The Best Place to Work Book Summary - The Best Place to Work Book explained in key points
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The Best Place to Work summary

Ron Friedman

The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace

3.8 (36 ratings)
17 mins
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    The Best Place to Work
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    To boost workplace productivity, managers should promote schedule flexibility and embrace failure.

    What’s the best way for you as a workplace leader to manage the productivity of your staff? According to traditional thinking, productivity is best achieved when employees spend nearly all their time working as hard as possible.

    But although this old-fashioned approach was well-suited to the mechanical work that proliferated during the Industrial Revolution, today it’s seriously outdated.

    Instead, modern society’s most successful managers eschew the rigid nine-to-five formula, encouraging staff to carve out flexible work schedules. In other words, they let employees work when and where they feel most comfortable.

    For instance, old-fashioned managers might view napping as a waste of time. But in fact, napping is a great way for staff to keep their energy levels up for longer. (Of course, we’re talking about a 20-minute power-nap – not a long, deep sleep.)

    So to that end, a manager wanting to promote productivity might skip the new espresso machine and buy a cozy futon instead.

    Similarly, managers should create firm boundaries between work and home life. For example, Volkswagen and Daimler cut off e-mail access after business hours, allowing employees to recharge at night and be more productive during the day.

    Practices like these are sure to boost productivity, but if you really want to ensure that your employees achieve at the highest level, you also have to embrace failure.

    After all, no one can work at their full potential if they feel pressured to produce flawless work hour after hour. That’s simply too much stress!

    A stress-free environment isn’t the only advantage of embracing failure: This attitude will also promote experimentation, leading to a culture of innovation.

    To really understand the link between failure and innovation, consider this: The greatest inventions in human history followed repeated failure. Edison, for example, spent years trying and failing before he finally managed to invent the lightbulb.

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    What is The Best Place to Work about?

    If you want to design the best possible workplace, improve employee satisfaction and ultimately motivate your staff to deliver better results, look no further. The Best Place to Work will guide you through the process of improving your working environment, leading to more enthusiastic and productive employees.

    Best quote from The Best Place to Work

    One thing we can predict with some certainty is that the Failure CV of most high achievers tends to be surprisingly lengthy.

    —Ron Friedman
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    Who should read The Best Place to Work?

    • Anyone who’s interested in workplace design
    • Anyone who’s concerned about employee satisfaction
    • Managers who want to improve productivity

    About the Author

    Ron Friedman is an award-winning psychologist and consultant who studies motivation. The Best Place to Work is his bestselling first book, and has featured in global media from NPR to the Guardian.

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