Work/Life Balance

Happy February!  Last month, someone posed the following
questions to me regarding ProRecruiters: Why do we exist; What is our purpose;
and How do we contribute to a better world? How I responded surprised me; it
was inspiring and made me feel incredibly proud.
Brett and I started
Part-Time Pros, now ProRecruiters, in March of 2008.  We started it with a vision of being a
resource to people who wanted to have a balanced life.  We had our first daughter, Katie, and after six
months of daycare schlepping, no time with her, and juggling a forty-hour work
week, I thought, “This is stupid!”  Now,
understand that I love working hard. But I wanted to be able to continue to
work but have the flexibility to work in such a way that I could value the
things that are most important in my life, too. 
So we created Part-Time Pros.  Our
first core value is to provide a healthy work/life balance to our team and
clients.  And while I personally had no
balance for the first five years, I am happy to report that I offered
opportunities to over one thousand professionals who do.  We contributed to a better world by putting a
spotlight on the importance of a healthy work/life balance.
Over the last nine
years, I have succeeded at creating a culture that values this balance.
However, I did not manage it so well. During end-of-year reviews and goal-setting
this past year, several team members expressed guilt, burden, and
lack of trust when talking about their flex schedules.  This saddened me, but I was determined to
figure out why this was the case. The answer hit me quickly and hard:  while I succeeded at offering this balance, I
failed at setting clear expectations and boundaries concerning what I expected
from team members when they were away from the office.
Work from home and
flex schedules can be wonderful.  In my
experience, employees with flexibility work more creatively and efficiently
than when they work with the standard forty-hour work week.  I also am convinced that flexibility creates
happier employees, and happier employees are easier to retain for the long
haul. However, flexible scheduling requires rigorous expectation-setting.  Work from home means just that—employees are working
from home. 

I told my team in
January that nothing would bring me more satisfaction than smashing through our
goals this year and being able to tell any company who asked that we thrived
with a team that all works flex schedules. 
I want to prove to “traditional” corporate America that prioritizing
people’s lives—what matters to them, what makes them happy, what they value—can
create a better work environment and better workers. But this method works only
if management provides boundaries and clear expectations.  Our purpose is to pave a pathway for other
companies to follow.   If any of you are struggling with this concept,
I would encourage you to reach out to me for guidance.  I have made mistakes along the way, but
learned from them and am happy to share my experience. I am contributing to a
better world because our employees are happy, healthy, and balanced.   
Here’s
to 2017 being an amazing year for you all—both personally and professionally. 

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