Once in a while, an email just won’t do. Usually, the reason involves a 3D object that cannot be sent through T1 cables. The only thing easier than pressing send, is putting mail on someone else’s desk to process. When that option is not available, you might have to go through the trouble of packaging, weighing, measuring, label making, and scheduling.
With over 1,100 occupants at Red Hat Tower (RHT), the mail team stays quite busy, and mailroom efficiency is key to ensuring everything gets to where it needs to. For the sake of time, each individual is responsible for sending his or her own mail. Workers at other companies this size might have an administrator taking care of mail for them. In fact, most mailrooms are tucked away in the basement with limited access cards or pin numbers. But mail procedure at RHT falls right in line with the upside down culture they embrace. Walking around the building, you will notice paradoxical quotes, such as “disruption is productive.” You might see employees in 3 piece suits walking alongside colleagues wearing gym clothes. Their brainstorming sessions might take place during a heated game of pool or foosball. And the mailroom is not in the basement. It adjoins the central hub in the common area of the tower.
Inside this mailroom, employees will find a neat and tidy work area. They will see mailing instructions that look like an adaptation from a PBS Kids cartoon. The graphics guide them through a step by step process that reminds me of the first time I made Kraft Easy Mac. They have fast access to new and recycled packaging material in all shapes and sizes. It is easy to see how these subtle conveniences yield pervasive efficiency.
Adjacent to this public space is the restricted mailroom where shipping and receiving take place. Large bulk shelving for boxes, slanted bin storage, and vertical dividers for packaging material are commonly found in mailrooms. Gaining popularity in work rooms is a dedicated space for trash and recycling. For this, Hamilton Sorter designed open base modular laminate cabinets with two swinging doors and an integral toe kick. Most companies fine sort mail on horizontal shelves, but Red Hat elected to sort mail using Oblique vertical hanging folders. This method gives staff more flexibility within an allotted amount of space. They can easily increase or decrease the sorting space for certain individuals or departments.
If you are lucky enough to have an administrator handle your mail, you may now feel inclined to pass along some encouraging words of gratitude. But if you are lucky enough to work at RHT, you should thank your operations and facilities teams for making the lemons of sending mail into lemonade. Drink a tall glass on this hot July day, and toast to mailroom efficiency and expediting mail!