We’re Paying You To Work, Not To Become Social And Political Activists. Basecamp Bans Employees From Using Workplace Tools For Political Discussions.

A productivity software company based in Chicago is experimenting with a radical idea going forward that has many critics on social media angered.

They are asking employees to focus on their job when they are at work, and banning societal and political discussions on internal workplace tools. 

Imagine that, a business interested in maximizing employee productivity that feels political discussion has become a major distraction and has the the guts to actually do something about it. 

Basecamp’s co-founder and CEO Jason Fried wrote a blog post, that was filled with a seldom-used and nearly extinct way of describing a corporate situation called “common sense.”

He said the political and societal dialogue saps the energy and redirects employees dialog to dark places. “You shouldn’t have to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a target.”

Twitter lit up with faux anger and outrage, with many complaining that banning discussion of politics means the company doesn’t care about injustice in the world and is only interested in keeping things like they are. 

There could be another motivation behind Basecamp’s move. There’s also a chance they are interested in being a competitive force, or maybe even a leader in their industry by trying to maximize the time and energy of employees, which might not happen when they are consumed with discussions of their political beliefs and social injustices. 

Fried made that point himself in his blog post. “We are not a social impact company. We’re in the business of making software.”

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please hover over that comment, click the ∨ icon, and mark it as spam. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.