Fridays are always both the hardest and the easiest days of the week. The hardest because everyone is tired, bored and impatient after the whole week. The easiest because we all know that after we are done with work, it's finally THE WEEKEND and we can have our well deserved rest.
At Cloudoki we have found a great solution to deal with Fridays and we called it HackFridays.
What is a HackFriday?
HackFriday is a normal Friday at the office when we can stop working on our daily projects and do something different for a change. Sounds a bit odd, doesn't it? You could even say a waste of a payday? Coming to work and not do the actual work?! What kind of a boss in their right mind would agree to something like that? What's even more, propose the idea himself? The answer is pretty simple, a smart one ;) And just to prevent you from thinking that we don't work then, of course we do, it's not like instead of working we are taking naps or playing frisbee. We are working on things that help us grow but are different from our daily tasks. To show you specifically what I mean, let's get some easier-to-imagine example.
Imagine you are a frontend developer delivering ReactJS solutions for clients. Every single day of the week you work with the same technology, same tools, same people. Can be a bit boring on the long run. That's where HackFridays show up, on a day like this you could play with backend technology, create a bot or write some open source code tutorial, you've been meaning to share with the world or test some new exciting tools. Basically you can do anything you want as long as it helps you grow as a professional. Sounds easy? Very. Now when you know how to do it, let's ask why you should even consider it.
Benefits of HackFridays
1. Breaking the routine
We have already established that working everyday in the same technology, using the same tools, seeing the same people can turn out to be quite tedious. When hackfridaying we break our everyday routine and boost our creativity. We start looking at things from a different angle. It helps us increase the overall effectiveness and enjoy our work more. During HackFridays we use things we don't use every day. Thanks to that we become more productive in our normal tasks. We are able to find better solutions because we are colouring outside the lines, we are stepping out of our comfort zones and this is the place where the best ideas come to life.
2. Broadening the perspective
Due to routine, we lose our enthusiasm and energy, therefore our problem solving skills are getting worse. Our brain becomes lazy. HackFridays help us avoid it. By learning new technologies, gaining skills and experiences we don't have everyday, we can easily prevent our brains from turning off. Moreover by getting smarter, our perspective gets wider. We start looking at problems with a fresh eye. After a HackFriday, it becomes easier to solve bugs and deliver good quality products.
3. Positive atmosphere
A day like HackFriday is always a great team bonding experience too. Very often we pair up to work on our ideas, we brainstorm and discuss different approaches. It gives us the opportunity to talk and work together, especially with people that are from different projects. Having a team that is close, where people like each other and are not embarrassed to ask questions and communicate is essential for company's success.
4. Working on your passions
Hackfridaying is the time where we all can remind ourselves why we chose the job we have, keep the fire alive. The truth is that in the heat of everyday obligations, we tend to forget why we started working in a specific field. During HackFridays we get the opportunity to go back to what we really like, write an app in the language we love, record a video explaining a process, solve a problem someone else has, write an article about the topic that is really interesting for us. The options are limitless, we just have to take them!
HackFridays is one of the ideas that make a company, something more than just your workplace, they give you the space to be creative, develop your passions and in the end become the best in your field.
At Cloudoki we are hackfridaying every other Friday. And it works wonders for all of us. Give it a try! You don't have to do it very often at first. Just do it once and embrace the results. Then do it once again and see for yourself if anything changed.
It's definitely an idea worth trying :)