Facebook have come up with an interesting way of keeping workforce morale up and preventing employee burnout. The Palo Alto company last week formally announced its internal initiative that allows some engineers to leave their current team in favour of working on a side project of their choosing. As well as the primary goal of preventing burnout, “Hackamonth” as it is being called, should result in some cool new products.
In the last year, Facebook trialled the Hackamonth initiative with 35 engineers being encouraged to submit project ideas that would require around a month’s worth of work. It was this process that spawned Facebook’s new Deals feature. The Hackamonth idea is an extension of Facebook’s longtime tradition of engineering “hackathons,” overnight events complete with beer, food, and DJs. During hackathons, employees must only abide by one rule: They can’t work on anything related to their everyday projects.
Slater Tow, a Facebook spokesman said: “For engineers, hackathons are opportunities to dive into any other project they’ve had their eye on. It’s a chance to shake things up for a night.” He added: “Hackamonth is a way to perpetuate this hackathon mentality into a full month.”
All in all, it’s a pretty smart move from the social networking giant. Not only are they keeping their employees sane and happy, but also getting them to reach their creative best without any bureaucratic restraints stifling their cognitive flow.