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Lights out means it’s lunch time in Seattle

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Lights out signals lunch time at the NRG::Seattle insurance company. Every day at 11:30 am, the lights go off and all employees must stop working.
    This one-hour break gives employees the chance to eat together and take a breather before the second half of the workday, owner Michelle Rupp says. By allowing all 14 employees to leave the office during lunch, a real sense of camaraderie has developed. “There’s an element of calm about it,” Rupp says.
    The program started eight years ago because employees complained they were tired of taking turns covering the phones during everyone’s separate lunch breaks. Rupp says it made sense to turn off the switchboard for one hour instead of forcing employees to do phone duty.
    Even though the company shuts down for an hour, Rupp says the program has been a cost saver.
    Employees don’t have to eat lunch during the break, however. Many choose to nap or run errands. Still, everyone must be back at work at 12:30 pm, and Rupp says the company is strict about enforcing that rule.
    Contact: Michelle Rupp at

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