Contents 1 “It is a myth that we need to work to death” 2 “is self-defense, the keywords” On a page
In the office of Basecamp in Chicago read there is neither a table kicker, a snack station, no night shifts, hardly any Meetings and no beer for the night. The 54 employees out of work when and where you want, according to their web site from 32 cities in the world. Basecamp is a software company and a project management application. The company is pretty much as old as Google and Facebook. For its founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, it would have been Easy to let the spirit of the Silicon Valley plug. Hundred-hour work weeks, Higher-faster-further, the whole hustle mania. In her new book, they rave instead of the 32-hour week. It bears the title “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work”. Why, David Heine Meier Hansson explains in this Interview.
TIME ONLINE: Mr. Heinemeier Hansson, why is it at work today, crazy?
David Heinemeier Hansson: The world of work should always be enjoyable. We have better, faster Software and Hardware, the means of communication are more sophisticated and are super easy to use. There are all these tools and yet more and more people complain of Stress and the fact that you come into their offices to Work.
David Heinemeier Hansson
39, is a Danish programmer and the author of the book “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work”. He is also a Partner in the software company Basecamp.
Zeit ONLINE: where is the Stress?
Heine Meier Hansson: Three things are crucial: the office architecture, the new means of communication and the fixation on growth. Many companies today have open-plan offices. But a huge, open space is a terrible place to work concentrated. If all work in one room, someone may just call about three tables away when he wants you. Or he comes to you at the Desk. Maybe you sit next to someone who has a lot of phone calls. In addition, the air quality in large office spaces terribly, what is the ability to concentrate deteriorates massively. The second reason Instant Messaging services like Slack, a chat channel is comparable with that of WhatsApp, the replaced in many companies, communication via E-Mail.
“The Chat function all the time in between, if we want to pursue in the rest of our work.
David Heinemeier Hansson, 39, author
TIME ONLINE: These services are meant to facilitate the communication. You say that The opposite is the case. Why?
Heine Meier Hansson: chat-based communication media require an immediate response, while we can decide in a E-Mail when we answered them. The Chat, however, we must all the time about consequences, because it could be something discussed that is of concern to us. The Chat function, so in between, constantly, if we want to pursue in the rest of our work. And we can’t turn him off too easy, because then we would no longer be responsive.
TIME ONLINE: you say, growth is the third reason that we are stressed. What do you mean?
Heinemeier Hansson: to Me no longer seems to have an open market in the companies, their different products. All look to Silicon Valley, to the mega companies, and set Standards. The objective is to be in the shortest time as large as possible. The best a monopoly to establish, and for all the other the shock direction. Google and Facebook are the best examples. These companies are obsessed with rapid growth.
TIME ONLINE: The company, Basecamp, which you founded, is a software company in the United States, they operate in direct competition with the companies in the Silicon Valley. Nevertheless, they have established a different work culture. What?
Heinemeier Hansson: We have in Basecamp currently more than 100,000 companies use our products and pay for it. We are growing sustainably and are satisfied. Nevertheless, no one works 80 hours per week and brags as well. We all work 40 hours and in the summer months, only 32. Can we afford to allow our Team a long weekend. In addition, we have three weeks of paid vacation per year plus extra days. Every three years, all to get a one-month Sabbatical paid for. We are 54 employees, and that’s enough for us. Also in the software industry, you do not need to toil himself and his Team to death, if you want to be successful.
“It seems to be kind of cool to live only for the work and to suffer from extreme lack of sleep.”
TIME ONLINE: We live in a world in which send is, extremely busy or stressed, even if it is not, they say.
Heinemeier Hansson: This is a cultural export from the Silicon Valley and the spirit of the times, this place has spread. Is it not absurd that the unions and the parties have only fought a short time for the 40-hour week, and for more workers ‘ rights, and that we give up the now voluntarily? Because it seems to be kind of cool to live only for the work and to suffer from extreme lack of sleep. In the United States and in some Asian countries boasted of how much you work. As that would be, in order of merit. As one says: I work 80 hours a week. And the next one says, of course: I’m 100!
TIME ONLINE: they come from Denmark. You have the feeling that this is different in Europe?
Heine Meier Hansson: In Europe, especially the Scandinavian countries, there was long a balance to work. Many rights for workers coming from Europe, there is also a lively culture of dispute. But the fact that all eyes are in Asia and the US, seem to be for these achievements to be in danger. This is a step backwards. A sad development and a poison for our health.
TIME ONLINE: On the health of the employees, not the success of a company, or measure now?
Heinemeier Hansson: I’m of the Belief that healthy, well-rested and happy employees do the best work. This applies especially – but not only – for occupations in which there is a lot of creativity is asked, whether it is Design, programming or Writing. I find it absurd that we are discussing this at all. Of course there is a connection between the quality of the work and the well-being of those who do the work!