Atlassian, known for its products like Jira and Confluence, encouraged its team members to spend one day a quarter working on any issue of their choice. Even if this problem was not part of their workflow. This led to the fact that the best things in the company were created thanks to these days of autonomy. The company is now valued at more than $ 26 billion, and employees are glad for their contribution to the company’s development and implementation of their projects.
One day for more creativity and confidence
Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brooks, the founders of Atlassian, considered the idea of improving the productivity and motivation of their team and not to repeat the collapse of many other companies that have entered a phase of stagnation. They wanted to ignite more creativity and confidence that the team feels good at work. So Atlassian introduced one day of autonomy, where everyone could work once a quarter on a problem at their discretion, even one that might not apply to their regular work.
Such an extraordinary time off gave rise to several ideas for creating new products, a large number of ways to adjust or refine those already available products. From that one day, the team and the company received the maximum benefit. Because the next day, after an informal meeting, everyone over a mug of cold beer and chocolate cakes, shared their work. Over the years, this ambiguous exercise has led to many useful system adjustments that have made Atlassian what it is today.
More time on autonomy time for creating the innovations
Of course, one day was not enough to develop and implement ideas, so the company went further and introduced the opportunity to devote 20% of all working time. This 20 percent allows their company’s engineers to devote time to their own choices – creating the innovations, features, plug-ins, enhancements, and applications they think are most important. Another well-known company is Google. That followed the same path and invited its engineers to work on their projects during this autonomous time.
4 fundamental rules of Autonomy
Motivation with money only works in the beginning, but over time there must be something else. Of course, companies have to pay their employees enough not to lose them. So besides, money is not a motivator at all. What’s really important is other things. Aspects of autonomy are the four foundations of freedom: what, when, how, and with whom. The dimensions for this are the task, time, technique, and team.
Task – Allow choosing a task for ourselves
Planning autonomy over the task is one of the integral aspects of the approach to work on the principles of Motivation 3.0. You can read more about what is Motivation 3.0 in the previous my article. It is sometimes difficult to come up with solutions, initiatives, and new projects by working on everyday problems. However, they are vital not in routine but creative skills. Every artist or designer will agree, where autonomy over the task is key in the ability to create. Allow choosing a task for ourselves, and this in turn will bring a reward for all.
Time – Allow choosing when and how much to work on
Without the domination of sovereignty over our time, the establishment of autonomy over our lives seems an impossible task. Restricting employees to work in a time frame, for example from 9.0 to 17.00, does not help to increase the result, but leads to the fact that employees work the number of hours they need. Allowing them to choose when and how much to work on, based only on the completion of the task, is the autonomy. Employees with autonomy at one time saw improved relationships with family and friends, a more loyal attitude of the company to them, and greater concentration and enthusiasm.
Technique – Work from Home
Productivity and job satisfaction are usually much higher in working conditions from home than in a normal work schedule. Partly because the employee is less supervised at home and more comfortable there. This autonomy-oriented approach draws on a deep source of talent of all ages and skills. Trust your employees, show them your loyalty and it will pay off many times over.
Team – Choice of who to work with
Not many companies can offer a choice of who to work with. The team must be united by a related idea, something that unites them. Self-organized teams will always be more efficient and better in terms of results. Research has shown that such teams are more satisfied than artificially assembled. People should be responsible for their work. There are different ways to achieve an understanding and awareness of who we really are in our deep selves.
Autonomy leads to happiness
Mankind has always moved towards greater freedom and autonomy. It’s in our genes. We are born to be players, not pawns, and must be autonomous individuals, not individuals automats. We must finally recognize our natural essence. That is who we really are and discover our full potential. The only control over one’s life is the most important component of human happiness.
Understanding, what you did well, then you’ll be able to recreate that process again and again. Writing it down can give you a sense of achievement and release positive emotions. It makes you feel good, gives you energy, and motivates you to keep working hard to achieve more success.
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