by Natasha Deganello Giraudie, CEO
Certainly there’s more behind the shut down, but it struck me that ‘exhaustion’ was singled out in their parting words. They needed to halt operations because they’re “ready for a vacation” and some “creative re-energizing.”
I have noticed that traditional work in our times and peculiar notions of ‘work ethics’ are wearing us out. They are draining our energy, taking us away from loved ones, breaking up families, ruining our health, and preventing us from pursuing our labors of love.
One of the founding principles when Ben and I started this little company was that we would offer work that energized people lives, rather than drained them. It’s a tall order. We are still figuring it out as we go, but it is clear that it involves taking regular vacations and recharging the batteries. At Micro-Documentaries, we’ve created a practice of “extreme autonomy.” Extreme autonomy means that everyone owns their own time, organizes their day in the way that best suits their personal needs and focuses on the accountability of their deliverables. They can surf in the morning, pick up children in the afternoon, take a road trip across the country, walk their cats and dogs in the avocado grove in the afternoon, and keep themselves energized. Every employee starts out with five paid weeks of time off and flexible opportunities for sabbaticals. This is one of our core strategies for company sustainability.
Simple shoes worked so hard to make their shoes more sustainable that they neglected their own sustainability. It’s so sad to see Simple Shoes go. I just bought our team a pair of the shoes that are left as a reminder to keep our enthusiastic, over-working tendencies in check and to work in a way that will energize our lives, thus safeguarding the sustainability of our mission in the long run.