“If you don’t design your life, someone else will design it for you.”
These are the wise words of Nigel Marsh, photojournalist, author, and entrepreneur. We began this week’s office meeting with Marsh’s TedTalk from 2010, which is perhaps more relevant now than ever. While the whole Flood Marketing team has a lot in common, we are a diverse collection of people at varying stages of life, with different interests, obligations, responsibilities, and goals.
Often, the first thoughts that come to mind when “work-life balance” is mentioned are of those who are married with children. Yet no matter where we fall in the scheme life, married with four kids or single with two dogs, there is always a part of us left at home each day we step through the door at work. The subconscious remains in our minds throughout the day. Switching of gears between work and home life, so that we may be present and cognizant of the matters at hand, is not as simple as just that. But all of us agree that once we’ve physically left the office for the day, it’s important to mentally leave our jobs also.
When we take work home with us, the quality of our personal lives will take the backseat. The omnipresence of work obligation can cause tension in relationships, strain in maintaining friendships, neglect of chores, duties, and other things that just need to get done. To regularly bypass things on the to-do list at home, even those seemingly small things can potentially come back around to affect workplace performance. Although many companies are making it “easier” for employees to balance their personal and professional lives, Marsh warns that the in-office daycares, flex-schedules, and casual Fridays only “mask the core issue, which is that certain job and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being meaningfully engaged on a day-to-day basis with a young family.”
The experience of being part of the Flood Marketing team is, besides professional, very familial. Yet, many of us have young families of our own at home. The strong bond we all share with one another, as well as the belief that we should be leaving our work on the third-floor loft of the Old Press Building on Main Street in Sheridan, encourages us to find balance as a team. When one of our team members are out of the office or needs a moment to put work on hold, others fill in and shift to ensure that obligations are fulfilled and the necessary work gets completed. We are incredibly lucky to have understanding leadership, projects, and campaigns teams that cater to shifting needs when it comes to personal life matters.
While we love designing logos, websites, and brands, Flood is not in the business of “designing” lifestyles that perpetually revolve around the [incredible] work we do here. The culture is unique, in that we all truly care about each other’s health, well-being, and quality of life. This includes having concern for our teammates’ personal obligations and families. Be it working from the coffee shop down the street on those days we just need new surroundings, or time away to care for family, trust comes in knowing that everyone’s best work is divulged when we, as individuals, are at our best! You won’t find an in-office daycare or tricky benefits that make us think we are getting more time for ourselves. Here, we are a collective group of people that care.