Updated on Jan 9th 2019 with the full video.
Why talk about work life balance?
With the “always-on” nature of digital business, studies show that more than 40% of all workers face high stress in their jobs, negatively affecting their productivity, health, and family stability.
As a mum for the last 10 years and a professional for 20 year mainly in large global corporations like Accenture, Johnson & Johnson, Clarins, eBay and PayPal, it’s a topic that is dear to my heart.
From the moment I graduated from Business School and started a career, I have always struggled to figure out what was the right thing to do and what not to do. I read Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg, I read Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel, saw many female Managing Directors and still couldn’t find a model to follow.
Then I started catching up with my closest girlfriends who studies with me at HEC Paris and realized how lucky I was to enjoy so much flexibility today at OneStepCheckout. And now, valuing flexibility over career and money is really becoming a trend!
Then the opportunity to submit a paper for Meet Magento New York came up. It was certainly an event we should not miss, for many reasons. So here is below what I put together and I hope it resonates with you.
Meet Magento New York talk
Inspired by my personal experience, I went to look for research papers and case studies around employees need to both be able to spend time as work and fulfill their personal commitments.
During my talk at Meet Magento Germany in July, I noticed that the audience responded much better to figures and stats than stories so with no further due, here is the full video of my talk.
If like me you are put off by videos who last more than 1 minute, here is the break down for you:
- Start: Introduction, I got a bit emotional as presented on the very day my son turned 10 🙁
- 2’47: Case Studies
- 9’55: Panel with tips and takeaways from Beth and Gentian Shero from Shero Agency based in New York and Carmen Bremen, freelancer at Neoshops based in Germany.
20 minutes fly really fast and didn’t allow to cover as much as I wanted. So as a follow up, here are more resources about Work Life Balance including studies and articles I used to show why implementing initiatives to improve your employee’s well being is beneficial for everyone, on all levels.
Case Study 1: Perpetual Guardian lets employees work 4 days and pay them 5
- Would You Like to Work 4 Days and Get Paid for 5? by Inc.com 23 July 2018
Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’ by the Guardian.com 20 July 018
Case study 2: Price Waterhouse Coopers found out what their employees really really want
- PwC tells new staff they can choose what hours to work – BBC News – 30 August 2018
- PwC’s NextGen: A global generational study – Pwc.com 2013
Case Study 3: Norway and its life philosophy applied to a Magento extension vendor
“An important aspect of work-life balance is the amount of time a person spends at work. Evidence suggests that long work hours may impair personal health, jeopardise safety and increase stress. 1 in every 8 employees in the OECD works 50 hours or more per week.”
Break down of the virtuous circle:
- Work remotely: save on commuting time, run your errands when there is less queue
- Work flexible hours: when it’s more quiet and you can be the most productive
Does the below looks familiar?
Creativity, Engagement, Energy
- Your stress is reduced as you know you have some time to manage your personal lives commitments
- You can spend more time with other things that give you energy, pleasure and confidence (assuming work already give you some of that, otherwise, change job right now), you are much stronger person as a whole
Ever had an idea in the shower? Now you can have many showers a day….nah, but your brains get pumped with more oxygen so a stroll on the beach, a run, will have the same effect creating more light bulb moments!
Attracting and retaining unique profiles
Unique in our experience and expertise: we all had 10 to 15 year experience before joining our company and our competencies are all complementary i.e:
- a serial entrepreneur
- a coding genius who makes the best automated processes that support our business
- a Senior developer with a law degree
- a Support Manager who speaks English, French, Portuguese, Estonian, Russian, travelling the world (read more about the incredible life of Madis)
- a Potato, which in Norwegian describe a person who can do everything i.e. photoshop, accounting, our website, GDPR officer and much more etc…
- an international marketing and communications expert
Unique in our motivation to have time for other things rather than short term money or a corporate career
Keep building on experience, expertise, knowledge, relationships
- That’s why we can boast over 25,000 hours of development and support just on the area of Checkout for Magento by the same people since 2010.
- All those cases that we see first hand by talking to our customers stay, not in our system but also in our heads and heart.
- We nourish long term relationships with our agency partners, complementary extensions, Magento staff etc… some even become friends!
Productivity and Focus
- With our previous experience and our current knowledge of the Magento market we can make strategic choices that provides a competitive advantage and business growth.
- We use our creativity to do more work with the same hours.
We make do with our own bootstrapped happy and flexible resources.
More about Family Businesses
In our Panel we invited on purpose Beth and Gentian Shero who, together, run a Magento Agency based in New York. They shared how challenging it is when your work is also your life. We know if resonates with a lot of other agencies, vendors and merchants in the Magento Community so here is a little gem I found about how the next generation of family business leaders are making their mark.
An example of that was presented at Meet Magento Germany 2018, with Foeger, a 65 year old family business going through digital transformation as the only way to increase sales.
More about Mental Health: MageMH.com
My talk didn’t allow to touch much on Mental Health. Good news, Sherrie Rohde, Community Manager at Magento is doing a lot of research on it and has a great talk about the topic.
If you don’t catch her talk, go to magemh.com. This is a brilliant initiative to help the Magento Community get help, inspiration, support and hope.
The Power of Sleep and well-being: thriveglobal.com
One of my first inspiration around this topic is the story of Ariana Huffington, from the Huffington post and media guru who broke her jaw by collapsing on her desk out of exhaustion. Since then she has been advocating very strongly about the power of sleep, meditation, well-being through her platform thriveglobal.com. It includes articles, courses, apps, a community, styling tip, a foundation and much more.