The TED Office Salons: Not Your Father’s Corporate Training


Above: Charles Duhigg, Amy Web, Jay Silver, and Jill Duffy at the TED Salons.

TED walks the talk when it comes to training, learning, and inspiration in its own organization.


TEDTalks and conferences are great resources for anyone looking to gain insight on a variety of intellectual topics. But what would it be like to work at the TED office? Well for one, they hold “salons” for their employees where noteworthy speakers lecture on innovative life hacks.

So what separates this lecture series from any other? Often when larger companies bring in experts, the goal is to improve workplace productivity and efficiency. Their bottom line motivation is money.

Not TED. Recently, the TED offices featured four speakers that shared advice about finding flexibility in life and becoming happier, more productive people. Their focus wasn’t on pumping out more results in the workplace, but rather discovering life hacks to help employees become happier overall. Moreover, many studies have revealed that a balanced life outside of work results in more productivity and overall job satisfaction.

Nevertheless, many of these life hacks will help employees perform better at work; more importantly though, it will make them happier at work. Speaker and tech reporter, Jill Duffy shared tips to help manage emails. Specifically, she explained, “Keep your unread emails to about a page, save canned responses or email templates so you don’t always end up typing the same thing, and don’t be afraid to delete emails — and let go of the obligations that they represent.”

These salons are just one more way we’re beginning to see the workplace transforming. Change agents include bosses who are becoming more flexible and compassionate, and HR representatives who are thinking outside the box when it comes to face time.