Saturday, June 25, 2011

Get Out of the Office

I, like many people, have an unhealthy fancy for Zappos. More than two years ago, IreadthisInc. article with, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. , and learned Manager's at Zappos "are now required to spend 10 percent to 20 percent of their time goofing off with the people they manage". Fantastic!

This doesn't have to be anywhere near 20 percent (we can't all be best in class like Zappos). "It's just kind of a random number we made up," Hsieh concedes. "But part of the way you build company culture is hanging out outside of the office."

A requirement to spend time away from work is not only fun, but provides the essential building blocks of better business. It's a chance to build team cohesion, share what's going on (in work and personal lives), casually brainstorm, share aspirations, and openly recognize and appreciate.

It sounds a good deal like Management By Wandering Around (MBWA), suggested by consulting heavyweight, Tom Peters. Unstructured get-togethers provide a way of staying directly in touch with the folks who do the work - it's an essential aspect of 'excellence' in organizations.

So, with the goal of improving your business and productivity, focus on getting out there and enjoying the world. Go to a major league game, go river rafting, paint balling, visit a museum or sit at a beer garden.

Employees will appreciate a space between stretches of working. They might find inspiration, relaxation, or perhaps learn something that can positively affect their work. It will also become a perk of the job and a positive part of your culture.