Why LatAm startups no longer see a need to separate business and pleasure

By September 26, 2018

Is the belief that professional and personal lives should be kept separate outdated? Startups across Latin America are working to prove so.

For years, research has suggested that employees who did not establish a clear boundary between their work and home lives were less likely to be able to relax and switch off in their free time. As a result, chances of recovery in personal time tended to be slimmer, meaning that productivity and engagement in a professional environment decreased.

In terms of entrepreneurship, the idea of going into business with a friend has historically also been discouraged, as a wrong move could spell the end of both the business and the friendship.  

Although this rule might be true in some countries, it does not necessarily apply to all cultures. For example, mixing work and play is a notion that fits much more accurately into Latin culture.

In the words of leading entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, for example, blurring work-life boundaries has the potential to work in some cases. “Rather than thinking of these two aspects of your life as antagonistic, why not combine them?” he asked, in conversation with Entrepreneur magazine.  “As I’ve often said, I don’t divide work and play: It’s all living.”

Company culture is an integral part of shaking up professional and social boundaries. With trendy co-working spaces such as WeWork offering free beer on tap as an incentive to blend the mix of professional and social space, smaller startups have begun to follow suit.

One startup in particular whose company policy and main goals revolve around attracting new hires through the improvement of their company culture is software development outsourcing startup Talos.

With their base in Medellín, Colombia, the team already enjoy the advantage of working from one of Latin America’s leading tech and innovation centres pioneering the idea of effective company culture.

Through the organisation of social events, office activities, incentives and networking meetups, the team aim to create a more enjoyable environment to work in, with the aim of increasing employee productivity and ensuring everyone is happy in their job.

According to studies conducted by professional services giant Deloitte, 88% of employees believe that a distinct corporate culture is an integral part of a company’s success.

So far, it seems, the notion of establishing a company culture that allows the professional and personal to complement each other is not only working for Talos, but it is also becoming one of the company’s core values and defining features.

Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company

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