Here's my manifesto of sorts on what the modern working environment for information workers should be like:

  • Based on results shipped not time spent. It shouldn't matter how little or how much time is 'put in' on a given day because you know and trust that all of your co-workers are investing just as much into the business as you are, and that people have been hired to do the right thing. Let them. And let them do it in the way that is optimal for them. 

  • Location independent. There is no need for teams to be co-located today. It's often said that remote teams just don't work, but I think this is a combination of two things: hiring the wrong people, and a failure in shared understanding and purpose. Both of these things are management issues.
  • Free flowing. Work should be able to be started with the minimum amount of process as possible, and should be allowed to proceed until complete.
  • Customer Focussed. The customer is most definitely not always right, especially on the Internet, but everyone in the company needs to understand that we are here to provide value for the customer, not to pad our Resumes or architect systems.
  • Adaptable. If anyone needs to take time off, this should be achievable with the minimum amount of fuss and red-tape. 

  • Responsible Vacations. People should be allowed to plan and take time off whenever it is needed. And when they come back they should be expected to knock it out of the park. 
  • Meeting-less. A zero meeting environment may be impossible, but they are toxic and should be avoided at all costs. 
  • Metric based. What cannot be measured cannot be managed. No one should be judged except on the value of their output. 
  • Fluid. People should be allowed to move from work area to work area. It'll increase their skills and make better products.

What do you think?