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The Free-Range Work manifesto

The core guiding principles of Free-Range Work.
A woman works on her laptop sitting on a balcony, with a beautiful view of a sunrise over the countryside

We are creative knowledge workers in the digital age.

Progress in society and technology enables us to evolve the way we work — maximising our talent, effectiveness, achievement, and quality of life.

To do this, we strive for:

Freedoms of time, place & initiative
In balance with
Responsibilities of clarity, connection & commitment
A diagram showing the Free Range work model, with the freedoms in balance with responsibilities

We recognise most creative knowledge work happens in a complex system, so things will never be perfect. Therefore:

  • We approach our work, and especially collaboration, with generosity, empathy, and care.
  • We trust that everyone is doing their best in their current context with their current skills, knowledge and support.
  • We strive to improve the way we work — so we continuously learn, design, experiment, evaluate and evolve our practices.
  • We do what we can to help and support others.

Principles into practice

The key principles of our manifesto mean:

  • Freedom of time: We are free to schedule our work to meet our commitments in a way that best uses our talent, energy and focus. What we achieve and the way we do it matter more than our working hours.
  • Freedom of place: We are free to work where we can be most effective. Connecting well with other people we work with, the rest of our organisation, and our communities, matters more than the location we are in.
  • Freedom of initiative: We are free to decide what to take on, how to prioritise, how we do the work, who we collaborate with, and more. We are proactive in identifying opportunities to improve the way our team and organisation works, and acting on them. We are entrusted with decisions about our work that would traditionally have needed approvals from managers. We are provided with all the information we need to make good decisions.
  • Balance: No single element of our Free-Range approach can dominate to the detriment of others. The healthy approach is a thoughtful balance between all.
  • Responsibility for clarity: We communicate clearly what we are doing, when and where, how it is going, any issues, expectations of others, and any help we need or would like. We actively broadcast our intent and activities.
  • Responsibility for connection: We put time, thought, care and effort into our communications and collaboration so that we and our colleagues are able to feel strongly connected regardless of location and are able to work together effectively. We value connecting in-person in certain contexts, and understand it takes extra thought and effort to connect across different times and locations.
  • Responsibility for commitment: We make clear commitments in work and life, and stick to them — and don't make commitments we can't meet. We manage our workload to be achievable within our constraints. We are dependable and trustworthy. We are committed to serve the best interests of our colleagues and organisation in the time we work with them.

By adopting this shared manifesto, and working together, we can evolve the way we work — maximising our talent, effectiveness, achievement, and quality of life.

This is version 1.0 of the Free-Range Manifesto. It's an evolving, living document and will be updated as we learn and experience more.