Recently, I was in a coffee shop (working remotely) when I overhead an older man in a suit, tell another man in a suit, “Man, I am so over millennial workers, all they talk about is work-life balance. They need to pay their dues, I barely even saw my kids until they were 12.” This is a common sentiment that I have heard a lot from older workers. When they were younger, they were expected to work 50 or 60 hours in order to prove themselves, get promoted, and finally settle in to a reasonable schedule when they got older.
So what is going on with millennials? Why aren’t we willing to accept this as our fate? Is it because we are lazy? Because we have become entitled? Personally, I don’t think so. I simply think that technology has helped us realize that we want to work to live, not live to work. Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly love my job, but I also love having time to pursue hobbies, professional development, and still see family and friends. This is why we work a 30 hour week at Kuvio.
Our employees are not just lounging around in our additional free time either (which would be fine) instead, we all have other projects and passions we are pursuing. For example, I just completed my undergraduate degree and will start grad school in the fall. Rhonda, our director of operations, is earning her Ph.D. Our design director, Kieran, has created many awesome projects in his free time including Slumber Bear. Another designer, Kris-Anne uses the combined benefits of remote work and a shortened week to travel the world. We always love hearing about what destination she’s headed to next.
Those are just a few examples of how we have been able to use our time thanks to the fantastic work-life balance that Kuvio provides. It is important to note however, that simply having the 30-hour policy in place would not be enough. Instead, we need the entire culture of the company to hinge on our desire for balance. With our communication tools, it would be easy to stay on Slack and email constantly, slip into working extra hours, and never feel like we are truly taking a break. However, the entire team is respectful of each other’s time off. For example, if I need something from a colleague I try to ask well in advance so they can get it to me during their normal working hours, whenever they may be. Understanding and being thoughtful about others time is what truly keeps our work and personal lives balanced.
You don’t just have to take our word for it, studies have shown there are benefits of having a great work-life balance. Employees have been proven to be more productive and enjoy their work more when they feel that their lives are well balanced. From our experience, when a team member loves what they are working on, that is when that are able to produce their best work. Another study found that employees physical and mental health improved, this is great for many reasons, including savings you may see on healthcare costs. Work-life balance also improves employee retention rates and creates increased feelings of employer loyalty. Finally, when employees are less stressed they become better communicators which will help things run more smoothly across departments at your organization.
Lastly, it is important to note that a good work-life balance is not the same for everyone, some people may work 50 hours and feel they have great balance. It is all about what works for you and how you are able to structure your time in a way that makes you feel you are dedicated enough to all aspects of life that are important to you. We aren’t arguing that every company should impose a 30-hour week, but we are passionate about giving workers the flexibility to discover what works for them and the freedom to explore and develop other passions outside of their careers.
Do you have your own thoughts about work-life balance? Share them with us on Twitter, @KuvioCreative. Thanks for reading!
Kuvio Creative is a web design and development agency that uses creativity and innovation to find solutions for all our clients online needs. We also prioritize employee happiness so that our team can be as creative as possible. Intrigued? Learn more at www.kuv.io
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