A Curated Collection of Public Employee Handbooks

I have always been impressed to read and learn how people work, how they organize their days, what they decide to value, how they communicate or how they describe their processes to make collaboration effortless. Especially if they are part of a larger organization - like a company. Usually companies collect their knowledge, their processes and their principles in so-called employee handbooks and they are super-secret. But a few companies are not afraid to publish their work style, their culture and their policies.

This is a collection of employee handbooks that inspire me, that make me think and motivate me to improve my own workplace. With a big thank you to the unknown contributors.

Gitlab Handbook

Gitlab is one of the bigger remote first companies. And - of course - they keep their handbook online and public. If you are interested into how remote organizations work and how they organize people and processes, this is a great handbook to start from. By the time of this writing in late 2023 the Gitlab handbook is in a state of migration, which itself is documented in the handbook, of course.

Checkly's Employee Handbook

Checkly provides monitoring-as-code and they use Notion to publish their handbook online. Like Gitlab, they put a lot of focus on async communication. Structuring your asynchronous communication and guide it with principles becomes key if you want to go remote, hybrid and distributed.


An early Netflix company handbook leaked in the early 2010s. Since then the handbook evolved and moved into their hiring portal. A good example, that an open handbook may also address new applicants, that can get informed when wanting to apply to a company. The internal culture will shine through in the handbook pages and will make it possible to any applicant to prepare for an interview and ask just the right questions.


I have been following the guys at 37signals for oh-i-dont-know-how-long. The former company of Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson call themselves Basecamp now, named after their most successful product. And they keep their handbook on Github. There they can easily convert it into pages, hand it around, print it out if they need to. Like Notion, Github is a popular choice for publishing handbooks.

Tom Sachs: Working to Code in Tom Sachs' Studio

A YouTube movie as a handbook? Works. Beautifully constructed, the movie gives an overview over the complex structure of working in a studio. The rules are quite strict, but allow keeping up a creative environment where trust between employees may grow and is encouraged. It is a masterpiece in pacing, selected camera angles and editing. It makes you want to work in such a studio.


JetBlue keeps their employee handbook online - in presentation form. These handbooks obviously are more addressing new hires than being a practical guide for your daily work and challenges. However, learning how they handle things it gives a good glimpse into how they operate.


Like JetBlue, HubSpot keeps their Code of Conduct online as well. The presentation goes some extra effort to explain the "Why" behind some of the principles. Less day-to-day dictionary, more a glossy company presentation. Inspiring nonetheless.


Stripe is one if the largest online payment providers that offer APIs, components and services for payment transactions. They do not really keep their handbook public, but hand out their operating principles. Stripe has established a writing-heavy culture which you can witness on their engineering blog.


Well, well, well - a public handbook can give you the impression of an open company. But never forget, your working culture is not defined by your handbook, but by how you treat people. Here's Meta's handbook on how they want to see their company (check the filename, it really has the words "update_final_6_2_final" in it). Haven't seen that for some time :)

Organisational Handbook of the German Ministry of Internal Affairs (German)

Well, who would have thought? There‘s a public org handbook available (in German Language) of one of our ministries. For me, it‘s simply impressive, that there is a public handbook at all - regardless the content.

Keeping your organizational stuff publicly online has a lot of benefits. Especially if you use a format that can be easily edited like a git repo or a wiki. Things tend to be up-to-date naturally and outdated information will be noticed. New hires can take a glimpse of their new company, self-education is encouraged.