In today’s day and age, “busy” is the new “good” when people ask each other how they are. A 24-hour news cycle means that information comes and goes at a lightning pace, and average citizens have no time to slow down, read, and discuss things on a new level. Reading is reserved for tweets and breaking news and rarely for deeper research, nonfiction, or any sort of pleasure. If you want to encourage your office to make time in their days to read for the joy of reading, here are some ways you can make that work.
Create some Office Bookclubs: As with any resolution or habit, the main reason that people fail to follow through is a lack of accountability. As the employer, you can at least orchestrate the opportunity for accountability for your employees to take advantage of if they see fit. As there is demand, set up book clubs for various interests, appoint a leader, and allow time for a monthly meeting to discuss a selected book. That way, your employees feel supported in the endeavors to expand their horizons via literature, and you’re able to provide the infrastructure to help them do so.
Subscribe your Office to Audible: As a perk of working for your company, you can subsidize your employees’ subscriptions to various reading apps and programs. The same way that many corporations offer their workers discounted gym memberships or reduced public transit fares, you can financially support your coworkers’ reading goals. Programs like Audible or Amazon Premium will allow users to “check out” audiobooks and e-books for a period of time and download them to their devices. Some even allow for note-taking and highlighting in the margins. Once you work out the numbers to make sure your company isn’t going bankrupt
Do a Reading Challenge with a Small Prize: As the father of economics Adam Smith said time and time again, “People respond to incentives.” If it’s really important to you that your employees spend less time scrolling through news feeds and more time reading peer-reviewed, edited, and acclaimed novels and nonfiction books, incentivize it! Many elementary and middle schools host competitions for who can read and review the most books in a period of time – you can set up the framework for a very similar program for your company by offering some small prize (a few extra vacation days, an office plant, a small cash bonus, etc) for the person who reads the most and writes reviews of what they read on Goodreads or a similar platform.