Work location & hours
As we mentioned in the Introduction, we do not enforce a rule of a minimum number of hours per week inside one office location. Some team members do follow that model and some do not. The key point here is that they have a choice.
We do not track working hours in a strict sense. So how do we ensure essential tasks done? Beyond having a very high level of confidence in our hiring process we measure more meaningful indicators such as whole-team velocity. We grant our team members the authority to create their own working schedules. We understand that those hours may vary week-to-week and that work should not dictate the schedule of your life.
In the same vein, we do not limit team members to a set number of days’ holiday per annum. If a team member requires time off, they are entitled to take it. We just ask that they always give as much notice as possible.
Our experience is that if you treat your team members fairly, they will treat you fairly in return. By creating an environment in which team members can operate at their highest potential, we get the best out of people.
Although dispersed teams are now possible in software development (mostly due to improvements in tooling), they should be carefully managed. Compared to working in the same location, there are many elements of remote working which require more effort. These are:
- Ensuring team morale is high
- Having visibility into everyone’s contributions
- Ensuring there is a balance with decision making
- Tackling synchronous blocks
To overcome those problems, good communication and a good working environment are key.
A good individual working environment is also very important. Open-plan, busy offices are often a terrible working environment for tasks that require concentration, like programming. In contrast, they are great environments for collaboration.
Working alone at home can be great for pure programming productivity, but can result in feelings of isolation, accompanied with a low visibility into the future picture of the project and company. Even simple factors like ergonomics and quality of light have a big impact over a long enough timescale.
To enjoy the benefits of working remotely and mitigate the downsides, we recommend:
- Mixing it up by working from different places depending upon your tasks. Working at home alone to get through a complex programming problem might be ideal, but everyone meeting in the office, or online, to figure out specifications is probably a good idea too.
- Having regular team meetups. Get everyone in one place. Meet your co-workers.
- Remember it’s not all about work. People work best when they are happy.
There is no silver bullet (as with everything in life and business). We do not think remote working is the key to success, but it is a good tool to have on your belt. Use it when it makes sense.
The Purepoint open source accelerator
Software development would be a far slower process without the open source community. The utility of open source software can not be understated – the creators and maintainers are often unsung heroes. Their work ensures more and more problems can be labelled as already solved problems.
Effort does not need to be duplicated. Purepoint is a passionate supporter of the open source movement and we believe in contributing back as much as we can.
The Purepoint Open Source Accelerator is open to all our employees. Its goal is to promote the creation and distribution of open source software back into the community.
- We will allocate a total of 1,000 paid developer hours per year from our team, to be split between the accelerator projects - with developers working on their preferred projects to help them grow and develop.
- We will allocate a budget of £1,500 per year to supporting the project
- We will provide additional branding, marketing, and resources to help raise the visibility of the project and the lead developers.
- We will fund the use of additional tools and licences required to grow and and expand projects as required.
We are always looking to back Open Source projects that are broad in scope.
There is no cap on how many projects we will accept. However, it is up to our discretion as to what is accepted - we will work with all our developers to get projects to a point where they can be accepted.