Do not hire a man who does your work for money

Something has to change.

I was the safety representative at a previous company some years ago and did not think much of it. We had to have one and it might as well be me. I had only filled in some standard paper work and that was it. Some time later I had been working abroad for over a month and when I came back to the office there was a note stating that someone from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Finland would be calling me. And they did. It turned out that our secretary had answered the previous call and responded to some general questions on my behalf. Regretfully so.

Committed to the cause

In Finland you need to have some way of tracking how much people work, and we didn’t have one – intentionally. We didn’t see a need for it since people tended to get stuff done and gladly did the overtime, even though no one was paid for it. We didn’t fully own the company but we believed in what we were creating and we were committed to the cause. But try telling the authorities that. We were reprimanded and from than point on I made sure to tell anyone who asked that we indeed had a proper system to make sure no one worked more than the mandated 7,5 hours per day.

Year over year growth in the past three years

Now I firmly believe that we’re at a pivotal point in time where we’re defining our future work methods and that those who dare win. Because of that we have to redefine what work is and how we do it. At All Things Commerce we set yearly goals, qualitative and quantitative, and try our best to get to them. I would say we have a moderately good pace – not to quick and not too slow – and we’ve had year over year growth in the past three years. We do more than what is expected of a small team like ours and run a real good show. We’ve found time to streamline our global e-commerce site, moomin.com, update it four times and now build sister sites around the world. We’ve built a couple of other companies too and we’re now wrapping up a few apps.

We’ve automated every tedious task we can

We don’t care when we work (or how much) and we’ve made sure that the tools we use are accessible at all times, everywhere and by everyone in the team. We’ve automated every tedious task we can and made better use of the extra time. We’re passionate about what we do but we also find time to take the occasional day off to go on a field trip or a free afternoon.

Something needs to change- not only legislation but rather the way we relate to work and compensation. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it – Henry David Thoreau.

 

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