5 innovative ways to solve unimportant problems
All work and no play not only makes Jack a dull boy, it makes for a pretty disengaged workplace. In Silicon Valley, especially, the competition for talent is cutthroat, and offering fun and innovative projects is a great way to attract and retain elite talent.
Digital guest management and visitor sign-in solutions company Envoy's CEO Larry Gadea and his team wanted a way to publicly recognize the efforts of employees. Technology provided the answer: an automated 'sales gong' that would reverberate throughout the office whenever a new subscriber signs up. The solution's built using a Raspberry Pi connected to a series of relays, and the mechanism to ring the gong is written into the main codebase. Any time there's a new subscriber, the system springs into action and rings the gong.
The overall effect is more than just to recognize the efforts of salespeople, marketers and developers within the company, Gadea says. It's to remind Envoy's teams of the "bigger picture" and to build on the culture of innovation and teamwork at the company. "We wanted to remind everyone that all the hard work we're doing is making an impact. That outside of the office, in the real world, we're making something that people are actually using. It adds to our culture and to the engagement of our teams, and it's just really fun," Gadea says.
The idea sparked a contest to determine the coolest office hacks, and now Envoy creates a podcast to highlight cool office hacks from other innovative companies. You can check out all 21 episodes here, but in the meantime, here's a list of our five favorites.