More than a few years ago, I visited a client in Greensboro, NC. I did a little consulting there, but it really wasn’t a longer-term gig.
What stood out to me, after all of these years, is that folks could bring their dogs into work. And everyone seemed to do just that.
- There were dogs roaming free in the halls.
- There were dog play areas.
- There were dogs at their owner’s desks.
- And those that didn’t have dogs were playing with others dogs.
- And yes, there was the occasional “doggie accident” ;-)
It was a wonderful environment. Instead of feeling like an office space, it felt like a home that I was visiting. A comfortable home where the family loved their pets.
Another example, kids
At Menlo Innovations, Rich Sheridan talks about their policy where it’s ok to bring your baby to work and how that all began at Menlo.
It’s only a 2-minute video so I encourage you to take a look.
One of his quotes from it that I really like and that compliments the spirit of this post is –
There is not a work-life balance. There is LIFE.
I love that quote and the intentions behind it…
Aspects of a balanced work environment
One of the things that I think indicates a great working environment is where life or the real world meets the workplace. And the two are wonderfully blended together. Aspects of that might include:
- Spouse and partner-friendly
- Mother and child-friendly
- Working space-friendly (private, shared, work from home)
- Time-friendly (flexible)
- Creative or personalized space-friendly
To be honest, I’m an avid pet lover. I’ve dedicated my recent books to my dogs Foster and Bentley, who are no longer with us. In fact, this posts portrait is of Foster.
So, you might say I’m a little soft when it comes to animals. And kids for that matter, as I have four of them and four grandchildren as well.
But I think we need to start considering BALANCE in our workplaces that brings life back into them. So that are people can bring their whole selves to work and we can incorporate that into our work, our play, our customers, our products and our lives.
But as Rich said in the video, don’t tell the HR department ;-)
Stay agile my friends,