Freedom & Responsibility
At Airbyte, we talk about Freedom & Responsibility extensively, and this document aims to outline the intention of the policy. This document will not tell you what you can’t do, but what you can do. It is a living document, so we encourage you to give feedback and ask questions to help us continually improve it.
Freedom and Responsibility are separate concepts, paired together to encourage creativity and ingenuity in the spirit of what is best for Airbyte. Let’s talk about them separately first.
To move quickly and disrupt our industry, every team member needs the freedom to be creative, experiment, and think outside the box. We can’t achieve our mission of powering all organizations’ data movement without innovation. For this reason, we believe strongly in autonomy and empowering our team - every person should be willing and able to digest context, seek opinions, but ultimately make their own decisions. You will have the freedom to own your projects, your impact, and your growth within the company. You will have the freedom to do what’s best for yourself, the company, and our users.
Freedom also extends beyond the scope of our day to day work. We embody freedom fully - we want everyone to be free to do not only what’s best for Airbyte and our users, but also what’s best for themselves. There is no need to create unnecessary policies for PTO and expenses, for example, if everyone is free to do what they believe is right. This is where responsibility comes into play.
Freedom on its own might lead to mayhem, but coupled with responsibility it is the best way to empower our team. When you have freedom and autonomy, you must assume responsibility for the impact your actions and decisions have on Airbyte. Responsibility comes in many forms: responsibility to always do our best, to deliver value to our customers, to empathize and care for our teammates, to exhibit honesty and candor, to deliver impactful work, and to stay humble and true to ourselves as we grow. Responsibility requires self-discipline and critical thinking, and we constantly ask ourselves: is this what’s best for Airbyte? When answering that question, be thoughtful, gather feedback, freely make decisions, and then take accountability for your actions, whether they are good or bad.
Responsibility assumes that we are all adults and rational thinkers, so we hire and retain people who have good judgment and make good decisions. But making a good decision doesn’t mean you are right, it means that you have a bias for action and are results-oriented. We encourage everyone to feel free to make your own decisions, but remember that you are ultimately responsible for the result.
Below are a few examples of how we embody Freedom & Responsibility as a company:
Take a healthy amount of vacation and allow yourself to fully disconnect. We find that time off has a significant impact on your motivation and creates space for new ideas. We will never set a limit on vacation days, so it is up to you to take what you need to be fulfilled in your personal life and come back recharged. While there is no process to request time off, be responsible and inform your team with reasonable advance notice.
There are no defined rules when it comes to our travel and expense policies, but we have outlined Travel Guidelines and welcome your feedback if things aren’t clear. Every time you travel on Airbyte’s dime and time, we expect you to fully embody freedom & responsibility. Make every decision and spend every Airbyte dollar as if it were your own. Question each decision as you would any other: is this in Airbyte’s best interest?
Our finance team will regularly audit individual expenses and let you know directly if the expenses are unreasonable.
If you plan to work away from your home base, please ensure you’ll have a setup that will allow you to continue to do your best work. Be responsible and let your team know if they will be impacted by your location/hours. Notify the People Ops team if you are changing your permanent address, or intend to work from a state or country outside the one you were hired in for more than two months.
We use many tools at Airbyte to build leverage within our team. Team members are responsible for selecting good vendors that are reasonably priced for a startup our size. Please involve the Finance team when you reach the contracting phase, but until that point you can engage and explore vendors that will allow you to work more efficiently.
Freedom & Responsibility applies to all aspects of decision making. We want our team members to feel empowered to make responsible decisions on behalf of the company. This could be related to client requests, improving internal processes, streamlining meetings, etc. Just be sure to collect the necessary feedback and input you need to make a responsible decision, and keep the team informed on your actions.
Freedom & Responsibility is a privilege and we will iterate on it as we grow and gain new context and views. Contrary to most scaling companies, if we all embody it and do it right, we will actually continue to remove rules and controls as we grow the organization.