How can I affect hourless days in my office? #24

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jonpaul opened this Issue Aug 16, 2011 · 2 comments

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@jonpaul
jonpaul commented Aug 16, 2011

So, I'm interested(as are my coworkers, I think) about how we could start to affect the Boss and our managers toward more flexible or hourless days. We all work on salary basis as is, some of us have commutes lasting nearly an hour. I personally have gotten used to starting my day at ≈ 8am, but I know some of my coworkers would love the opportunity to come-and-go and just be responsible for their own shit. A few specific questions include:

  • How do you handle one employe being blocked by another (What if the end of my day is the beginning of yours?)
  • How would you handle a metric to know what to charge or how long something would take? Is "3 good days or 2 bad ones and 2 good ones" expected and acceptable?
  • How do you keep people accountable before it's too late? Is the only way of managing this kind of workforce by hiring managers to review and lord over everything your employee's do, every day?
  • How do the managers handle necessary face time with an employee who's schedule is the opposite(or, conflicting) of their own?

Keeping in mind that we take on projects, and so far have not developed any of our own. The hourless work day seems very feasible in a business where you upkeep and iterate on a single product and those product's owners are the employee's, but what about when clients are constantly communicating with managers and things are being delegated/iterated throughout the day based on client feedback or client-project realizations?

Thanks for any elaboration on not only how GitHub works, but, more so how to affect those changes in an existing organization.

@crjones
crjones commented Aug 17, 2011

+1, I would like to hear how to make this shift. I believe we have some people who are on board but also some others that are challenges.

@holman
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holman commented Aug 17, 2011

How do you handle one employe being blocked by another? (What if the end of my day is the beginning of yours?)

That's actually not a huge problem for us, for whatever reason. We just don't have a lot of blockers. Sometimes you'll organize something ahead of time ("hey let's go over this thing tomorrow afternoon"), but since we deal with Pull Requests so much, it's sort of built-in to our process that you shouldn't need to rely upon others to complete your work.

How would you handle a metric to know what to charge or how long something would take?

This is the benefit of being a product company. We don't have deadlines, because we don't need to bill out time. It doesn't work for everyone, though, of course.

How do you keep people accountable before it's too late? Is the only way of managing this kind of workforce by hiring managers to review and lord over everything your employee's do, every day?

We don't have any managers (even at 35 people). We hire people who are responsible, who have ambition, and can work on their own. If it doesn't work out, we'll work with them. If it really doesn't look like it'll work out, we'll let them go.

How do the managers handle necessary face time with an employee who's schedule is the opposite(or, conflicting) of their own?

Various ways to track people down- sometimes in person (we'll sometimes grab beers individually with others after work and just chat about stuff... much more informal than a meeting). Sometimes over email. Sometimes just over IM. It's unavoidable at times when you have some people in SF, some in Europe, some in Australia.

The hourless work day seems very feasible in a business where you upkeep and iterate on a single product and those product's owners are the employee's, but what about when clients are constantly communicating with managers and things are being delegated/iterated throughout the day based on client feedback or client-project realizations?

I think that's the rub. And, to be honest, I'm not sure what to tell you; I haven't worked in a client-based company really. Might need to ask around and see who's got some good ideas on how to translate some of the aspects we work on over to a billable-hours type of company. :)

@holman holman closed this Aug 17, 2011
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