Office Hours Get a Makeover

Last Updated Dec 7, 2009 1:12 PM EST

Bill Taylor writes a nice blog post on the seemingly growing trend of business folk holding office hours.

What's new about that? These aren't typical open-door sessions, where anyone in your department or even in the company is invited to come have a sit-down with the Big Cheese. 37signals CEO Jason Fried, for example, encourages customers to call him with ideas, complaints, or to seek advice. A venture capitalist encourages entrepreneurs to drop by and hone their financing pitch.

Taylor concludes:

Why not carve out an hour or two a week, tell your colleagues and customers that you have cleared your schedule, that you'll be sitting in your office, and that you hope to hear what they're worried about, excited about, or confused about.
Read his full post on Harvard Business Publishing, "Should You Hold "Office Hours"?

Office Hours for Everyone!
Here's an idea. Forget the Big Cheeses. What if everyone in your company was required to hold office hours a few times a year? The only prohibition: No one from the same department is allowed book time. This would be your ideal time for productive silo-hopping to pick the brains of the CTO, or to find out what a quality assurance job is really like.

Who would come see you during your office hours?

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.