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Updated Jun 19, 2012 - 8:08 pm

Yelp encourages Scottsdale employees to relax at work

The Yelp office is shown. (Photo: Bob McClay/KTAR)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - While the U.S. Labor Department said American workers' productivity dropped in the first quarter of this year, one company with an office in the Valley said it's getting more out of its workers by encouraging them to take a break.

At Yelp in Scottsdale, hundreds of workers can connect you with the services you need. "

It's the auto industry, it's restaurants, it's lawyers," said John Garnan, the Director of Sales Recruiting at Yelp. "It's everything you can think about where you spend money for a service in your neighborhoods."

Garnan said the 7-year-old company realized its hardworking employees occassionally need a break.

"Short breaks increase worker productivity," said Garnan.

So they created a 60,000-square-foot office that has everything they need to relax a little bit.

"If someone works for three hours, and they need to get their mind right or need a break, we've got pool tables, ping pong tables, fooseball tables and game rooms," said Garnan.

They have a quiet room where workers can relax in a chair that gives them a massage. The company even has a beer station where workers can enjoy a cold one with their co-workers before heading home on Friday. The company wants its' people to enjoy their job.

"If you can understand that you're employees are happy, they're working hard, and the production has increased, it's well worth the money that we spend," said Garnan.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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