Flex to Death

By Megan Dority — / The Biz

Death to the Standard Work Week

The team at Death Wish Coffee is made up of a unique blend of bold souls who work best at different times and in different ways. This badass blend of humans decided to toss the traditional 9-to-5 work week in favor of a more flexible culture, which is what we call “Flex to Death.” 

Flex to Death—or FTD—allows us the flexibility to work when we’re at our best. The plan isn’t conventional, but have we ever been conventional?! Just like many companies, the pandemic has made businesses think long and hard about how we work, when we work and where we work. The end result? A flexible, hybrid work plan that throws convention out the window.

Uncomfortable yet? (The boomers are shaking in their boots.) 

“A lot of us come from very traditional corporate backgrounds. I would tell people if you’re not making yourself uncomfortable, you’re not pushing. The way work used to get done two years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, isn’t necessarily the way work needs to get done today to be successful.” – Mike Pilkington, CEO 

How Does Flex to Death Work? 

Let’s be real—even before sh*t hit the fan in 2020, passion and coffee have always fueled our daily grind. Everyone thrives in different environments—whether that be in the social environment of the office, at home with their loyal puppy intern, or on the white, sand beaches of Miami. (Okay, no one is actually working from the beach, but we do have employees in Miami—and highly encourage some beach time PTO use.)   

The Grim Reaper floating on a red pool float with text that says, "it's okay to go one vacation."

At Death Wish Coffee, we can choose among three types of work environments: 

  • Mostly in Office: employees who work 3+ days at our HQ at 260 Broadway in Saratoga Springs. 
  • Mostly at Home: employees who work 3+ days at home and can come into the office whenever they feel the urge!  
  • 100% Remote: employees who don’t live near our HQ, which happens to make up a large number of our recent hires and our new favorite teammates to visit. (Who’s ready to couch surf somewhere warm?)  

"We recognize that most people spend more time at work than with their families, so we want to make sure it's a place they want to be. Our goal is to make Monday mornings as exciting as Friday nights."  – Mike Pilkington, CEO 

Redefining the Traditional Desk Job 

At Death Wish Coffee, no one feels like a benchwarmer. You’re not hired to sit at a desk from 9-5—you’re hired to get sh*t done, make customers smile and be a bold motherfunctioner.

“Behaving boldly is rewarded. Putting people in positions and allowing them to do their job is important, creating real trust between leadership and the team is paramount, as is consistent feedback systems so people are never surprised. It’s not just about how we choose to work. It’s about how we interact with each other inside that environment.” – Mike Pilkington, CEO 

What’s Core Collaboration Time? 

We work when we’re feeling our best. Some of us are night owls who stay up later than the Grim Reaper, while others are most productive in the morning—or just want the freshest cup of coffee.

Core Collaboration Time (CCT) is the chunk of time where we’re dedicated to collaborating. Collaborating can mean a lot of things—but for us it’s our time to have meetings, film the next viral TikTok, play ping pong, talk to customers and let our brains percolate. 

  • CCT Hours: Monday-Friday from 8:47 a.m.-3:30 p.m. EST 

“It is liberating not to feel tied to a computer 8 a.m.-5 p.m. When I have trouble focusing, I do not feel guilty about taking a little time to walk away from my computer to do something that will recenter my focus and increase productivity.” – DWC Employee 

What’s Flex Time?  

If you do the math, we have about 2 1/2 hours at the beginning or end of the traditional workday where we can flex. For some gym rats, that actually might mean flex. Your time outside of Core Collaboration time is your time to do you. 

A graphic of a Grim Reaper watering plants with text that says, "It's okay to have hobbies outside of work."

Flex Time gives us the ability to be the best version of ourselves. So, what do DWC employees do with their flex time?   

“I usually get the majority of my writing done after 3:30 p.m. because that’s when it’s quiet and my brain finally stops buzzing from all the caffeine.”  

“I’m able to pick my kids up from school on time—without feeling guilty about leaving the office. It’s all about time management. If I hop online a little earlier and get my sh*t done, I know I can leave earlier and be there for my family at the end of the day.” 

“I can take doctor appointments and not have to stress about scheduling them after the traditional 9-5 or using PTO.” 

“I can ski before work and see the sunrise before I hop online!”  

“I use the time to put together reports that require my full attention and no distractions from the outside world.” 

“I can take my dog on long walks and not feel guilty about leaving my desk or my pup at home.”  

Paid Parental Leave

When that little bundle of joy enters our lives—we all know a lot of coffee is required and the balancing act of work and parenthood becomes complex. At Death Wish Coffee, we're committed to supporting the needs of working parents, by giving them the support they need and deserve when bringing a little reaper into the world.

Paid Parental Leave allows our employees to bond with their newborn, newly adopted or newly placed child without worrying about work and your next paycheck. Death Wish Coffee provides all parents—moms and dads with 12 weeks of paid leave at 100% of base pay and 8 additional weeks of paid leave for birthing mothers. That's up to 20 weeks of paid leave for our motherfunctioners who do it all—and then some. 

Rebels with Causes

To sum it all up—success is not defined by the number of hours worked, but by our ability to understand priorities and hold each other accountable in delivering our commitments. Death Wish Coffee understands that life can be a latte—the demands of juggling work, family and personal obligations is no easy feat! Flex to Death empowers us at Death Wish Coffee to perform at our highest levels by working on our own terms. And let's face it—years down the road, "hybrid work place" will be old news, just like VHS players and floppy discs—buried in the dark depths of our basements gathering dust. 

APPLY YOURSELFWanna join the team that actually has fun when they work? And did we mention we’ll provide all the coffee that you can drink? 

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