We’ve never talked about this outside of our walls, but our employees keep
insisting that it’s a real selling point. We don’t do timesheets. We never have. And we’d love to avoid them indefinitely.
It’s not because we’re some crazy, disruptive force taking the industry by storm
and accepting Bitcoin for retainers. But if that gets us some notoriety, so be it.
Nah. It’s more a matter of priorities.
We love what we do, and we don’t love watching the clock. There’s enough pressure in our business. And we believe that the best work comes when barriers are removed.
And timesheets have always seemed to be a barrier. First of all, they take time,
ironically. Time that would be better spent coming up with the next idea or having
a ridiculous conversation that leads to the next idea. If you have to rush back to your desk to knock out your timesheets and remember what you did for thirty minutes on Monday afternoon, those conversations happen less. Or they become complaints about timesheets–double detriment.
Also, no one really cares. If you haven’t nailed the brief or solved a design
problem, a client doesn’t go, “Oh well, time’s up, this’ll do.” Their customers care even less.
So, how do you run an agency without timesheets? Good question. We’re 4+ years in, and we do it by projecting how much time it will take to complete a job and tying proposals to deliverables. From there, we simply communicate progress with clients and track those deliverables. But having conversations up front, rather than waiting for the red light to start flashing, seems to fit our working style best. We think of it as accountability in a more human form.
In the end, we believe culture is about how you do what you do. And we want our focus to be on collaborating to deliver the best thinking we possibly can. Besides, no one wants timesheets to be the most creative part of their day.