10 things “The Purge” can teach us about office planning

May 2, 20165 Minute Read

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What do a future with crime and overcrowded prisons and an office overwhelmed with disorganized records and disillusioned employees have in common? A lot, as it turns out.

In the movie The Purge, the government has sanctioned a twelve-hour period in which all criminal activity is allowed, even those crimes that result in consecutive life sentences—or worse.

Extreme? Sure. No one’s telling you to celebrate Purge day at work (or anywhere else), but maybe it’s time for an “anything goes” approach to organization. Let’s explore a few aspects that your office can incorporate to their IT office planning inspired by this terrifying flick.

1. Productivity

When I have a strict deadline to reach, I switch into Hulk-mode. Suddenly I eliminate distractions and the job gets done. In The Purge, people are only given twelve hours to accomplish whatever goals they’ve deemed necessary to accomplish—regardless of pesky moral complications.

It’s not realistic to set such strict time lines in your office culture. However, the movie demonstrates that working toward a final goal or deadline helps each member achieve what they need. Also, people won’t allow themselves to get too distracted with tedious tasks, or the consequences could be severe.

2. Regulation

Whether it’s legal regulation or office regulation, a clear set of rules needs to be established. No matter what industry you’re in, there are guidelines you have to follow. But what if your company is so far gone that these rules are viewed as a form of rebellion?

This is the reason for the implementation of a new set of rules in The Purge. Sometimes guidelines that are too strict and cause more harm than good need to be reevaluated. Whether it’s with a firm dress code or a rigid office schedule (or, a more flexible schedule altogether), it could be time to assess what’s working and what deserves a second look.

3. Rate of “crime”

In The Purge, America boasts a decrease in the rate of crime, and a one percent unemployment rate—an all-time low—and it attributes this to giving citizens an outlet for their pent-up aggression for one night of the year. How can you use this as an inspiration to decrease “crime” in your office planning? Many businesses are placing more importance on a work-life balance and flexibility in the office. According to a recent study from Unify, 50 percent of knowledge workers feel that work-life balance conditions in their workplace have improved in the past five years. Giving employees an outlet or a form of relief at the office helps them remain engaged and present in their position.

4. Collaboration

Cultivating a collaborative environment will ultimately set your business up for success. In the movie, two forms of collaboration exist: one with the family trying to protect themselves against intruders, and the other with the group of young adults hunting the man who is eventually let into the house. Both sides work together to achieve their ultimate goal.

According to research by Cornerstone on Demand, 38 percent of workers feel that there’s not enough collaboration in the workplace. By setting team goals and communicating the expectations of the business, collaboration can be improved. Leveraging the strengths of the team is crucial to effective collaboration.

5. Security

The main character in the movie, James Sandin, lives in an affluent LA neighborhood thanks to his successful security company designed for Purge Night. Consumers are insured that this system will protect them. Unfortunately for James and his family, even this security system has its flaws. He’s forced to admit his family is at risk and needs to find an alternate plan.

No company has a security plan that will thwart all threats. Many are on a continuous hunt for improved security for unknown threats. This movie can teach us that no matter how protected we feel, there’s always a risk. Planning for worst-case scenarios can ensure you’re as prepared as possible in case of an attack.

6. Alternative thinking

Creative thinking, not unlike what Sandin is forced to do to in order to protect his family, has unlimited benefits to the business—creates an approach to problem solving and big ideas. Encourage imagination with employees, make it a priority in the organization, and your business will likely reap the benefits.

7. Weakness

Identifying shortcomings in either the team or the business process is essential. Whether it’s vulnerabilities like compassion (only in The Purge) or a step your business process is missing that’s creating extra work for the team, the situation needs to be resolved. Pinpointing weak points and pain points gives you a clearer picture of how to advance and innovate.

8. Communication

Protecting yourself from violent neighbors and ensuring your next event goes off without a hitch may seem totally different, but both involve a great extent of communication. It’s not just words that convey your message—it’s also your attitude, gestures and expectation-setting that advances communication. For instance, when the family locked down the house and went their separate ways, they needed to communicate that letting a stranger in the house was not a safe or smart decision.

9. Delegation

Not being able to say no or delegate responsibilities is a sure path to failure in any role. The objective is to get the job done quickly and effectively. Checking on progress and collaborating with other team members is essential to success (especially when your life is on the line).

10. Success

The Cornerstone On Demand report showed that 50 percent of those surveyed from different generations would be more motivated to collaborate with coworkers if given positive recognition. These small successes can have a positive effect on morale, leading to bigger successes down the line. Whether success means cutting down on murder rates, or ensuring a better corporate culture, these ten factors are significant contributors.

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