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joel test #13

Since this site deals with the best practices business -
How about institutionalizing shot naps after lunch?

Siesta time
- Twofold increase of productivity.
- Much better than poisoning programmers with overdoses of coffee
- Contributes much to a friendlier atmosphere.

Michael Moser
Sunday, November 2, 2003

Just tell me where to sign...

An alternative #13 would be 2 hour lunch breaks. I worked at a place where we would have a team lunch for an hour in a restuarant, followed by an hour of relaxed chatting about the project in a coffee shop. Our productivity skyrocketted.

Matthew Lock
Sunday, November 2, 2003

Matthew, do you mean it was obligatory?

1) having your lunch at the restaurant with the team-workers
2) talking with them the next hour in the cofee shop

And then returning to the office and keep working for the rest of your working time?

So 1 to 2 hours of your free time were used as a tool for making stronger the system you were building?

Where is the personal freedom, here? It sounds to me as a torture. (May be I didn't catch it, so it was not obligatory.)

Anyway, talking about freedom, at my current job we have got 2 little things I do like very much:

a) you can enter in anytime between 8 and 9
b) you can spend 1 to 2 hours at lunch 

So, some people choose 8 to 5, others 9 to 6, others 8:30 to 6 (1:30 a lunch), etc. You can combine everyday your time table according to your private life (meetings/emotions/etc.).

I'm quite sure these 2 so little points are so healthy, and I can not see why 99% of companies could not offer them.

Sunday, November 2, 2003

I work best when I set my own schedule. In a previous job, depending on my energy levels, I would work from 07h00 to 23h00, or from 09h00 to 17h00, or from 11h00 to 20h00;... you get the picture.

I think this is so for a lot of people. The only problem is that it is generally accepted that 08h00 to 18h00 are normal office hours, and so most people work these hours where face time, or indeed air time is required.

In most cases though, it is really just a case of managers who equate the amount of work you do with the amount of office time you put in.

Sunday, November 2, 2003


I worked at a place liked that once -- twice a week, we'd have a two hour lunch at a nice restaurant paid for by the president of the company. Talk about work and life, etc. You're right that it was a very productive environment as well; we kicked the butts of our many competitors. Also, that sort of cameraderie probably prevented many from quitting in frustration during the tough parts. I consider that president to me a leader who understood team building and knew how to manage a business based on IP.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, November 2, 2003

Oh and regarding the freedom issue - you didn't have to come if you didn't want to.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, November 2, 2003

Dennis, just a thought...

Is it possible that the lunches worked because there was a solid pre-existing team atmosphere, and not the other way around?

I'm curious, because I've worked in places where attendance at such a lunch would have been really low, and this corresponded to pitiful team effort.

Sunday, November 2, 2003

Well I guess there wasn't any strong animosity at least; there weren't any jealousies among developers that I was aware of, for example. I do think that it helped people relate to one another -- perhaps there would have been more interpersonal problems if the lunches didn't exist.

Obviously, it was a small company... lunches would be ten people at most.

As far as attending the lunches goes, it was a free long lunch at a nice restaurant, so I think it would be hard for people to consistently turn down anywhere. Think of the company Christmas party -- people who don't like each other show up and fraternize because there will be plenty of booze flowing and  a good feed. Or notice how developers are attracted to the booths and presentations at conferences that offer free food or drinks.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, November 2, 2003

Having the choice and ability to take a two hour lunch break is great, but I wouldn't take it every day. Hell, my lunch break is normally about 20 minutes, if I remember to take one. If I get so into the "zone" I won't want to stop.

What annoys me here is that my productivity appears to be better in the afternoon. I seem to be at my most effective from around 4 to 7pm. Unfortunately security keeps throwing me out of the building to lock up at 6...

Better Than Being Unemployed...
Monday, November 3, 2003

BTBU, I feel you.

I used to work in a place with 24-7 access to the building.

Have just started in a place where the building is locked at 20h00. Not only that, but the place is locked over the weekends.

They will never know how many free hours they could have gotten out of me if they had a more reasonable access policy.

Monday, November 3, 2003

"They will never know how many free hours they could have gotten out of me if they had a more reasonable access policy."

Thinking of it in other ways, you will never know how many extra hours of spare time you got :-)

Leonardo Herrera
Monday, November 3, 2003

I'm working for "traditional English company" at the moment. 9:00 - 17:30 and 1 hour lunch anything between 12:00 and 14:00.

I can't come on weekends, I can't come earlier or stay late - unless there are a sr. manager inside. Sr. managers are never there before 9 or after 18. They will not give you a key unless you spent 5 years with the company ("you can nick our precisious bytes, you dirty mthrfckr!").

Public transport not very good in the area, so I'm always arrive at 8:00 and go back home at 18:35. Well, gives me a good chance to read C# book, which I always carry with me.

Results? I sleep and see myself in a better place.

The WebSpeed Man
Monday, November 3, 2003

Well, I think in my case the company is effectively wasting money because they are not getting the optimum worth out of their developers.

Indeed, somebody's just given me a five minute "warning" now. The unit I'm working on at the moment will take about half an hour tonight to complete, or about two hours tomorrow when I've forgotten the specifics of what I'm doing.

Top notch teams don't tourtue their developers!

Better Than Being Unemployed...
Monday, November 3, 2003

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