Every Monday through Friday, the 10-person team at Soma, a San Francisco-based company that produces an eco-friendly water filtration system, sits silently in a circle for 15 minutes.
“After a quick team huddle on our priorities, we meditate together,” says Mike Del Ponte, cofounder and chief hydration officer of Soma. “Everyone is welcome to meditate however they like. Most focus on their breath and calm their minds.”
Most days, they move onto calls, meetings, and emails.
But on Wednesdays, those activities are banned.
“We’ve always had a ‘no meeting Wednesday’ policy where the team is encouraged not to schedule any meetings or calls between meditation time and lunch,” Del Ponte explains. “Most important projects require at least two uninterrupted hours of focused work. It’s difficult to do anything significant when you only have 30 minutes crammed between meetings.
“For this reason, our team focuses on Soma’s big projects from 10 a.m. until lunchtime every Wednesday. This is typically when everyone’s minds are clear and they are most productive.”
Preventing interruptions allows for Soma’s team to get into a “state of flow,” Del Ponte says. “Research has shown that productivity can increase fivefold when you’re in the state of flow, so we accomplish a tremendous amount.”
Since enforcing this policy last year, he says everyone on the team has been on board.
“They all understand the value of saving calls and meetings for the afternoon. They know there are things that can wait a couple hours,” Del Ponte says. “Our people appreciate that we have designed our culture to help them do their best work to be as impactful as possible.”
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