Like British comedy and $5 Cabernet, I have become (nearly) addicted to e-mail. My son Jack, however, works for a more enlightened company, US Cellular, that has a one-step program: no e-mails on Fridays.
Ellison says the idea is for employees to talk to one another and collaborate more. Along the way, some staffers, like executive John Coyle, have made some amazing discoveries.Are they still part of the Collective?
Coyle says that one Friday, he was about to send an e-mail to a colleague in the finance department whom he had never met. But he called him instead.
That's when the two realized they had similar phone numbers — meaning that not only were they in the same town, but in the same building.
"I'm like, 'Oh, really, where?' He said, 'On the fourth floor,' " Coyle remembers. "And I said, 'I'm on the fourth floor.' "
After more details were exchanged, "I literally got up, walked around the corner and there he was. I had no idea."
U.S. Cellular employees say that e-mail does have a critical place in their work — after all, they are in the business of selling wireless communications, including e-mail.
Just don't e-mail them about that on a Friday. [More]