Should a hardworking mom be able to ring the bell at work but also pick the kids up from daycare? You bet!
Our company culture at Affinis Corp. (Best Firm #15 Civil for 2016) is built on five core values, one of which is balance. “We embrace the importance and worth of promoting balance between work and personal life.” When we wrote that value statement the business world’s definition of balance was generally seen as putting in your hours in the office and then disconnecting from work for family time. In the years since then, technology and other factors have changed the way the world thinks about work/life balance – in many circles the idea of work/life balance has been replaced with work/life integration. No matter what you call it, at Affinis Corp. we continue to focus on helping our co-workers make the most of their careers and their life outside the office.
This year, in addition to being named one of Zweig Group’s Best Firms To Work For, we were also honored with a When Work Works award by the Society for Human Resource Management. This recognition specifically focused on effective and flexible workplaces and gave us a chance to reflect on our policies and how they help our co-workers live out the firm’s values.
We have written policies for telework and flexible schedules – and people use them. When practical, co-workers are supplied with laptops so they are free to work from other locations when it makes sense to do so. Our marketing manager, Peggy Amor, CPSM, regularly works from home after her kids are in bed, allowing her to have a shorter day in the office and pick them up from day care. When client meetings stack up around town and it doesn’t always make sense to come back to the office, co-workers can make the most of their time by working from a local coffee shop, not just the office.
“The first thing out of my mouth whenever people ask me what I like about Affinis is always ‘flexibility,’” Amor says. “Our leadership demonstrates that finding balance is important to them personally, which empowers the rest of us to do the same. The freedom to be with my kids for quality time in the afternoons helps me be 100-percent present at work and for family time.”
These “balance” oriented policies are successful because of several other Affinis values – collaboration, servant leadership, and trustworthiness. Co-workers’ willingness to support each other at work and away from the office helps everyone strike a work/life balance while assuring project deadlines are met, and our clients consistently get the support they need.
Cindy Martens, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is manager of recruitment and retention at Affinis Corp. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.