Hardware, Chairs, and Food

From George Anders at Forbes on Amazon’s work environment:

Bezos keeps an eerily tight rein on expenses, eschewing color printers in favor of trusty old black-and-white models. No one flies first class (though Bezos sometimes rents private jets at his own expense). Experiments are hatched and managed by the smallest teams possible; if it takes more than two pizzas to feed a work group, Bezos once observed, then the team is too big. Offices still get cheap desks made of particleboard door blanks, a 1990s holdover that Bezos refuses to change.

There is always a lot of debate about what constitutes the optimal work environment. Amazon is evidently very scrappy, whereas Google has gone in the opposite direction, blurring the lines between work and vacation.

I think the answer is simpler: give employees really good hardware, give them really good chairs, and feed them really good food. All other aspects of the work environment should be determined by company culture, but those three things should be held constant.

 
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