Missed Manners

Relaxed Fit

Walk into the offices of FitLinxx, and you might just catch sight of a game of one-on-one Nerf hoops, a workout in the fitness center or a "cross-departmental" meeting taking place--with employees shouting instructions across the center atrium of the office. But one thing is conspicuously absent from this office.

"A necktie cuts off oxygen to the brain and doesn't let you think," jokes Keith Camhi, 32, co-founder of FitLinxx, a Stamford, Connecticut, manufacturer of computerized personal training systems for the rehabilitation and fitness industries. "I think people would be surprised to see a young, high-tech company with employees who wear suits."

Camhi, who founded the company with partner Andy Greenberg, 32, finds the relaxed office offers unique advantages to the company. "It's a competitive advantage in hiring," says Camhi. "The nature of the office makes it more team-oriented with less barriers. You come off the elevator, walk into our space, and you know there's something different going on here than in a traditional office."

Although he admits to donning a suit when making sales calls to more traditional offices, Camhi sees his company as an example of the future of office culture. "Casual [dress] lends itself to a relaxed, cross-functional work environment. The suit-and-tie office is a sign of a more constrained, slow-moving, formal environment that just doesn't fit our culture."

Contact Sources

FitLinxx, (203) 316-5151, ext. 5118, http://www.fitlinxx.com

RainmakerThinking Inc., (203) 772-2002, ext. 104, http://www.rainmakerthinking.com

The Workshoppe, (877) B-POLITE, http://www.theworkshoppe.com

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This article was originally published in the October 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Missed Manners.

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