A couple of weeks ago we announced the start of the ironWeekend Initiative. Starting in June, ironSource employees will get a few, fully-paid, long weekends where we’ll shut the Tel Aviv offices entirely, so that they have extra time to go to the bank or the beach, spend time with their families, or just relax.
We’ve implemented this change because employee welfare for us goes beyond offering the perks that every tech company today offers. It’s about having a philosophy of work, and sticking to it.
Below is an excerpt of a letter I sent to our employees about this initiative, explaining my reasoning behind the new change and what I hope to see it accomplish. (A note for global readers — we’re closing the office on Sundays because in Israel we work Sunday-Thursday instead of Monday-Friday)
Welcome to 2017! If you’ve been disconnected from work for a little while, as many of us have been, you’ll be interested to hear this news: If you lived in France, you would now have a right to disconnect from work on a regular basis (Yahoo News). The French aren’t facing any more of a work-life boundary collapse than the rest of us, but their culture and political system seem better equipped to push back.
France’s new “right to disconnect” law isn’t actually a rigid regulation; it looks more like a modest attempt to bolster the fast-eroding sandbar that separates our work from our personal lives. Companies with more than 50 employees are encouraged to identify times when employees aren’t expected to reply to emails, for instance.The “right to disconnect,” it turns out, isn’t a right at all. It’s more like the latest round of negotiations between companies and employees about how we draw lines around labor in the digital age. Don’t expect a final settlement any time soon.
Imagine standing in a wind tunnel: you’re doing your best just to keep upright, the noise is overwhelming, and you can’t really see, hear or make sense of whatever someone is shouting at you. That’s how busy people operate, day in and day out. Days jammed with meetings, email, there’s always something they need to urgently respond to, get on that conference call, finish yet another presentation. Have you ever tried scheduling fun with busy people?
I was this person. I lived on busy: I had three careers going in parallel, a family, and a deluge of emails spilling out of my inbox daily, so much so, I couldn’t even force myself to put the phone down in the evening. It’s just that, well.. Life was happening to me. I wasn’t happening to life.