Values and believes
At freihandlabor, we believe in working remotely, not locally apart. We encourage our clients to break free from traditional office standards. We believe in having fewer meetings over repetitive Zoom calls, asynchronous communication over real time discussions, and a trusting, hands-off approach over constant supervision. There’s no need to know where everyone is at all times in order to run a successful business. Instead of emulating the office, we believe in changing the game altogether. Although we are a remote company at our core, we are also happy to be on-site at clients’ premises if and when it proves necessary.
Smaller, More Efficient Teams
Many companies believe you need large-scale teams to accomplish large-scale projects. But at freihandlabor, we think this is shortsighted. It’s more than possible to do big things with small teams, but it’s difficult to do small things with big teams—and small is often more than enough. There is power in a small, efficient team. What needs to get done will be done, without wasting resources and manpower.
We aren’t naïve; we know the tech industry is notorious for losing money. Although growth is often exponential, profits can slower. That’s why we take a more simplistic approach: Make more money than you spend. We’ve been profitable every year we’ve been in business simply because of this philosophy. In the long run, this method has proven to be the most responsible way to care for our customers.
Work and War are NOT the Same
At freihandlabor, we don’t subscribe to the worn-out corporate “war” language: “Conquering the market,” “targeting customers,” “making a killing,” or “picking battles.” That tired old paradigm is awful, and we want nothing to do with it. Work isn’t war. We come in peace.
Erring on the Side of “Do”
Although the tendency to put something off till tomorrow is strong, we resist it. Act and move forward, and then act again if you must. Most decisions are temporary. Better to act than to sit in indecision.
We are NOT the “Office”
We believe that efficiency can be fostered without the traditional office environment. At freihandlabor, we let go and trust our pre-established structures. We rail against the traditional office.
Not All Hours are Created Equal
An hour isn’t just an hour, it’s a collection of minutes. We believe that 60 uninterrupted minutes is peak efficiency. More work can get done in 60 minutes than in four 15-minute sessions. Quality time leads to quality work.
Meetings are Time-Sucks
At freihandlabor, meetings are never the first option, or the second for that matter. The more people in a room, the less productive that room becomes. One-hour meetings typically turn into 3-hour meetings, and most employees are too mentally drained afterward to accomplish anything. We are mindful of the time-consuming costs of scheduled meetings and have found that it’s usually better to simply do without.
Forget the Hustle
They call it “hustle mania” or “the grind.” We call it insidious. There’s nothing glamorous about hustle culture. Weeks, months, and even years of nonstop, “whatever-it-takes” work lead to extreme burnout. The constant anxiety of wondering whether you’re doing enough or chasing enough is no way to live. We believe in putting in a solid day’s work, shutting down the laptop, and then getting on with your real life.
Our Response to Customer Service
When customers have complaints, there are two possible reactions on the table: it’s either “the end of the world,” or “no big deal.” Both reactions will occur, so at freihandlabor, we instinctually take the “end of the world” approach so that our customer doesn’t have to.
The best way to always launch on time and on budget? Keep the goals fixed. Rather than throwing more time, money, or manpower at a problem, we scale back the scope.
Disagree and Commit Anyway
Yes, a consensus is comfortable, but it’s not always time efficient. At freihandlabor, the right decision is our aim, not broad agreement. We take the time to think, debate, and reconsider, but then a decision is made. Disagreement is fine, but once the decision is made, everyone commits.
Kick in the Face = Kick in the Ass
As they say, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Events that grind production to a halt are sometimes just a slingshot, preparing you for forward momentum. We take full advantage of adversity, using it as a catalyst for growth.
Communication problems are actually miscommunication problems. The smaller the team, the fewer chances for details to get lost in communication. Osmo Wijo said, “If communication can fail, it will. If a message can be understood in different ways, it will be understood in just the way that does the most harm.” We aim for 100% clarity in communication, wasting no time.
A Company is NOT a Family
By now, most employees know the trick; when a company claims to be a “family,” what they are really encouraging is a total dedication on the part of the employee. Whatever you would give to a family, you should give to us: nights, weekends, every waking hour. But the truly great companies aren’t families—instead, they support actual families. Rather than eating into employees’ personal time, they encourage work/life balance. Instead of insisting on dialing in during vacation, they respect boundaries. People with healthy lives outside of work make for better teammates, anyway.