Why this fintech firm has a mandatory free day

February 23, 2016

There’s a paradox in startup culture that causes small tech companies to romanticize round-the-clock hustle while professing a commitment to work-life balance.

Brad Weimert is no exception, and neither is his company,

. The fintech firm has been processing payments for small- to medium-sized merchants since 2006.

As CEO, Weimert is fond of bonding with his team over paintball, Nerf wars and weekly happy hours. But he knows work-life balance means a lot more than just goofing off with your co-workers.

So he’s closing down the office on February 29 to give his team a free day.

With stipulations.

Each employee is required to devote the day to something they haven’t had enough time for recently. It can be a solitary activity or include family and friends, but it has to be something unique to each worker’s life.

“The banking industry takes a whole litany of days off,” Weimert said. “Easy Pay Direct doesn’t close for banking holidays. We go above and beyond for our clients, and it’s super important that we do the same for the internal team as well.”

On the company status call this afternoon, Weimert asked for people’s plans.

Ted is going to get a license for a handgun, then head to the shooting range before a bit of paddleboarding.

Brad actually plans to go skydiving. He’s done it tandem, but never jumped solo. Assuming he pulls it off, he’s planning some music production afterward.

Mike is taking his family on a picnic in Georgetown. An employee in Michigan said he isn’t even telling his family he has the day off. He’s going ice fishing.

The company devoted a Slack channel for employees to send updates on the day’s activities with photos and insights.

"E-commerce is changing rapidly," Weimert said. "Part of our mission is to make sure we're having fun in that space. [So] we hire people with character, who thrive on growth and learning new things. There's never a dull moment here."

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