Uptime Development’s CEO: People Need Autonomy, Flexibility, and Freedom to Really Thrive

Even today, many companies and CEOs choose to elevate themselves above their employees, creating complicated management hierarchies and devoting copious amounts of time to bureaucracy and micromanagement. Uptime Development’s CEO Michał Jankowski, however, sees that in order to enable people to reach their true potential, they must also be given the opportunity to decide for themselves.

“We at Uptime have taken a clear stance: we want our people to have the opportunity to make decisions for themselves, to have responsibility, and to be able to work without any unnecessary micromanagement,” said the CEO. “The result of this is a flat structure where everyone has a say on how things are run, from developers and project managers to HR and administrative staff.”

Jankowski explained that this flat structure is embedded throughout the company, from general management all the way to individual teams, while adding that on a wider scale the same applies to the management of all of Uptime’s offices in five different countries.

“When speaking of our development teams, we’ve put a lot of emphasis on giving them autonomy. As such, the teams have a great amount of say on what they’ll work on, which technologies and approaches they choose, and how to structure their work. Inside the team, all members, from junior developers to architects, are expected to make their voices heard if they disagree with the approach taken, and if the team as a whole agrees, they have full latitude to make any needed changes,” Jankowski explained the working methods of the teams.

In a more traditional company, all of these decisions would need to be accepted by the CEO, CTO, or someone else in management. However, at Uptime, Jankowski sees the role of management and support staff in a supplemental role. “It’s our job to be there when we are needed, to offer guidance, advice, or anything else the team might need,” he said. “But it’s not our job to micromanage, second guess every step taken, or create pointless bureaucracy.”

The best need freedom to thrive

Having been active in the IT sector for nearly 30 years, Uptime’s experience has shown that the degree of freedom and flexibility offered by a company quite clearly correlates with the kind of people the company attracts.

“Our experience has shown that the best and the brightest require a culture where they have the opportunity to make decisions for themselves, take responsibility, and manage themselves,” explained Jankowski. “This ranges from being able to contribute to the selection of the tech stack used for a project, all the way to more minor things, like whether or not to work from home at any given day.”

Of course, this does not mean that they are left to fend for themselves, but an environment is created where they could thrive. “We are always on the lookout for top talent, as such we do in everything in our power to offer a culture that let’s this talent shine,” said Jankowski.

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