End the “Last Out” Culture in Your Office by Evan Sutton

By at October 4, 2012 | 2:02 pm | Print

End the “Last Out” Culture in Your Office by Evan Sutton

Evan Sutton NOI

When I started on campaigns as a field intern, there was a counterproductive culture in our office – no one wanted to be the first to leave. (I’ve seen this in every other campaign and department I’ve worked in since, too.) There are three big problems with this.

  • It incentivizes slacking off. People don’t want to leave first, so they’ll goof off. In my experience, most folks could wrap up by 11 most nights, but instead they sit around until 12 or 1 AM checking Facebook.


  • It makes teamwork less valuable. If being last to leave is a badge of honor, there’s less incentive for others to jump in and help someone with a big load (or for that person to ask for help).


  • It’s unhealthy. An extra hour or two sitting around the office is a great way to wear yourself out for no good reason.

If you’ve got that culture, here’s how you can right the ship:

  • Make the expectations explicit: Set a goal that everyone is finished by 11 PM. People will work hard to meet that goal instead of sitting around.


  • All for one, and one for all: If the expectation is that everyone finishes on time, people will work hard not to be the last to finish, and people will jump in to help others if they’ve finished early.


  • Reward your team: Use your new found time to celebrate now and then. Buy a case of beer, or go out together for fun.

Want to be healthier and happier through Election Day? Accept the Healthy Campaigners Challenge and join us here

Evan Sutton is a firm believer in getting as much sleep as possible.

Get the Tip of the Day by Email from the New Organizing Institute.

Evan Sutton, Communications Manager, New Organizing Institute (NOI).  Evan oversees NOI’s online content.  NOI trains organizers to build and manage effective movements by integrating tried-and-true community organizing, cutting-edge digital strategy, and data-driven decision making. NOI provide free access to revolutionary tools, technologies, and research to help campaigns reach the next level.

New Organizing Institute        1850 M St. NW, Suite 1100            Washington, D.C. 20036    suttnutz  on Twitter

Management & Strategy

Related Posts

Comments are closed.