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Guest Post: But what about my sanity? A workaholic’s perspective on work-life balance

Source | LinkedIn : By Don Tapscott

After a year of being in the workforce, I have come to love the culture of a flexible job in a small company.

Disclaimer: I work for a small company in Toronto, Canada, and have only ever been employed in a flexible work environment. I’m sure there are many benefits of working for a large firm, but I can only write about what I know.

I, a self-designated workaholic, absolutely love my job stewarding the Blockchain Revolution with Don and Alex Tapscott – but life has other things to offer as well. This post reflects my musings about both working for a small company in a flexible atmosphere, but also how to find meaning within the madness.

This is what I’ve learned so far:

Having no set office hours builds trust

If my bosses wish to meet with me, they email me and we set a time. The remainder of my time, I am meant to be reachable during normal office hours (or during odd hours if they are travelling overseas), but I am not required to be present. For the first few months of my job, I arrived at the office at 8:30am and left around 6pm, having put in more than a full days’ work. After a while, my employers understood that I would always do the work to the best of my ability (and trusted me not slack off), and knew that I could be reached if needed.

If you require employees to be at their desks from 9-to-5 every day and offer them no incentive to work remotely, this creates inefficiencies in the organization. This is called “presenteeism.” The employee is physically present at their desk, but may not be emotionally or psychologically present. You can bet that 99 per cent of employees would admit to doing something OTHER than their work while at their desks.

My work gives me ownership – meaning communication is key.

I have ownership over both my mistakes and successes. This is critical, because it means all of my actions need to be made consciously. I admit, I’m a work-in-progress on this one, but I do my best. As I work in a mostly remote team, it is common to have to make decisions based only on the information you have. These are rarely life-or-death decisions, but it illustrates the need to be available to your team for longer than you might like – ie. being required to answer emails on the weekends on occasion or at weird hours.

Read On….

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