HoldenKarnofsky comments on Hi, I'm Holden Karnofsky. AMA about jobs at Open Philanthropy - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: HoldenKarnofsky 26 March 2018 05:49:45PM 3 points [-]

We're flexible. People don't clock in or out; we evaluate performance based on how much people get done on a timescale of months. We encourage people to work hard but also prioritize work-life balance. The right balance varies by the individual.

Most people here work more than one would in a traditional 9-5 job. (A common figure is 35-40 "focused" hours per week.) I think that reflects that they're passionate about their work rather than that they feel pressure from management to work a lot. We regularly check in with people about work-life balance and encourage them to work less if it seems this would be good for their happiness.

Comment author: ThomasSittler 26 March 2018 07:16:17PM *  1 point [-]

People don't clock in or out.

Have your policies changed since Milan Griffes wrote this post about GiveWell? He writes:

Everyone tracked their time at GiveWell. Most people opted to use Toggl, a desktop timer, though some people used more freeform methods (e.g. estimates logged in an excel sheet). Employees sent timesheets were sent to managers at the beginning of each week, as well as a more detailed report at the end of each quarter.

Comment author: HoldenKarnofsky 26 March 2018 07:31:05PM 2 points [-]

Keep in mind that Milan worked for GiveWell, not OP, and that he was giving his own impressions rather than speaking for either organization in that post.

That said:

*His "Flexible working schedule" point sounds pretty consistent with how things are here.

*We continue to encourage time tracking (but we don't require it and not everybody does it).

*We do try to explicitly encourage self-care.

Does that respond to what you had in mind?

Comment author: ThomasSittler 26 March 2018 07:35:09PM 0 points [-]

I edited my comment in the meantime to make it clearer. I was specifically thinking about the fact that timesheets are sent to managers. Is this still a common practice? Among what fraction of OP staff?

Comment author: HoldenKarnofsky 26 March 2018 07:41:28PM 6 points [-]

This is still a common practice. The point of it isn't to evaluate employees by # of hours worked; the point is for their manager to have a good understanding of how time is being used, so they can make suggestions about what to go deeper on, what to skip, how to reprioritize tasks, etc.

Several employees simply opt out from this because they prefer not to do it. It's an optional practice for the benefit of employees rather than a required practice used for performance assessment.