Part of growing is reevaluating. Running the business we have now is simply not the same as the one we ran five years ago. That’s why we’re announcing a dramatic shift. In light of recent difficulties we’ve faced working effectively as a virtual organization, we will be relocating our entire staff to Chicago. No one on our team will be permitted to work remotely. We realize this runs counter to much of the advice we’ve given in the past, so allow us to explain why we’re shifting course.
We used to believe time zones didn’t matter
We were wrong. In the past months we’ve experimented with holding two-hour status meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But with people located all over the map, timing has proven to be difficult. Uniting our staff will fix this.
As we’ve grown, security has become more important.
Sure, we trust our employees. But we don’t know who else is in their house. What happens if there’s a messy divorce? Or some teen pranksters lurking around? We can’t risk it. Now everyone will get a dedicated work iMac instead of a laptop. This iMac will be chained down in our new office. Work programming and design is no longer allowed on our staff’s personal computers. (Staffers are still free to play around with open source toys, if they must, as long as they do so on their own time)
We also want to make sure our productivity is best of breed
If we demand 99.9% uptime from our servers, we should demand that amount of productivity from our employees too. To that end, everyone will work in our kitchen, sitting around a big table. This will make it harder for any team member to slip into “lazy mode” on Facebook, Reddit, Hacker News, or Twitter. We pay for all hands on deck and that’s what we’ll get with our new setup.
Given the incredible design of our new office, we want our employees to take just as much pride in their own physical appearance too
So we’re instituting a dress policy. We have created an official 37signals uniform, with help from our friends across the street at Threadless. It is a unisex, one-piece, uniform that is functional and minimalist, just like our apps. We are confident our employees will love their new mandated attire.
Change is never easy. But we’re willing to do whatever it takes to be the most efficient company we can be. Now please excuse us, we’re off to get more productive. And secure. And dressed the same.
P.S: Please refrain from posting any snarky comments on this serious matter. Our employees are getting the word at the same time you are (openness is the best policy) and we’d like them to have a chance to tell their families before having to read something inappropriate from an anonymous coward.