Working at Coinbase: Intense and demanding, balanced by deliberate recharge time

By L.J. Brock, Chief People Officer

We’re usually requested a model of this query: “What’s it really like to work at Coinbase?”

Our culture doc supplies an incredible general perspective on working right here, however I believe it’s essential to handle this query head-on, too.

The backside line: We work extremely laborious at Coinbase — for many of us, Coinbase is probably the most intense place we’ve ever labored. That depth is just magnified by the present second in crypto, and it usually leads to lengthy days and lengthy weeks.

However, due to that depth, we’re additionally deliberate about discovering time to get well between sprints. How deliberate? This 12 months, we’re experimenting with 4 recharge weeks (roughly one per quarter), when practically the whole firm will shut down so we are able to all take pleasure in downtime with out work piling up.

Four weeks of coordinated recharge time would possibly sound like plenty of time without work for a corporation in hypergrowth, however given the depth of our work all year long, we predict that is one of the best ways to make sure our tempo is sustainable for the lengthy time period.

We know this strategy wouldn’t work for each firm, and we additionally know Coinbase isn’t for everybody. But if you wish to work on the reducing fringe of crypto and tech — and should you’re enthusiastic about pushing your abilities to the restrict whereas figuring out you’ll have common alternatives to recharge — there’s no better place to be.

An all-in surroundings

Why is Coinbase so intense? Because the huge alternative in entrance of us calls for the very best from every of us, each day.

We’re upfront about this in our tradition doc, but it surely’s value emphasizing: “We are a winning team, not a family, and have high expectations for performance and delivering results…. We have an intense work culture, and are regularly pushed out of our comfort zones.”

What’s this imply in follow?

It means we don’t promise 9 a.m. — 5 p.m. hours or 40-hour work weeks — many days and weeks are lengthy, as a result of that’s what it takes to get the job accomplished.

It means we are able to’t merely do extra in some areas by doing much less in others — the chance of lacking out on an enormous alternative is just too nice.

It means we aren’t wedded to long-term plans — sure, we thoughtfully map out quarterly and annual plans, however we’re ready to pivot at a second’s discover if we see a greater alternative to serve our clients.

We’re laser-focused on achieving our mission of accelerating financial freedom on this planet, and we encourage our groups to set “uncomfortably ambitious” objectives. That’s the one method we are able to keep forward.

An ‘act like an owner’ mentality

One of our cultural tenets is “act like an owner.” We count on our staff to take 100% accountability for reaching our mission, however we additionally empower them to work in the best way that’s greatest for them, and to relaxation and recharge between their sprints.

We do that partially by our remote-first stance, which permits nearly all staff to decide on whether or not to work from an workplace, from residence, or by a hybrid strategy — no matter works greatest for them and their households. This coverage has been hugely successful, enabling us to rent prime expertise from around the globe and incomes optimistic evaluations from our staff.

We additionally empower staff to take cost of their well-being by our versatile time without work (FTO) coverage (in eligible international locations), which implies most staff don’t have to accrue time without work earlier than utilizing it or fear about hitting an annual restrict.

Despite our FTO coverage for many staff, we realized in 2020 that many staff weren’t taking sufficient time without work to recharge, both as a result of they didn’t need to pressure their teammates to cowl for them or as a result of they didn’t need to fall behind on their work.

We knew this was unsustainable, so we scheduled a recharge week on the finish of 2020 and two recharge weeks in 2021, when practically the whole firm would shut down. (Teams with vital 24/7 tasks, akin to customer support and safety, scheduled alternate recharge weeks.)

Subsequent worker surveys made it clear: recharge weeks work. In reality, 52% of staff stated recharge days and weeks have been the major software that helped them relaxation and get well in 2021.

That suggestions — and our expectation that this 12 months will probably be simply as intense as final 12 months — prompted us to schedule 4 recharge weeks for 2022, roughly one per quarter. We haven’t any expectation we’ll proceed with 4 recharge weeks past 2022 — we’ll consider as we go — however we’re assured that is the appropriate strategy for us this 12 months.

Even although we’ve scheduled 4 recharge weeks for 2022, we didn’t make any modifications to our FTO coverage — we’ve inspired staff to schedule holidays throughout our recharge weeks after they can, however we all know that’s not all the time potential, and that’s OK.

We additionally know that, regardless of our greatest intentions, there are occasions when some staff have to work by a recharge week. When this occurs, we do our greatest to make it as much as them in order that they have devoted time to recharge, too. We’re OK with this tradeoff — we favor to implement an answer that recurrently works for 90% of staff than to endlessly seek for an elusive “perfect” answer.

Acting like an proprietor really is vital to success at Coinbase — our prime performers take recharge significantly, however additionally they don’t hesitate to leap in and ship for the corporate every time and nonetheless is wanted.

A once-in-a-career alternative — and we’re hiring

There’s no denying that Coinbase is among the most fun locations to work proper now.

In simply the final 12 months, we’ve tripled our headcount, expanded into new markets, introduced new crypto improvements to our clients and turn into a publicly traded firm — and we nonetheless really feel we’re simply getting began.

As we are saying in our culture doc, “We are optimistic about the future and determined to get there.”

If you share that optimism, and if my description of working at Coinbase resonates with you, check out our Careers page — we’re hiring for a whole bunch of roles in dozens of fields, and we wish distinctive individuals in each seat, working collectively in the direction of our mission.

Working at Coinbase: Intense and demanding, balanced by deliberate recharge time was initially printed in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, the place individuals are persevering with the dialog by highlighting and responding to this story.

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