Paying Employees to Work on Open Source Projects

Open source is awesome and even though we’re a startup we’ve found a way to pay our employees to contribute to the community. Here’s how and why we do it.

Woman coding on a mac.

Photo: Samedaypapers

We, like most other companies that build software, base a lot of what we do on components and frameworks that were built in open source projects.

Even though we are a small (but growing) startup – five employees at the moment – we wanted to find a way to actively contribute to the open source community. We were inspired by how Futurice sponsors free time open source activities, and set up our own version of it.

The deal

As an employee at Axess Lab, you get paid 15 € an hour for up to 10 hours a month for open source work if:

  • It’s done outside of working hours
  • The project or task is related to accessibility, inclusive design or something similar

The employees have a time code in our time reporting system where they report the open source work and add a copy to a relevant pull request or commit.

That’s it. We don’t make it more complicated than that.

What’s in it for us?

Why would a startup like us do this. Well, we see many benefits:

  • It makes our employees even more skilled at accessibility.
  • It’s a good way to give something back to the open source community
  • It increases our chances of recruiting great people to our company
  • It aligns with our company’s vision of creating a more inclusive digital world
  • It makes our employees happy

Want to know more?

Hopefully this will inspire some other companies to set up something similar.

If you want to know more, get in touch with us by mailing or tweeting @axesslab.

You’re extra welcome to message us if you live in Sweden and are interested in working with us to make the digital world more accessible!

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