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Zappos掌门人:常出去转转

谢家华 2013年03月26日

禁止远程办公并不是要把员工禁锢在办公桌旁边,而是鼓励他们走出去,跟别人进行交流。Zappos网络服饰公司的CEO谢家华认为,这既是人类的天性,也是创新的需求。

    雅虎(Yahoo)首席执行官玛丽莎•梅耶和她禁止公司员工远程办公的决定获得了大量的关注。虽然最初的反应可能是引起争议,但事实上,梅耶的理由跟我们Zappos的理念是一致的:员工在办公室里进行更多面对面的交流可以对打造公司文化产生巨大的积极影响。

    我在拙作《奉上幸福》(Delivering Happiness)一书中探讨了我们在Zappos是如何通过3C——服装(clothing)、客户服务(customer service)以及公司文化(company culture)——思考自身品牌的做法。最后一个C(公司文化)并不仅仅是我们认为重要的东西,它对公司来说是头等大事,而且是我们经营战略的核心。我们的信念是,如果我们打造出正确的公司文化,那么大部分其他东西——比如提供卓越的客户服务,或是创建持久的品牌或业务——就会水到渠成。

    Zappos目前约有1,500名员工,公司建立已有14年时间,我们花费大量时间思考如何才能持续提升公司文化。我们会做“面对面游戏”(face game)这样的事情,每次让一名员工登录到我们的后台系统,他或她的面孔就会自动展现到一名随机员工的面前,旁边还附有人物小传。

    我们办公楼的四面都有门,之前租户的员工都是选最方便的门走进来。我们从外面把门锁起来,迫使员工绕过大楼走前门。虽然不方便,但我们相信它能够帮助打造公司文化。因为这种做法创造了更多的机会,通过大厅里的相遇让员工在偶然间发生互动。

    两年前,我们宣布将租用拉斯维加斯之前的市政厅大楼。由于再过6个月,我们的改造工程就能完工,现在Zappos的员工队伍实际上被打散了。其中有200名员工在拉斯维加斯市中心的临时办公室上班,而大多数员工还在马上就要成为前总部的地方办公,后者位于亨德森(拉斯维加斯郊区)的一处办公园区。过去的一年里,我大部分时间都在市中心那边活动,因为我住在那里,也因为我对DowntownProject.com的参与。所以,当一名Zappos员工看到我在接受全国广播公司财经频道(CNBC)采访时表示我不鼓励在家远程办公时,他给我发来了下面这封电子邮件:

    ----

    我想公开和你分享我们团队对这个话题进行的一个讨论。团队成员(包括我在内)立刻蹦出这样的话,“好啊,那可真够虚伪的。”你的很多会议都是在家中开的,Zappos的员工看到你的次数变少了,灵光一现的机会也少了。我知道把他们召集到你的地方对你来说更加方便,但你也说了,我们公司办公楼只开一扇门并不是方便不方便的问题。我们希望你多走一些路,这样你就有机会跟人碰面。我要建议你把更多的会议放在Zappos市中心的会议室,而不是你的公寓……人们希望有更多的机会在那里看到你,我认为那会有帮助。

    Much attention has been given to Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer and her decision to ban her employees from telecommuting. While the initial reaction may have fomented controversy, the truth is that her reasoning is in line with our philosophy here at Zappos: More face time in the office can have a huge positive impact in helping build company culture.

    In my book Delivering Happiness, I talk about how we think of our brand at Zappos in terms of the 3 C's: clothing, customer service, and company culture. That last C -- company culture -- isn't just something we think is important. It's the No. 1 priority for the company, and it's actually core to our business strategy. Our belief is that if we get the culture right, then most of the other stuff -- like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand or business -- will just be a natural byproduct.

    With about 1,500 employees now, we've been in business for nearly 14 years and have spent a lot of time thinking about how to continuously improve our company culture. We do things like playing the "face game," where every time an employee logs into our backend systems, he or she is automatically shown the face of a random employee, along with the accompanying bio.

    There are doors on all four sides of the building I'm working in. The employees of the building's previous tenant went through whichever door was most convenient. We actually lock all the doors from the outside and force employees to walk around the entire building to get to the front door. Even though it's more inconvenient, we believe this helps our culture because it creates more opportunities for employees to have serendipitous interactions by colliding with each other in the main lobby.

    Two years ago, we announced that we would be taking over the former Las Vegas city hall. Now that we are about six months away from completing construction, our workforce is actually split with about 200 employees in a temporary office in downtown Vegas, and the majority of our employees in our soon-to-be ex-headquarters in an office park in Henderson (a suburb of Vegas). Over the past year, I've been spending most of my time out and about downtown because I live there and also because of my involvement in DowntownProject.com. So when a Zappos employee saw me comment on a CNBC interview saying that we don't encourage working from home, he emailed me the following:

    ----

    I wanted to openly share with you a discussion my team had about that. People (including myself) immediately jumped to "well, that's pretty hypocritical." You take a lot of your meetings from home and people at Zappos see you less and have fewer opportunities for serendipity for you. I know it is more convenient for your time and meetings to have them at your place. But you also talk about how it is not about convenience that we have only one door into buildings. We want you to walk a little bit farther so you have a chance to bump into people. I would encourage you to see if you can do more of your meetings from Zappos' downtown offices instead of your apartment ... People want to see you around more and I think that will help.

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