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article imageThe company that asks employees to start work at 9:06 a.m.

By Tim Sandle     Dec 1, 2016 in Business
What is the ideal company to work for? What types of benefits have the greatest effect? How about a later starting time or a free breakfast? One company has been pioneering different work practices to apparent success.
The company Pivotal Software, which is based in the U.S., has taken an unusual approach to promoting employee well-being. First of all, employees turning up before the start of the working day are given a free breakfast. After this, they get ready to start work at a specific time. The company insists that all employees at its 20 offices start at exactly 9:06 a.m. This start time is marked by a gong being rung.
The ringing of the gong doesn’t mean everyone rushes to their desks; instead employees gather in huddles for team meetings, which last for 10 minutes or so. This is the only meeting of the day for most employees, since too many meetings are regarded as pointless distractions. Instead the staff are expected to work on their computers.
According to a profile on the BBC news site, where the chief executive of Pivotal, Rob Mee, is interviewed, this practice has proven to be key to making the working day, and the utilization of employee time, as effective as possible.
Here Mee says: “I realised that programmers, if left to their own devices, may roll in at 10 a.m," he says. "And if they haven't eaten adequately they will be hungry by 11 a.m, so they'll stop for food, which then makes the afternoon too long. It is not very efficient.”
The entrepreneur then added: “So we thought, 'let's provide breakfast for everyone.' It gives them a reason to get here."
The reason for selecting 9:06 a.m. as the start-time was to give employees a little slack should they be later. The incentive for not being late is the free breakfast; however, for those who opt not to have this they have a little leeway in getting to work on time. Originally 9:05 a.m. was pitched as the start-time, but this was extended out by one-minute as the time of 9:06 a.m. seemed ‘more fun.’
Another requirement is that all employees leave on time and no one is allowed to work into the evening. This has been put into place to avoid employees getting tired and to ensure maximum productivity the next day. The working practices seem effective, judging by Pivotal’s business success. Pivotal Software was formed in 2012 after spinning out of EMC Corporation and VMware.
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