Work-Life Balance Program, How I Love Thee

work life balance programAKA Our Work Life Balance Program Saved My Sanity

I’m writing this with the grainy-eyed-haven’t-slept-in-almost-24-hours stare that is usually associated with psychopaths and highly-caffeinated college students. This has been a week for the record books, and I’m hoping tomorrow turns out better. The short version is that a perfect storm of personal and work activities led to my week turning inside out. This is the third night this week that I’ve had to work late, and I don’t know what I would do without the little miracles like remote access to my email and workstation.

We believe in work/life balance here. Plenty of you work for companies that say that, and some of them mean it while others don’t.

I tell new hires a few things about this to help cement the idea in their heads that we’re not typical. The first is: We are flexible here with work schedules. You work when and where you want. As long as you and your supervisor are okay with it, pretty much anything goes. The second one is good enough to be set apart with the fancy block quote thing:

This flexibility/balance thing is about fitting your work  into your life, not fitting your life in around your work.

My manager is simply amazing when it comes to this. Whenever it even remotely looks like something personal might conflict with something work-related, she immediately pushes you toward the personal choice. It’s never a conflict because she doesn’t let it be, and that’s incredibly refreshing.

The ability to work when/how/where I want is worth a lot to me. Previous jobs didn’t offer that flexibility. Now that we have toddlers running around at home, there’s approximately 4000% more potential for getting sick or having something else come up that impairs my ability to work normal hours.

At one point in my life I would have seriously freaked out about that kind of thing. I’d wonder what everyone was thinking about me having to take off. I’d make excuses to try and feel better about missing work. I’d rationalize.

Now I just relax the best I can, catch up on email during nap time, and keep a smile on my face. Crazy things may come, but I can handle it.

Anyone else have a deep love for their work-life balance program? Tell me I’m not the only one. :-)

10 thoughts on “Work-Life Balance Program, How I Love Thee

  1. Casey Biggs

    Hi Ben,
    I couldn’t agree more. I currently hold 3 part-time jobs and (thank God!) they are all very flexible. Obviously it’s much easier to make a job flexible if it’s already part-time, but I think every little bit of leeway one can get is going to help out work-life balance tremendously just because he/she is getting real input into his/her life! It’s really refreshing and makes people feel valued. Good post!

    Reply
  2. Miss Sharen

    You are fortunate to have a boss who understands the importance of work/life balance. Many employers talk a good line regarding this, but when it comes down to it; really want you at work as scheduled. Though I am not a parent; (and my many friends who do not have small children) I often go to work when we I am ill and should be home in bed; and I see this all the time where I work. I draw the line at working if I have fever, but I think most people in general feel guilty about missing work when they in reality they need to be home getting well.

    Reply
  3. Michael Brisciana

    Ben,

    Great post! It’s terrific to know of a company and a boss that really “walks the talk” regarding work-life priorities. The only thing I’d add here is … it’s about core beliefs, not programs. Every company could write the same policy/program that you wrote in the “fancy indent.” Not every company (or boss) could believe it and mean it and live it. That’s the difference here. If it doesn’t fit with the organization’s deeply-held values, it’s not real and it’s not going to last. Congrats to everyone at your firm for making it real!

    Michael

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