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This CEO thinks it's crazy to work more than 40 hours a week



Fried decides to do less, not anymore. He does not set goals. He will contact you at any time. Most importantly, he does not work more than 40 hours a week nor does he want his employees to do so.

Nevertheless – or he would say that is why – Fried has been a very profitable and growing business for two decades.

He co-founded Basecamp (formerly 37 Signals), a web-based project management tool that allows all team members to see the same information, documents, appointments, tasks, and updates. It helps to avoid cumbersome e-mail chains, interruptions and status update sessions.

Fried, who just got his second child, also found the time to write some critically acclaimed books.

The latest is "It does not have to be crazy at work," The Economist said, "is the best thing the management has released this year."

He and his co-author David Heinemeier Hansson, also a Basecamp co-founder, is calling the BS to workaholic managers and owners, even though they are paying lip service to their employees' needs.

"Workaholism is a contagious disease, you can not stop the spread if you manage to get it to the office," they write.

  Base book boss Jason Fried's latest book argues that a quiet company with realistic deadlines, reasonable working hours, few meetings and autonomy is a worthwhile proposition.]

They reject the term of the company as "family" and the battle cry of "whatever it takes" is anything but a real work emergency.

CNN asked Fried about his working philosophy and what he learned from family life about the business.

What do you say to business owners who fear that their approach only means they are beaten by the competition

I would say, why would you think so? I would say if you do not get enough sleep, enough peace and enough perspective from other things in your life besides work, you will only beat yourself.

If you can only beat the competition, it's too much work. You're only 24 hours a day, anyway. If you can edit them all, someone else can do the same.

The competition does not beat you and you do not beat them by spending more hours or giving up your sleep. You do well when you make smart decisions, be strategic, say yes and no, and understand your customer better than anyone else.

Treating people well, keeping employees happy, and creating an environment where people can do their best work is another thing you can control and help you do a good job.

Many people have worked to the bone without showing anything. It is not more work that will take you forward, it is the right work on the right things.

What is the punishment for someone who works too many hours in Basecamp?

There is no formal punishment, but we would like to remind you that no one is expecting more, or that you are going to spend more than 40 hours per week.

We will ask them why they feel they need more hours then help them remove the unimportant things from their day so they do not feel they have to work longer than they should.

There is no one who is interested in working longer than necessary, and an 8-hour day is time to do a great job.

Who gave you the most helpful advice on the economy and life?

I listen to many people, absorbing many things and being influenced by all sorts of approaches. But as far as business is concerned, my father's advice is the best I've ever received: "No one went bankrupt to make a profit."

I've been so close to my chest and made sure that Basecamp, my company, has done so since our first year profitable. Next year is our 20th year in the industry – all 19 have been profitable so far.

What did marriage and parenting teach about work?

These eight hours are enough time for work! This life outside of work is incredibly rich and rewarding. Why would I ever want to waste that time to spend another unnecessary hour in the office?

Parenting is also the best crash course for time management and finding out what is really important in life.

What do you know today if you wish you had known it in your twenties?

That most of the things you are worried about are not worthwhile

How many hours of sleep do you get?

Now between seven and eight. I'm aiming for eight, but we just had our second baby, so the nights are a bit tough at the moment.

The book "Why we sleep" really impressed me that sleep is the most important thing you can do to improve every aspect of your life. I strongly recommend reading it.

How much vacation do you take a year?

A total of about three weeks. However, during the summer months (May to September), everyone at Basecamp works four days, so every three days we have a weekend for a few months. Add these days and we all get an extra dose of free time.

What is your favorite podcast and why?

Currently "The Peter Attia Drive". I have always been fascinated by medicine. I really enjoy his attitude to things, his clarity, the brilliant guests he has, and how deep everything is.

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