Yesterbox, and Other Industry News

Our weekly roundup of workplace news from around the web. CEO Tony Hsieh. Photo by Nikki Ritcher for The Wall Street Journal.
  • WSJ reports on CEO Tony Hsieh‘s kind of genius approach to email: “Several years ago, Mr. Hsieh devised an email management technique he calls ‘Yesterbox.’ The idea is to go through yesterday’s messages today. That way, Mr. Hsieh says, ‘you know exactly how many emails you have to get through,’ rather than constantly battling incoming missives throughout the day. At the end of the day, you can reach a point when you have no more email left to process from the day before, he says.”
  • HBR on the prevalence of smart drugs: “You’ve managed the same team for the past five years — then one day you find out that your most successful employee uses cognitive-enhancing drugs on the job. This scenario may not be hypothetical for long. The unauthorized use of prescription drugs such as the ADHD medications Adderall and Ritalin and the narcolepsy drug Modafinil is now common among American university students. They use these drugs not to escape work and avoid responsibility but to be able to work more and better. Up to 20 percent of Ivy League college students have already tried ‘smart drugs,’ so we can expect these pills to feature prominently in organizations (if they don’t already).”
  • Wakefield explores the rise of makerspaces: “As startups grow, the struggle to maintain an innovative company culture never stops. In recent years, communal ‘rec rooms’ — where employees can tinker with side projects — have become an integral element in keeping staff engaged, generating new ideas, and averting burnout. These workshops, makerspaces, and hackerspaces (the terms are often used interchangeably, but here are some definitions) typically resemble a nerdy man cave, with tools, wires, and gadgets centered around a woodshop table.”
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