It’s been very interesting to me to see how some folks are re-evaluating their work/life balance in the wake of reading Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography (most famously, this story). I’ve been making some of the same evaluations over the last few years following the birth of my daughter.
This isn’t a new thing for me. I’ve always worked hard, often with long hours – mainly because I love building things. Finding a good balance that provides for both a rewarding work life and a rewarding home life isn’t easy.1
Enabling this balance is something that’s been important to me in the Crowd Favorite team culture. I’ve been through the 80 hour week startup environment and seen how it burns out great people. I want an environment where people work hard and build great stuff, but are able to do so while maintaining balance. I want to keep my team engaged long-term, I don’t want to burn them out and use them up in the name of meeting some unreasonable schedule.
Saying you believe in a healthy work/life balance is one thing – lots of companies say they value it; for Crowd Favorite I’ve taken a pretty big step to back it up. As of last week, Crowd Favorite has a mountain retreat in Breckenridge.
Everyone is pretty excited about this. Each team member gets exclusive use of the place for one week a year (with their family, friends, etc.). When it’s not spoken for, anyone on the team can claim a bedroom and head up. I’m hoping that it will be an opportunity for the team to hang out together outside of the office (which, in turn, leads to working together better when in the office).
Not only does this reinforce that we’re a team that believes in a healthy work/life balance, but it also encourages everyone to get out and do something active. I’ve got a great team, and I’m really pleased to be able to provide this as a reward. Hopefully it will help with recruiting as well – did I mention we’re hiring?
The basic pitch? Work on great projects with a great team in beautiful Colorado. Use the latest and greatest technology and techniques. Work with and contribute to Open Source (particularly WordPress). All in a collaborative developer-centric environment and without the 60-80 hour work week you get with the typical “startup” environment.
- This is actually another reason for the move from the Bay Area to Denver – a slightly slower pace of life and more enjoying getting out and doing things. I never really set out to build a team, but when presented with the opportunity to work on interesting projects with great clients… growing the team has been the natural response. ↩