New Idea: CEO Forces Workers To Talk To Each Other


E-mail is making us lazy. Instant messaging is making us even lazier. IM has become the preferred method of communication at work whether a colleague is on another floor – or in the next cubicle. That doesn’t always make for clear, lucid conversations. Why go through all the trouble of typing out that interdepartmental request when you could just turn and ask the person? PBD Worldwide Fulfillment Services CEO Scott Dockter had the same problem – so he banned e-mail at his company one day a week.

Dockter has a “no e-mail Fridays” policy at PBD. He thought of it when he realized that the extended e-mail threads with his assistant could be eliminated if he just walked 20 feet to talk to her.

“We are not communicating as well as we used to,” Dockter says, “and I think it’s affecting not only our employees – it’s affecting our customers – and it was important we did something about it.”

The CEO says he has noticed that the trend is carrying forward into the next week as well. E-mail is down 80% at PBD since he implemented the rule.