Cool Leaders

Don’t build a fast company. Build a slow one.

jasonfriedman

Jason Fried is a founder and CEO of 37signals, a software company based in Chicago. Fried also treats 37signals as something of a laboratory for innovative workplace practices–such as a recent experiment in shortening the summer workweek to just four days. We caught up with Fried to learn how employees are like fossil fuels, how a business can be like a cancer, and how one of the entrepreneurs he admires most is his cleaning lady.

FAST COMPANY: You have your employees only work four-day weeks in the summer.

JASON FRIED: Sometimes people are not really used to working just four days and actually want to stay to get more work done.

You’re saying you have people who actually want to stay the fifth day?

When we first started this a few years ago, there was a small sense of guilt in a few corners. People were like, “I have stuff to get done, it’s Thursday, so I’m gonna work Friday and just get it done. But we actually preferred that they didn’t. There are very few things that can’t wait till Monday.

How many employees would stay to work Fridays?

I don’t know.

Read the full interview in Fast Company here.

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