Ban lectures in the classroom, and email during business hours


The idea of “flip learning” is relatively simple, and holds a potential lesson to make our workplaces more productive as well.

Flip learning (or flipped classroom) essentially means that teachers focus on hands-on instruction and interaction during classroom time. Lectures and one-directional teaching is kept out of the classroom – after-hours, at home and elsewhere.

In other words, kids do their homework in the classroom, and watch their lectures at night, thereby maximizing active learning time with their teachers.

Now think about the workplace equivalent. Anything that maximizes peer-to-peer interaction would be prioritized. This includes meetings, face-to-face collaboration and brainstorming time, even a shared lunchroom where staff are encouraged to mingle more often. In this context, Yahoo’s announcement earlier this week that they were doing away with the work-from-home option does make some sense.

Of course, tons of work still needs to happen in front of our computers, in a quiet place where we can concentrate, etc. But if we were able to maximize our “together” time, I could easily argue we’d end up with more creative, innovative companies with lots more ideas and breakthrough thinking (and just possibly, less email too).

Easier said than done (as most things are), but still worth thinking about.