Yikes at the recent changes at Basecamp

I realize I have some privilege as a straight while male, and this is my own views and opinions and don’t reflect anyone except me.

Basecamp quietly announced some changes (and they made some changes to the post without saying) that have made many people go “Yikes” and here’s my views on those recent changes.

No more societal and political discussions at Basecamp, this simply can’t happen in today’s world. There are so many things that are connected to politics and other social events that by saying this Basecamp is saying, we don’t care about what else is going on in the world and we don’t want any of our employees to talk about it at work. It also creates an echo chamber, where people will only talk to those whose view points they agree with. I’m not sure how to fix this, but I believe Basecamp should allow some discussion about issues that will affect their company and their employees. What happens if an employee needs some time off because of a recent political issue, but they can’t tell their boss they need the time off because of it.

No more paternalistic benefits, they already offer tons of benefits but they believe by offering this they are going too deep into someone’s personal choice. Unfortunately, work does tend to mix into personal, even if the employees work remotely. That is today’s day and age.

No more committees, basically instead of people from different departments to get together and discuss something. The responsibility now goes back to just three people, which creates an echo chamber.

No more lingering or dwelling on past decisions. I understand why they are saying this but everyone looks back at their past to think about what they could have done differently. By looking back it allows some people to change how they are going to do something in the future.

No more 360 reviews, instead of an employee being told as part of a review what they need to improve, they are now told whenever the manager wants. Having set reviews allow everyone to prepare for a review ahead of time, get in the proper mindset, and get a different point of view. By getting this feedback whenever, the employee has to spend more time reading and responding to the feedback they get. And peer feedback most likely will happen less, or not at all.

No forgetting what we do here. aka; stay in your lane. In this world it simply can’t happen anymore. If you are quiet about an issue it either means you don’t know enough about it to mention it, you don’t want to raise your voice because you know there are others doing so, or it means you don’t care about it. Everyone, no matter their age, gender, sexuality, race, or anything else, should be allow to speak about an issue and if they are wrong then professional and respectful communication should take place to let them know and what they may want to say instead.

Basecamp is a whole company of privilege, you work anywhere in the world you want, as long as you get your work done, and they hire the best. Looking at their team page it looks like everyone is white, which creates an echo chamber. I understand not everyone will work at Basecamp but by posting these changes it is saying work is work, and home is home but that can’t happen anyone especially if someone works from home.

Other view points you may want to read:

The other Basecamp co-founder’s post regarding sociental politics at work

The head of design at Basecamp (Jonas Downey) is sad and upset with the changes.

Jay Miller’s tweet on what privilege looks like

Jocelyn’s Harper tweet on this issue

Marco Roger’s tweets on this

“Some straight white men feel that they should be entitled to all the benefits of society without being a part of it. Classic capitalism. Must be nice to enjoy the privilege of ignoring everything that isn’t earning you money.”

Aria Stewart’s tweets on this

“here at tech company, we’ve listened to your concerns. we know that the world is changing, and we have to change too. after reflecting, we’re ready to implement the current changes: 1. fuck u lol”

Kate Taggart’s tweets, on how you introduce yourself and using pronouns can be seen as a “social/political” discussion.

The podcast by Basecamp (run by Basecamp employees) is going on pause for an unknown about of time due to the changes.

This is post number 66 as part of 100 Days To Offload.

Edited April 27th at 12:55pm (UTC-4) to add link to changes that the original post has done, as well as links to other employee’s thoughts.



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