This day and age, leaders (especially those leading people outside their own generation) are often questioned. And, speaking for many millennials (which I hate to do but feel must be done), work-life balance in an industry that can be done outside of the office is becoming nonnegotiable. If expected to be connected at all times from all places, there should be the understanding that, I can be productive at all times and from all places. We have moved from a place, as a society, where you did what was ascribed to you into a place where you do what feels natural to you. For instance, I’m my most creative between the hours of 10PM and 1 AM or 4AM and 8AM. I often find myself knocking out the creative side of my job during those hours because, if I try to do it at noon, I’m bound to get it less right than it ought to be.
We know that jobs require work and that this work may not always be fun. What it should be, however, is as flexible as possible. In this day and age, unless you are providing a service or product that requires face to face interaction, just accept the fact that times are changing and being in the office doesn’t mean I’m engaged in the office. Why should I spend 5-10 hours a week in traffic to spend 45 to 50 hours a week at work when I could cut that initial 5-10 in traffic down to 3 to 6 (assuming I come into an office two to three days a week)?
Individual and family time now is more valuable than ever before. Many Americans no longer working in the same profession as our parents and siblings, as was the case in 1776. Our level of awareness helps us realize that we must be given the opportunity to maximize every minute of every day with those we care about, including ourselves.
Help your employees help themselves. Offer them flexibility whenever possible, understanding that they understand they need a job. Bills won’t pay themselves. If you pay them well and give them the respect to get the job done, I bet you’ll see a happier, more efficient professional come into team meetings.
Make professional development a priority.