Yesterday, while talking to a friend of mine about her job, she told me that her boss was not letting her grow and was limiting her and her peers’ participation in the company.

The latest thing he’s done is to install punch clock!  Obviously, this really bothers her.  Morale is at an all time low because they feel they are being treated as children.

I’d hate to even think of working in such an environment; even more so, I’d hate to ever be that kind of “boss.”

In our own organization, we don’t have the concept of a boss.  We are a very flat organization.  If anything, the biggest obstacle to it is the mindset that new people bring with them.  They are used to the traditional workplace and it takes them time 1) to trust that Nearsoft is as flat as we say it is and 2) to start to participate as a an equal and not as an “employee.”

There is a very common joke in the company, “here comes the boss” (me).  People say that when I walk by the game room and they are chilling with the Wii or the Xbox or whathaveyou.  “Here comes the boss—pretend you’re working.”  This is a fun way of reasserting that there is no boss.

This is only one aspect of the fact that we treat each other as adults.  We don’t expect people to ask a “boss” for permission to, for example, take a day off.  They check with their team, including the client, to make sure that things are taken care of.  Other than that, people get to make their own decisions.

I feel much better working in this kind of environment than at my friend’s company.  I could not go back to being a traditional boss-cum-baby sitter.  Just thinking about it gives me the shivers.