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Friday Afternoon

By Steve Jones,

At SQL Saturday #33 in Charlotte, I had the chance to stop by the SQL Sentry offices, and spent a few minutes in their lounge. Note that I said lounge, not conference room. They actually have a separate room setup with a couch and A/V equipment, including video games, that are there for people to use and relax with. I've been in other companies that had similar setups, though typically it was a conference room that was sacrificed with a few amenities thrown in there, like ping pong tables, table hockey, dart boards, etc. That was before all this new-fangled XBOX / Guitar Hero stuff.

To me this was a great way for people to step away from work for a few minutes and discuss some issue in a new way. It's a way to take a break, get out of your cube, and not only allow your mind to wander, but it can be a way to bond with other people. While you don't necessarily want people spending all day in a lounge, a change of scenery can help someone brainstorm or innovate in a way that's hard to duplicate at your desk.

I know that there are companies that see these perks as just a waste of time, and others that find value in amenities. If you work at one of the former companies, you can make a change if you can possibly present some good reasons to your boss. With that in mind, I wanted to ask this questions for a Friday Poll?

What helps you to unwind and recharge at work?

I'm looking for either those amenities or techniques that you use to try and get creative when you need to. Either something that you've used at work, or you've wished for.

Right now often use a change of scenery at home when I need to try an get creative. I go upstairs and work in bed, or maybe sit on a couch with a laptop. However when I am in an office, I've always enjoyed something that's a little more active. A game of ping pong or throwing a football around has helped me to discuss a problem in a new way. Not that I wouldn't like some Guitar Hero or Rock Band these days, but I'm not sure those games facilitate any discussion.

Steve Jones


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