This is a post from The Pursuit of Happiness, a blog on happy workplaces and work culture at my company, GasPedal. Check it out for more posts like this every week.
Quirky, a company that builds crowdsourced product ideas, completely shuts down for a week about once a quarter.
They call it a “blackout,” and here’s how they explain it:
From time to time, Quirky shuts down its “machine” for a full week. A Blackout, if you will.
During Blackout, our team is encouraged to explore other interests. For some, it’s a time to clean our apartment, see the dentist, or buy a new pair of kicks. For others, it’s a time to explore an unfamiliar country or finally finish that creative side project. It’s a time to relax simultaneously, reflect on past successes and failures, and prepare mentally for the work ahead. It’s a time to get our heads back in the game.
At Quirky, we know that amazing things happen in the most unconventional of ways, a mentality that led us to build this company in the first place. Our thesis is that Blackout will lead to stronger output, more beautiful products, and a healthier team.