It's Just Our Culture

Does your company know why it does what it does? Is there a good reason for all of the policies you follow? In most organizations, the answer to both of these questions is no. Here’s a test. Open up your HR manual and look at the section on sick days or paid time off. How many days do you get off for sickness? Can you use that time to take care of a family member or for a “mental health” day? Do you need a doctors approval to return to work?

I’ll bet you can’t figure out the why of your sick time policy and most other policies. Is it based on some scientific or historical data? Is it mandated by law? Or is it just an arbitrary number? A friend who currently works from home most of the time recently went on a job interview. When he asked about working from home he was told, “we expect you to show up to work everyday, it’s just our culture.” Which is another way of saying, it’s just the way it is or it’s always been that way.

If every company encouraged it’s workers to question it’s policies and reduced or eliminate them whenever possible, we’d all be better off. As adult’s we don’t need supervision. Hire good people and get out of the way. The more rules you have, the more they are in the way. It’s about the work, not the hours.