Addressing work life balance from the inside

New Club member Chris Klosowski recently wrote a blog post about how his transition to the Easy Digital Downloads team full time changed his life balance.

Within that excellent post, I discovered that the EDD team had an all-hands meeting to discuss work-life balance, and hold each other accountable internally to maintain healthy lifestyles.

First, Chris notes a scene that might be all to familiar for some of you (as it does me):

Thankfully I have a wonderful wife who understands that I have the luxury of working in my field of passion, writing code. With that passion comes the inane ‘ability’ to always be thinking about it, even when I’m not sitting at my computer. This has lead to a few couch-coding sessions while relaxing with the family, and some late dinners, which ultimately lead up to some stress.

My truest challenge in this new lifestyle is knowing when it’s time to ignore Slack, shut off email, take off the Pebble, and just spend time with my family. It’s a challenge I’m learning to face, and the hardest part is admitting to myself that it’s a problem. It’s come up in conversation a couple times with my wife, and every time, she lets me know when I’m failing. Honesty here is the key. Not guilt, not anger, just brutal honesty of when I’m not being the best husband and dad because I’m putting work before them.

That as familiar. But what I’ve not seen is what EDD did about it team-wide:

I think one great thing we did as a team, not to long ago, was to sit down and have an open discussion on expectations and work habits. We’ve all agreed that we need to tackle the balance and even when our passion get’s the best of us, learn when to turn it off and tend to our ‘non-work’ life. Getting those concerns and opinions out in the open air was very important. It’s helping with the ‘Did I work enough this week?’ internal monologue, and really allowing me to be confident in the fact that I’m giving what’s expected of me.

I think this is such a good idea for teams to be proactive with. Nothing kills an employee’s tenure like burnout, and burnout is inevitable without work life balance. Some honest meetings where a team discusses the challenges they are facing with work life balance and maintaining the demands of work could end up being extremely profitable, not to mention win your employees’ adoration and loyalty.

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