You won’t find any meditation pods at Updater, a Union Square-based startup that makes an app that helps automate the drudgery people encounter when they move.
“But we are into mindfulness,” says Jenna Weinerman, the company’s marketing director. The 32-year-old, who lives on the Upper West Side, says that everyone is asked to focus on the company’s strategic vision and they are coached to ask themselves: “Is what I am working on right now going to contribute toward our main goal?”
If reading or answering superfluous e-mails, filling out forms, or even attending gratuitous meetings doesn’t fit the bill, “we don’t do it,” she says. “This way we can make sure we are all working on the right things,” she adds, which leaves the more than 100 people who work at Updater with not only a sense of accomplishment but also with free time to do other things that fall in line with their personal goals.
The company offers unlimited paid time off, which employees actually take advantage of without feeling guilty.
“We operate by a ‘hit by a bus’ method,” says Weinerman, referring to the idea that if someone at the company needed a sudden unscheduled absence, everything is in place so that business outcomes aren’t affected. “It keeps everything calm. It’s part of our culture.”
If that sounds unrealistic, it’s the only way to work that is actually effective, according to Leah Weiss, Ph.D., author of “How We Work: Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity and Embrace the Daily Grind” (Harper Wave.)