying all of Monique’s “bottles & cans” cash while she was away. Do your part! It’s all part of the Method.

E verything Else – This part of the THUNDER Method is very important. It involves everything else that brings us joy. It can be anything that is worth sharing amongst your coworkers. Stuff like online content, a gift, or just a friendly gesture can go a long way. The best part about this category is that it’s entirely up to you what you share. At Thunder we often share SEO related blog posts, articles, or new concepts with each other to help improve our craft. Speaking of craft, we often like to bring in craft beer to share on Friday afternoons when 5 o’clock rolls around.

Everyone shares something. Why don’t you? This Method is infallible. Trust me.

R ecipes – The final tangent of the THUNDER Method involves food. Everyone loves it. It’s easy to get work done on a full stomach. After you eat a nice meal, you can easily sit at your desk with a Cheshire cat grin and get some work done. We often share meals here at Thunder. One day Kate bought us all pizza, and we had a party. Max has brought us chocolate on a number of occasions. The communal aspect of food brings us together and it makes our office feel like a SEO Utopia. Sharing recipes can be fun as well. Many of the Thunder Cats like to brew their own beer and will share their secret brewing recipes. Brian even shared a recipe for Chile Relleno. Some of our other favorite recipes include Dr. Steve Brule’s Sushi Sandwich recipe, and Matt Cutts’s world renowned recipe for some good ole’ fashioned chicken pot pie. His passion for it is unprecedented. I’d be willing to bet that the next Google algo change will be called “The Pot Pie” update.

Image: Stephen Wu

Now you’ve seen how successful the THUNDER Method has been here at Thunder SEO. Its track record is superb. It’s the grease that keeps the cogs in our machine turning. It works for us, and it can easily work for you. It’s the reason why all of us at Thunder are among the lucky ones who actually enjoy going to work.

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