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January 17, 2022
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Working at Coinbase: Intense and demanding, balanced by deliberate recharge time

By L.J. Brock, Chief People Officer

We’re typically requested a model of this query: “What’s it really like to work at Coinbase?”

Our tradition doc supplies an ideal total perspective on working right here, however I feel it’s vital to deal with this query head-on, too.

The backside line: We work extremely arduous at Coinbase — for many of us, Coinbase is probably the most intense place we’ve ever labored. That depth is just magnified by the present second in crypto, and it typically ends in lengthy days and lengthy weeks.

However, due to that depth, we’re additionally deliberate about discovering time to get better between sprints. How deliberate? This yr, we’re experimenting with 4 recharge weeks (roughly one per quarter), when almost the complete firm will shut down so we will all take pleasure in downtime with out work piling up.

Four weeks of coordinated recharge time may sound like loads of time off for an organization in hypergrowth, however given the depth of our work all year long, we predict that is one of the best ways to make sure our tempo is sustainable for the lengthy time period.

We know this strategy wouldn’t work for each firm, and we additionally know Coinbase isn’t for everybody. But if you wish to work at the slicing fringe of crypto and tech — and if you happen to’re enthusiastic about pushing your expertise to the restrict whereas figuring out you’ll have common alternatives to recharge — there’s no better place to be.

An all-in atmosphere

Why is Coinbase so intense? Because the large alternative in entrance of us calls for the perfect from every of us, each day.

We’re upfront about this in our tradition doc, however it’s value emphasizing: “We are a winning team, not a family, and have high expectations for performance and delivering results…. We have an intense work culture, and are regularly pushed out of our comfort zones.”

What’s this imply in observe?

It means we don’t promise 9 a.m. — 5 p.m. hours or 40-hour work weeks — many days and weeks are lengthy, as a result of that’s what it takes to get the job completed.

It means we will’t merely do extra in some areas by doing much less in others — the chance of lacking out on an enormous alternative is just too nice.

It means we aren’t wedded to long-term plans — sure, we thoughtfully map out quarterly and annual plans, however we’re ready to pivot at a second’s discover if we see a greater alternative to serve our clients.

We’re laser-focused on reaching our mission of accelerating financial freedom on this planet, and we encourage our groups to set “uncomfortably ambitious” targets. That’s the one manner we will keep forward.

An ‘act like an owner’ mentality

One of our cultural tenets is “act like an owner.” We count on our staff to take 100% accountability for reaching our mission, however we additionally empower them to work in the way in which that’s greatest for them, and to relaxation and recharge between their sprints.

We do that partially by our remote-first stance, which allows virtually all staff to decide on whether or not to work from an workplace, from residence, or by a hybrid strategy — no matter works greatest for them and their households. This coverage has been massively profitable, enabling us to rent prime expertise from around the globe and incomes optimistic evaluations from our staff.

We additionally empower staff to take cost of their well-being by our versatile time off (FTO) coverage (in eligible nations), which suggests most staff don’t must accrue time off earlier than utilizing it or fear about hitting an annual restrict.

Despite our FTO coverage for many staff, we realized in 2020 that many staff weren’t taking sufficient time off to recharge, both as a result of they didn’t wish to drive their teammates to cowl for them or as a result of they didn’t wish to fall behind on their work.

We knew this was unsustainable, so we scheduled a recharge week at the tip of 2020 and two recharge weeks in 2021, when almost the complete firm would shut down. (Teams with important 24/7 tasks, similar to customer support and safety, scheduled alternate recharge weeks.)

Subsequent worker surveys made it clear: recharge weeks work. In truth, 52% of staff mentioned recharge days and weeks had been the main software that helped them relaxation and get better in 2021.

That suggestions — and our expectation that this yr shall be simply as intense as final yr — prompted us to schedule 4 recharge weeks for 2022, roughly one per quarter. We don’t have any expectation we’ll proceed with 4 recharge weeks past 2022 — we’ll consider as we go — however we’re assured that is the precise strategy for us this yr.

Even although we’ve scheduled 4 recharge weeks for 2022, we didn’t make any adjustments to our FTO coverage — we’ve inspired staff to schedule holidays throughout our recharge weeks once they can, however we all know that’s not at all times attainable, and that’s OK.

We additionally know that, regardless of our greatest intentions, there are occasions when some staff must work by a recharge week. When this occurs, we do our greatest to make it as much as them so that they have devoted time to recharge, too. We’re OK with this tradeoff — we want to implement an answer that frequently works for 90% of staff than to endlessly seek for an elusive “perfect” resolution.

Acting like an proprietor actually is essential to success at Coinbase — our prime performers take recharge critically, however in addition they don’t hesitate to leap in and ship for the corporate each time and nevertheless is wanted.

A once-in-a-career alternative — and we’re hiring

There’s no denying that Coinbase is among the most fun locations to work proper now.

In simply the final 12 months, we’ve tripled our headcount, expanded into new markets, introduced new crypto improvements to our clients and turn into a publicly traded firm — and we nonetheless really feel we’re simply getting began.

As we are saying in our tradition doc, “We are optimistic about the future and determined to get there.”

If you share that optimism, and if my description of working at Coinbase resonates with you, have a look at our Careers page — we’re hiring for lots of of roles in dozens of fields, and we would like distinctive individuals in each seat, working collectively in direction of our mission.


Working at Coinbase: Intense and demanding, balanced by deliberate recharge time was initially printed in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, the place persons are persevering with the dialog by highlighting and responding to this story.

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