SMART NOT HARD
When Rahul and I started 2927 five years ago, one of the first few things we were certain was to embrace the ‘work smart’ culture by abolishing the ‘work hard’ culture. And this did not come about just like that, Rahul who had worked at two companies as the marketing director felt that by having fixed hours of work, as is the norm, was an impediment to the growth of the individual, personally or professionally.
When we began the process of hiring personnel we made clear to them that creativity thrives when nobody is breathing down your necks, and therefore, we would be giving them the leverage to work from anywhere, their homes, cafés, our office too if they so liked, bottom-line being that they should not let us down with the trust we were entrusting in them. Friends thought this was insane. They said that human nature was such that when you were on the premises and looked away, the staff would take things easy, so providing them the freedom of flexible work hours was a disaster. When certain clients saw the office empty with nobody other than the art director and design team who was working on their project with them at the time of the meetings, asked us whether we actually had staff or outsourced our work. Rahul and I would exchange smiles and knew that something new would take time in catching up, just as one of the feelings we also had lurking at the back of our minds was that with such novel approaches would it be a possibility that we might lose the client. Yet, time was favourable to us, and it is with pride that we can most confidently say that we never had a single slip with any of our staff and none of our clients left us regardless of the fact that they still thought we were crazy with our pattern of functioning.
There are many things that come into play here. One, time is of the essence, and so long as your work is being completed well within the stipulated timeframe, it makes no difference where it is being executed from, or whether you are working between 9AM to 5PM or 2AM to 7AM. Second, giving your staff the latitude to work from a spot of their ease allows them to grow more fearlessly, which is an indirect benefit to the company; the more time one spends reading, learning, furthering their love lives, meeting new people helps them grow and enrich themselves thus resulting in better ingenuitythat would make them better equipped at handling people, projects and situations with crisper é. Third, and the most important, as we have mentioned above is trust, you have to learn to trust your staff. When you trust them with all your heart, they would give that trust back to you with all their heart.
When I read the article The Way You Work Is Going To Change by Richard Branson I was thrilled at the one of the things he and us shared was forward thinking, and what a delight that was indeed in knowing that we are not alone in our ways of innovation.
Thank you everybody at 2927, and thank you Richard Branson for sharing similar ideologies and for acquainting us with the quote below which is going to ring true in shaping the future.
‘Entrepreneurs are the crazy people who work 100 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40 hours for someone else.’ – Brad Sugars
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