I see lots of folks talking about how as employers they offer a good work/life balance. But they often lean towards leisure: going for a team ride at lunchtime (thus enabling the obligatory gorgeous bikes in the studio hallway pics), enjoying Friday beers on the roof terrace, knocking off early when the surf’s up (a common one with employers local to me).
Those things are all great but work/life balance has a less glamorous side: having to deal with all the day-to-day things and the shit that life throws at us. We might have to stay home to receive a parcel, take a couple of hours out to get the car MOTd, look after a sickly infant for three days when there are no other childcare options. Sometimes our beloved pets get sick, sometimes they die. Sometimes the same happens with friends or relatives. Maybe we have to spend more than normal on the phone for a few days trying to get tradespeople to even get back to us to give us a quote.
It’s difficult to sell yourself to clients and employees on stuff like this. You’d struggle to get a beautiful promo video made (with super shallow depth of field and corresponding focus pulls, natch) to showcase your commitment to helping everyone deal with the mundane. But it’s important and it counts. Yes, draw up policies and guidelines if you must. For me it’s about accepting, demonstrating and defending some simple give and take to employees and clients alike.
By Dan Goodwin - @bouncingdan