How do you get people out of the office?
I'm sure it happens at other companies too. Everyone agrees it's time to go home but nobody is actually walking out the door. Little unclosed loops keep popping up - "oh, before we go, what about ... ?" or "I have a great idea! We should make a ... "
It's all great stuff but we need to be gone. All of this stuff can wait until tomorrow. It'll be just as exciting then and nobody will be late for dinner.
Yesterday I tried something new: I thumped an invisible Big Red Button on the wall and announced: "I have just activated the office self-destruct system. Anyone still here in thirty seconds will be blown to bits. Thirty. Twenty-nine. Twenty-eight. ..."
I kept the countdown going, and it worked. We all made it out, windows closed, lights off, door locked and into the corridor with eight seconds to go.
I'm now seriously thinking about building an actual Big Red Button that does exactly this. Might be useful for lunchtime, too.
(Followup: I did, using an old Android tablet and a youtube video of the Nostromo's self-destruct sequence. It works almost too well.)