The Best Place to Work | Ron Friedman

Summary of: The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace
By: Ron Friedman

The Power of Friendship in Teamwork

Effective teamwork is a critical ingredient in achieving a company’s success. However, contrary to the belief of many managers, friendship plays an indispensable role in building a high-performing team. Friends are more reliable, and they tend to support and deliver their promises better. Team members who work as friends are less likely to fail, unlike mere acquaintances. Moreover, friendship negates loneliness, which can have devastating effects on an employee’s physical and mental health. Unfortunately, loneliness is common in many offices, reducing happiness and productivity. As a manager, you can promote friendship and mitigate the negative effects of loneliness by creating an environment that supports physical proximity, familiarity, and reaffirming similarity. You can eliminate cubicles, barriers and organize group activities like obstacle races or running competitions to promote friendship among your employees. When you encourage friendship within your workplace, you create a sense of pride, and your team will be motivated to work better, producing better results.


Welcome to the world of extraordinary workplaces! In ‘The Best Place to Work,’ author Ron Friedman delves into how we can create an office environment that is inspiring, productive, and fosters creativity. Through innovative thinking and a strong emphasis on building strong bonds among colleagues, we can pave the way for a successful and thriving workplace. The book explores various aspects of a healthy work setting including flexible schedules, embracing failures as part of the learning process, promoting play and nurturing relationships, all of which have a substantial impact on business success.

Managing Productivity

Productivity management has come a long way from seeking hard and dedicated employees. Traditional thinking has become outdated and instead of rigid work schedules, a flexible work environment is encouraged. Napping has become the key to keeping employees’ energy levels up, with a 20-minute power nap being beneficial. Volkswagen and Daimler have determined to cut off all email access after business hours to allow employees to recharge their batteries and be more productive during the day. Lastly, managers have to embrace failure if they want their employees to work to their full potential. People shouldn’t feel the pressure to produce flawless work hour after hour; embracing failure promotes experimentation, leading to a culture of innovation. History has shown how the greatest inventions followed repeated failure, like Edison spending years before inventing the lightbulb.

Encouraging Creativity in the Workplace

Are you struggling to come up with creative ideas in a high-pressure work environment? This is a common problem that can be solved by promoting play in the workplace. Managers can establish an environment that encourages creativity by freeing up the staff’s timetables and incorporating the logic of play into the working process. Games are compelling because they provide instant feedback, making us feel good about ourselves. Studies have even shown that Oscar-winning actors live four years longer than nominees! To encourage creativity and recognition, managers can organize games and athletic activities, install game consoles or board games, and recognize the staff’s hard work through social media. Instead of Employee of the Month, which is too limited, recognizing each and every success will foster a relaxed and creative workplace environment.

Creating A Positive And Productive Environment

The book emphasizes the importance of promoting positive emotions in the workplace to increase productivity. It suggests holding office events during holidays and organizing sports teams and book clubs. Simple changes can transform any environment into a positive one. However, it’s essential to embrace negative emotions to maintain critical thinking. The level of positivity needed varies by department, with salespeople benefiting the most from an upbeat environment.

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