The company without email, meetings or managers

The company without email or meetings

August 10, 2015

Imagine working life without email, endless meetings or managers. Sound appealing?

It’s more than a pipe dream though – tech company MT Online has actually done it.

Bosses at the start-up, which employs 36 people, reveal the thinking behind the bold move.

Concerns over poor productivity – a theme recently considered by Headlines’ CEO Peter Doherty in a blog post here – prompted the decision to axe some of the most tiresome elements of modern day office life.

MT Online co-founders Christian Renella and Hernán Amiune told business website VentureBeat.com: “Our biggest obsession: productivity.

“Since 2007 we have analysed in detail each one of the tasks we carry out with the goal of scaling our earnings exponentially while keeping our number of work hours the same.

“As a result, six years ago we eliminated email, three years ago we eliminated meetings, and now we work without project managers and have a four-day work week.”

So how did the company phase out these three elements that are deemed crucial in most organisations across the world?

1. Email

Why change? “What keeps surprising me, even today, is how the rest of the world still does not recognise that email, which is now over 20 years old, is the least productive tool we can use. We decided to eliminate it completely for all internal communication.”

The outcome: The company devised its own collaboration tool, similar to Trello. The control panel allows employees to see the progress of all the company’s projects – with clients given direct access to specific projects, reducing external email.

2. Meetings

Why change? “As a technological company, each team member is a programmer, and as such, we need an average of four continuous hours in the morning and four continuous hours in the afternoon in order to write code with the highest amount of productivity.
“The “interruption” that is represented by attending a meeting always has a higher cost for a programmer than that of a manager. This is due to the fact that the manager’s agenda is basically composed of one meeting after the other. But for the programmer, just one meeting per day can have a 50 per cent impact on their daily production.”

The outcome: The control panel used to eliminate email provides crucial updates on the state of each project, removing the need for meetings. If specific problems arise that require discussion, the business uses chat tool Campfire.

3. Managers

Why change? “Now we do not need someone to control our progress, because everything is online and visible to all of our workmates — which project we are working on, how we are handling it technically, how long it is taking us, what resources we are using, and what results we have achieved.”

The outcome: MT Online is forthright in its recruitment programme. It only hires “proactive engineers”, people who do not need to be controlled 24/7 to do their role effectively and gives total autonomy to team members. In return, employees’ performance is measured exclusively by results.

To read the full story, visit VentureBeat.com here….