CEO Happy Hour

Posted on
April 28, 2017


CEO Happy Hour is a program to keep the office and our work environment clean. It simultaneously builds community and pride in the space, as every employee cleans the office for one hour per month.


The origins story

We began CEO Happy Hour as an experiment, inspired by a story from a 3-star Navy general. He shared the weekly tradition he ran on his ship, called the CEO Happy Hour. It was an hour where the entire ship would clean. This ritual over time led to a place where everyone was proud of how it looked, how it felt.


The initial email from our Co-CEO Charlie Kim, launching CEO Happy Hour

Keeping the office clean has always been a challenge for us. No matter how much we dictated cleanliness, it didn’t translate. Experimenting with a companywide event where everyone participated (no excuses!), created a chance for us to clean our ship together. It also started to build empathy in employees, as common responses were,  “Oh my god it took me forever to clean this – I can do a better job.” Like other NxJ experiments, we ran this 3 times (for 3 months in a row), and then formally developed it into a program now run by a culture team.



  • Schedule once a month. We run it on the 2nd Friday of every month, from 4-5pm. It’s in everyone’s calendar
  • It’s a mandatory event – no one should be excluded (CEOs, senior management included)
  • Like our other culture programs, this is a practice ground. We set-up event captains, create an org chart and assign responsibilities (areas to clean) to everyone.
  • Invest in and provide high quality cleaning supplies: Magic Erasers, extra large trash bags, Clorox wipes
  • Give employees and teams the autonomy to throw out junk.
  • Create a playlist in advance and play music during the happy hour (In Boston, they kick it off with their winning dance competition songs)
  • Document! Before and after pictures can be very powerful
  • Optional: provide beers along with the cleaning supplies

Download the 1-page guide

Example ‘Proudly Owned by’ signs