37signals, their staff and, specifically, Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson are a constant source of inspiration to me. I devoured their book ‘REWORK‘ in one sitting and always enjoy the freedom their staff have to post on the company blog. Today, I found this article on NFIB.com called Un-Manage Your Employees and, frankly, it’s both awesome and a bit crazy.
In summary, they have a different member of staff manage the teams every week. They become the go-to guy, the decision maker, work out an agenda and write the company update. It’s an interesting approach and one which, I’m sure, keeps everyone in the company engaged. I imaging no one says ‘I can’t do it, management won’t let me!’ … especially when they ARE the management.
The other interesting things from the post (and stuff I knew already) is that, every member of staff gets a company credit card, they simply email receipts to a group inbox for auditing purposes, there’s no signoff and no one is required to get permission to buy stuff. Also, they don’t track holidays or sickdays. In fact, David Hansson suggests that they have to REMIND people to go on holiday. No one abuses either of these perks. 37signals staff are passionate and dedicated to their work, partly because of the ethos of the company I guess.
Working for 37signals must be very cool, but I imagine it would take you a while to get used to it. ‘What? I have no holiday allowance? I can take holiday when I like AND I get a credit card?’. New starters must be constantly looking over their shoulders, especially if they’ve come from a more traditional, corporate background!
I hope 37signals continue in the same vein. They make some good products and stand as an example of how great company can be to work for.