Sometime between 341 - 270 BCE, the ancient Greek philosopher and sage Epicurus advised, “Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.” About 2,000 years later, the Gustave Flaubert suggests, “[Being] steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.”
In the 1970s and 80s, overly-stressed baby boomers modernized past pearls of wisdom into the term “work-life balance.” They chased success at work, home, and play. And were seemingly unaware the beloved poet of the time, Shel Silverstein, had already asked and answered: “How much good [is] inside a day? Depends on how good you live ‘em.”
Generation X took these words to heart, replacing vacation and sick days with “paid time off” (PTO). They used this non-specific term to describe days off for any life activity away from the office. And now, Gen Z is raising the ante on the Millennials' transition from “work-life balance” to “work-life integration.” What’s the difference? Integration suggests a theoretically seamless merging of work and life, whereas the former indicates unblendable, opposite conditions.
Why do employers need to understand this timeline? If you’re trying to attract and retain top talent, keep in mind people are evaluating job offers based on desired work-life balance. Today’s candidates choose lifestyles and then find jobs, and work environments, to match.
So, recruiters, if you need ideas to grow a work-life culture job seekers want to join, here are some ways Career Fair+(CF+) is doing it.
All remote, all together
CF+ is a 100% remote team. Most of us are in the United States, some overseas, and others change locations regularly. Like most organizations, we use cloud-based video conferencing, messaging, and task management software for daily workflow. We also use it to connect and have fun.
What’s QOTD? Question of the Day, of course! If it’s noon Eastern time, we’re waiting for the “take a break” chime that brings us together in the Random channel. Customer Success Representative Adriana initiated the QOTD because, “I wanted a fun way to learn more about everyone, especially the tidbits that start debates like ‘what’s the best breakfast cereal? I also enjoy the entertaining brain break!”
The questions are interesting, and the answers spark the exchanges that connect us across time zones. So, in the spirit of paying it forward, share a few of our favorites with your team now and follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook for more:
- What’s the best breakfast food?
- Are there more doors or wheels in the world?
- It’s “Kitchen Klutzes of America Day, so have you ever had a “fail” in the kitchen? Cooking or baking.
- What was your high school mascot?
- It’s World Bicycle Day. Who taught you to ride a bike? Any fun stories?
- What gets you through Monday?
- What was your favorite subject in 3rd grade?
- What kind of chips (crisps ) do you go prefer?
Operations Director Tatiana D.J., appropriately given the initials of her last name, is our CF+ DJ. She’s single-handedly creating a shared playlist with frequent posts. Luckily for us, she likes sharing music because “It can always put you in a mood or take you out of one!” Listen to these tunes, then block time on your team’s (or company’s!) calendar for the inevitable dance party!
- KAYTRANADA - Intimidated (Audio) ft. H.E.R.
- Jimmy Buffett The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful
- Prince and The Revolution - Let's Go Crazy (Live in Syracuse, March 30, 1985)
- Kenny Chesney - No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems
Meditation is a long-recognized path to a calmer, more balanced life. A midday time out, even with your whole remote group, is surprisingly rejuvenating. Take a comfortable seat and try:
- Reset: Decompress Your Body and Mind
- Feeling Overwhelmed SOS
- A Meditation for Reframing Stress
- Guided Meditation in Himalayan Forest
Music, meditation, and keyboard debates about whether you’d rather teleport or fly the friendly skies are only a few ways to balance work and, well, not working. Shared experiences spur inside jokes and side conversations that build relationships beyond meetings. Individual activities can have the same effect.
OOO: The Out of Office Reply
Group relaxation sessions or discussing least favorite household chores isn’t for everyone. And since our jobs are different, it makes sense we’d decompress in unique ways, too. Next time consider sharing a little bit about why you're OOO or how you're spending that out-of-office time. Maybe you’ll inspire whoever’s reading your auto-reply to spend time with friends, kayak, throw pottery, or simply turn off their devices for a while.
We’ll go first. Here are some activities you might read in a CF+ team member’s OOO:
- Scuba diving
- Cleaning my garage
- Hiking up a mountain
- Stand up paddle-boarding
- Cheering for our kids at never-ending sports competitions
- Soaking in the beach, especially the sunrises & sunsets
- Finding new taco spots or other delicious food
- Flying the virtual skies (i.e., video piloting)
What Stephen Covey said
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” You decide what’s urgent; you say what’s important. Whether you’re choosing between deadlines and soccer games or sleep instead of preparing tomorrow’s healthy lunch, strike a balance.
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