Innovation Hours: The Heart of 1904labs

What Innovation Hours Are

A core aspect of our company is our Innovation Hours program. This unique program allows all employees to spend 10% of the work week on various projects. The purpose is for us to step away from our client work and focus on our own ideas. The program breaks down into four categories. Employees can choose to work on any or all of these during the dedicated four hours per week. 

How Innovation Hours Time Can Be Spent 

Employees spend Innovation Hours time in four categories: 

  1. Working on yourself: 1904labs encourages employees to create a Professional Growth Plan (PGP) when they first start. This plan outlines personal or professional goals that an individual wants to work toward and creates short-term steps needed to reach those longer-term goals. Working on a PGP goal during Innovation Hours could be a technical certification, a passion side project, or even building toward a fitness goal. 
  2. Working on a startup: 1904labs prides itself on recruiting innovation-minded people, many of whom are entrepreneurs at heart. During Innovation Hours, employees can focus on their startup or one they are involved in. Unlike many companies, any Intellectual Property (IP) an employee creates during Innovation Hours is their own. 
  3. Working on the community: We love St. Louis! We’re dedicated to helping the St. Louis area, whether through a program that 1904labs sponsors like Hours with Experts or one you volunteer with independently. Lifting the Lou is one program many of our employees spend their time on and was launched to help spread prosperity to underserved areas of St. Louis. 
  4. Working on the labs: Employees can also use their time to make improvements to the company in areas outside of their normal role. Employees can join tasks forces or committees such as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Group. These employee-led groups are formed to solve particular problems, like one currently focused on transitioning our culture and processes to a primarily remote workforce. 

Why 1904labs Offers Innovation Hours

Sean Walsh, Managing Director, describes the “why” behind providing the program, “The reason for Inno Hours is to allow our employees time to innovate away from the client. This provides a great creative outlet for them and is something that makes 1904labs a great place to work.”

Company standup meetings begin each Innovation Hours session. We encourage employees to share their projects and progress during this time. “People share a lot about themselves, personally. Successes are cheered by the labs,” Jocelyn Matsuo, Full Stack Developer.  

A Closer Look into Innovation Hours

Now that you know what the Innovation Hours program is and how employees can spend their time during them, we will be posting a series of blogs highlighting several employees and their projects. Keep an eye out for them here and on our social media. 

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