Redefining the Summer Friday
In our always-on, always-connected digital age, it’s amazing what a few extra off-hours in the beautiful summer months can mean. LivePerson decided to give employees some bonus free time this summer in addition to our regularly scheduled vacations. (Interesting note: There’s plenty of evidence that there’s no correlation between more working hours and productivity.) And we were amazed week after week with what our colleagues across the globe did with this time and how being out of the office actually brought us a little bit closer.
As a company, we encourage employees to create meaningful connections, whether it’s with their colleagues, customers, or the community at large. With that in mind, we shaped the Time2Connect program around this mission. Our people value those connections the most, so what’s a few early Fridays if it means a happier Monday?
In exchange for this free time, we had just one request for our employees: Share how you spent your T2C afternoons with the rest of the LivePerson community. We’ve found that creating an open culture, where employees share more than just work, makes for a more engaged, cheerful environment. And Gallup research backs that up: They find that close friendships at the office increase employee satisfaction by 50%.
While many companies struggle to find a way to fit in some extra vacation hours for their employees (only 8% of workers in the US get any additional time off), aligning it with our culture of connections has made it not just a fun perk but a business value, too — especially in the Israeli tech hub where such programs are unheard of. With more than 400 employees in our product house, the chance to recharge was much appreciated and helped keep the innovation and creativity flowing during the workweek.
As I read through the stories posted on our internal intranet, I was continually moved by how my colleagues used this precious time. Some were making meaningful connections with friends and family; others took LivePerson’s values of being and owner and helping others to the streets — even connecting with our customers.
Here’s what a few of us did this summer.
Kelly, a senior business analyst in our Atlanta office, spent one of her Time2Connect afternoons volunteering at a children’s consignment sale at her church, with all proceeds going to charity.
Ilona, office manager in our recently acquired CAO office in Atlanta, volunteered at a small dog rescue in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Alexis, a campaign manager in our field organization, decided to use her afternoon to connect with a customer, Advance Auto Parts. Since she supports this brand personally, she wanted to spend some time speaking to the staff and general manager. Alexis brought them doughnuts, and the employees there were thrilled to meet the face behind their messaging and customer service operations.
One of our customer success teams in the UK decided to connect with each other. The group took a field trip to the Escape Hunt Experience in London, where they were challenged to solve a murder mystery.
While we each spent our Time2Connect in different ways, the program brought the LivePerson community closer together. We got a glimpse into each other’s lives outside our offices, so, when it comes time to work together, the foundation of a meaningful relationship is already laid.