Why Nara Bans Inter-Office Email In Favor Of Intimate, Real-Life Face Time

Unlike many technology companies, Nara is a place where simplicity and face-to-face interaction are still king. Founder and CEO Tom Copeman started the company with the intention of humanizing the web and how we find information. Considering this goal, it seems logical that he would also design an office culture that reflected a commitment to human interaction.

At Nara, you won’t find any employee sending emails across the office to their colleagues. Communication is done the old-fashioned way– with a quick stroll and a conversation. This rule isn’t just a one-dimensional gimmick for improving social skills, it’s also based on science and how the brain responds to varied stimulation.

Citing new research as a major influence on company policy, Copeman believes that physical movement actually keeps the brains of his employees alert and creative–some companies have even decided to take this idea to the next level with full-blown exercise breaks throughout the day.

Tom Copeman (left)

There’s another element to this decision that’s so obvious it is easy to overlook: This approach keeps things simple.

“I really have this philosophy that if you can’t say something very simply–especially when you’re trying to get buy-in and communicate what you are feeling and thinking–it’s too complex and you don’t understand it yet,” says Copeman.

Perhaps surprisingly, leadership has met little resistance from the staff. They have embraced the ethos and routinely tell him that their time at the Nara office is the most fulfilling part of their day.CW