37signals the makers of BaseCamp and RubyonRails shared some changes to their work environment recently. Here are three interesting ideas.

  •  4 day work week – If people rest for 3 days, they will be refreshed and do better work in four days rather than 5 days of work and 2 days of rest.
  • Pay for personal learning/hobbies – This encourages workers to pursue things beyond work. Balanced workers make better workers?
  • Let people spend discretionary money – If you’re hiring the right people they will want to the organization to do well and spend money appropriately.

I think the last issue is the most important. Businesses should empower their employees to take risks. If you’ve hired correctly then you shouldn’t be worried about delegating the investment of company resources. This also takes away the bureaucracy of small purchases that can cause employees to go without rather that navigating the red tape.

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