As the company explains in its "Reference Guide on our Freedom & Responsibility Culture", a 128-slide PowerPoint presentation that has spread like samizdat literature on the internet: "We should focus on what people get done, not how many hours or days worked..."
...ever more companies are realising that autonomy isn't the opposite of accountability – it's the pathway to it. "Rules and policies and regulations and stipulations are innovation killers. People do their best work when they're unencumbered," says Steve Swasey, Netflix's vice-president for corporate communication. "If you're spending a lot of time accounting for the time you're spending, that's time you're not innovating."
...In his new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, New York University scholar, Clay Shirky, argues that when we design systems that assume bad faith from the participants, and whose main purpose is to defend against that nasty behaviour, we often foster the very behaviour we're trying to deter. People will push and push the limits of the formal rules, search for every available loophole, and look for ways to game the system when the defenders aren't watching. By contrast, a structure of rules that assumes good faith can actually encourage that behaviour.
So if you think people in your organisation are predisposed to rip you off, maybe the solution isn't to build a tighter, more punitive set of rules. Maybe the answer is to hire new people.