Hi everyone! I am Chamin, a senior
boffin research engineer from Morpho's CTO Office. In this post, I will introduce Morpho's way of letting its members do their own fun projects during work time.
At Morpho, our designated work time is seven hours a day (averaged over the month). Depending on the number of working days in a month, this can result in up to 161 hours a month. Any full-time worker at Morpho is allowed to use up to 20% of this time on a personal project. So long as the project is somehow related to Morpho's business scope, any project idea is fine. If the project needs a bit more time, additional time can be used so long as the total does not exceed 35 hours a month (hence the name, the 35-hour project). Using company resources is fine, as long as it does not delay actual business work. We launched this initiative in 2018 for only the technical staff, and later expanded it to include all regular staff.
This is not exactly a new idea. I am sure most of you are going to say "Oh, like Google's 20% Project". At the turn of the century, Google allowed its workers to pursue personal projects using up to 20% of their paid work time. However, the concept has its origins at 3M, the company that is well-known for inventing the post-it note. Since 1948, 3M has made it mandatory for employees to use 15% of their work time for independent projects. Several other companies ran, or still have similar projects. Microsoft's Garage, Yahoo's Hack Day, Atlassian's 20% projects, and Apple's Blue Sky are some examples.
This is getting crowded, isn't it? There is even a book written about this kind of initiatives, if you want to read more about them.