Many Hands Make Deeper Work

I love riding the wave of a growing company. Everything changes as employee headcount grows, and it’s one of the best personal challenges around.

One genuine surprise from my experience so far has been seeing how headcount correlates with workload.

Now I didn’t really expect my job to get *that* much easier as we hired more people (going up from a two-person marketing team). But I definitely thought that with a few more hands my workload more “reasonable” by people’s standards.

That’s not the case. But that’s not a bad thing.

When you work alone, things can actually seem easier than they really are. Without other voices, your work might seem satisfactory when in reality it isn’t. Hiring more hands to help brings new voices for feedback and may cause you to reevaluate your assumptions about how far along your work really is. The work doesn’t stop – it becomes more challenging.

Adding new people also gives you the free time to see your work (and bring about what it needs) with greater depth perception. All of a sudden the things that made sense as minimum-shippable efforts spring back at us with 20 new details that need attention, 10 new opportunities to explore, and 30 new variables that could take whole days to control.

“Where was all this work going before?”, you wonder. You’ve encountered the counterintuitive mystery of team scaling.

More work? Yes. But this is also good.

So don’t expect or hope that hiring will make your job easier. It’s only the beginning.

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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