RED Friday: What Happens If you Stop Work for a Day?

Generating topics for RED Friday

Can you imagine if you could stop work for a day? Titansoft offers no minimum working hours and now we don’t even have to work?! Of course, such a thought sounds all too attractive before reality kicks in. What about productivity, KPI, tasks on hand and emails?

It’s often we get so caught up in the whirlwind that we forget to stop and think – what exactly are we doing? The idea of RED Friday was to do something different with the expectation that experiencing something novel will trigger new perspectives and ideas.

Previously we experienced how job swaps can be a challenging and stimulating change for new perspectives. How about if we do it differently on a company level? First, we set aside a day to pause our work. To build a common sense of identity and participation, we went further to vote for a colour to wear on this day. The theme for RED Friday was simple: do something different! Any Titaner could start activities, workshops or topics that they were interested in. This set the stage for the event but what really happened was the unexpected value for all of us.

Let It Go, Let It Flow

Our Scrum Master, Maryanto who initiated RED Friday decided to carry out this day in an open space method. RED Friday emphasised heavily on self-management and minimal facilitation. This meant there was little control and how it pans out is dependent on the attendees. Maryanto’s mantra was to let it go, to not interrupt the flow and see what happens. This was definitely counter-intuitive because you have to believe things will work without you working on it.

Interestingly, to get in the mood, Maryanto decided to change his morning routine to start the day feeling different. It’s amazing how small tweaks in your usual routine can bring about changes in your mood and perspective, exactly befitting for RED Friday to make new discoveries!

Transform Your Thinking

Push away all thoughts of wasted time and lack of productivity! It was not hard to guess how many thought RED Friday would hinder their current tasks on hand, especially it being a full-day event. However, during the retrospective at the end of the day, every Titaner felt the positive effects of hitting the pause button. This setting encouraged Titaners to open up to ideas, bring up topics which could be entirely out of work. It was a refreshing change to be talking with our fellow Titaners about non-work related items and RED Friday created exactly the context to do so.

Breaking into groups for discussion

Whoever Comes Are the Right People

How many times have we struggled to initiate change or pitch a topic to an uninterested audience? This was definitely not the case for RED Friday because all topics abide by the law of two feet – walk away if you find that you are not learning. What we have left then are definitely people who are interested, passionate and therefore invested in learning about the topic and making a change. The session also ends with a “Breaking News” segment where each topic initiator will present a summary of the discussion and find interested volunteers to take further action together.

Importantly, this day allows us to generate discussion, solve complex problems and create action items with the interested and invested. Ultimately, it is to let Titaners feel engaged and find it useful to think about continuous improvement.

Surprise Yourself

RED Friday’s topics were wide and varied, ranging from department process improvement, team culture to even renovation and decoration plans for our office! Often we caught ourselves being surprised with other Titaners’ interests that we were definitely unaware of. Beyond the knowledge sharing, it was also a good opportunity to talk to colleagues we might have less chances to interact with. Unknowingly, we might have discovered some things we did not know about ourselves which was exactly the objective of RED Friday!

The end of RED Friday left us with many new thoughts and ideas to start the new quarter. Strangely what started out as a pause button to stop and reflect could actually be a refresh button for us to look at things in a different light. We are definitely looking forward to the next time we hold this day to emerge with fresh perspectives!

Does your workplace carry out similar novel activities like this? If not, we definitely encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone to do something different. We welcome any suggestions for our next RED Friday and look out for our next update!




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