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Hard Work Is Irrelevant

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Hard Work Is Irrelevant

Planet Money podcast


5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Are you working hard, or hardly working? Netflix company policy says it doesn’t matter, as long as you get results.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Engaging


If you work at Netflix, no manager will be breathing down your neck, you can come in late and go home early, and the job allows for unlimited vacation days. But you probably won’t be working there forever. When they no longer need you, managers will pull the rug out from under you no matter how hard you worked or how valuable you’ve been for the company. The company is a lean, nimble machine that doesn’t tolerate dead weight. In this episode of NPR’s Planet Money podcast, hosts Steve Henn and Stacey Vanek Smith reveal what it’s like to work for Netflix.


In 2001, Netflix was struggling. After painful deliberation, HR manager Patty McCord and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings decided to let go of one-third of the hard-working staff, many of whom had been with Netflix since the beginning. After the firings, the remaining Netflix employees were surprised to find the company functioning better than ever. Fewer people got more work done. Red tape was minimal; fun and productivity skyrocketed.

McCord and Hastings decided to find out what factors enabled such a buzzing, exciting atmosphere. They created a slideshow that outlined their...

About the Podcast

National Public Radio’s Planet Money podcast explains economic issues using “creative and entertaining” dialogue and narrative. For this episode, hosts Steve Henn and Stacey Vanek Smith interviewed HR consultant Patty McCord, former chief talent officer at Netflix.  

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