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Wilson Cazarré
Wilson Cazarré

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A different approach to productivity in the workplace

Joy Inc. tells us the history of Menlo Innovations from the point of view of its CEO, Rich Sheridan, and how he was able to provide a workplace that has the feeling that we're all looking for. Instead of just put pressure and create almost a hostile environment for its co-workers - as many companies do - Sheridan decides to look at the situation from a different angle. What if we could bring happiness to the workplace and STILL keep our numbers high? That's what he did.

Let's see why this works so well at Menlo Innovations. It's possible to summarize Rich's approach into some key points:

Motivated workers = more engaged workers

First, let's talk about motivation. I always find difficult to work in something that I don't love at all. Even when I get the job done, I have never felt it fulfill. In other words, I would never be able to be the best in something that I didn't see meaning, or just don't like it. Joy is the key to find meaning in that you do, thus, the key to motivation. A more motivated worker means someone who is able to drive its creativity to the maximum level, and do things that another co-worker wouldn't think or just wouldn't care enough to do.

Flexibility in the workplace means more creativity overall

Would you rather work in a dark and windowless or in an open space where you feel more comfortable and relaxed? I'm guessing the first one. The primary goal to redesign Menlo's office was to give their co-workers more freedom to even redesign the place if necessary. That freedom in their space means freedom in their mind. A more open and enjoyable space gives you all the flexibility that you need to come up with new and fresh ideas!

Communication is everything

This concept of workplace also brings another advantage: open communication. In Menlo, this process is done through a _high-speed voice technology which allows them to avoid conflicts and misunderstanding instructions. This goes against many companies' communication systems, which are done by email or things like that. Theses techniques can be error-prone and also since the writing is the most difficult type of communication, it's far more difficult to ensure that all the employees are on the same page.

Teamwork - you are never working alone here

At Menlo, each employee works in pairs and each pair has its computer. This is done for a couple of reasons. First is less likely that for you to commit a mistake since you always got someone on your back, helping you out. It's also a technique for improving communication between co-workers which creates a more enjoyable space overall. Also, every week they change partners which helps them to built new relationships and gain more experience.


Joy is the key to change the world. Is the only thing that can ensure that your co-worker will give their best, always. Rich Sheridan's company culture not only proves that as well serves as an inspiration that can lead to real changes in the workplace and consequently the world.

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