The 14,000 employees at Principal Financial Group, based in Des Moines, spend a lot of time in meetings. On Fridays, however, employees are encouraged to schedule meetings only if it's absolutely necessary. The "No Meeting Fridays" policy, which started in 2003, helps employees empty their in-boxes just before the weekend, says benefits manager Polly Heinen, who adds that it "makes it easier for people to head into the weekend with less on their minds." Heinen insists that the policy doesn't just result in more meetings Monday through Thursday. It has "helped us to think through what is really necessary for a meeting," she says.