A current feature by Kasey Wehrum on Inc. tells the story of M5 Networks, a New York company that offers a music program for employees.
It began with CEO Dan Hoffman, a casual guitar player who initially met with some staff members after hours to play a few songs. After some former touring musicians joined the company (which sells VoIP phone systems for small business use), the band M5 Six was formed to play office functions and parties.
Once the band grew in popularity, Hoffman decided more employees should be able to join in the fun. He secured music teachers to come to the office each afternoon (costing $3,000 per month, with employees paying $20 per private lesson). Now, a third of the staff uses the once-vacant conference room that's replete with drum kit, keyboards, guitars and amps. A battle of the bands event is planned for the December holiday party.
"We're like a lot of companies today: We work all the time," Hoffman said. "Work life and personal life have become totally blurred. So if you want to take a half-hour off during the day to go bang on the drums, I think that's a net good."