With the allowance of flexibility comes experience and dedication. Plain and simple. Sure, companies can get less expensive labor who will work under strict guidelines and set work hours, however, seldom does that person come with the experience and dedication needed to help run a top-notch firm.
As a mother and wife, my family always comes first and I need a workplace that allows flexibility and values and appreciates my personal priorities. As a small company, Integral Engineering Co. has provided me that consideration and flexibility other companies could not, and might not want to offer an employee! At this time in my life, being able to work and travel when needed personally outweighs any financial packages offered by a company.
For some background, I’m from Perth, Western Australia, and have been living in the USA since 2010. I never realized when my family and I left Australia that I would be calling Denver, Colorado, home for the foreseeable future. It was only meant to be a temporary arrangement for my husband’s work but the time went too quickly and we weren’t ready to move back home. Denver is an amazing place to live with an outstanding quality of life and an outdoor lifestyle greatly encouraged. Yes, we miss Australia, our family, friends, fish and chips and the ocean, but we have also created great connections here in Denver and as I say to people we exchanged the ocean for the mountains.
My hometown of Perth, Western Australia
One of the many amazing and beautiful beaches that border Western Australia
I was very fortunate to meet Lacey and gain part-time employment at Integral Engineering Co. in Denver, CO. I’ve now been working at Integral Engineering Co. since 2016 and I love my role as Administrative Assistant Business Development. What has worked so well for me is that Lacey’s views on life align well with mine; having a balance of life, work and family. When I first started working for Integral Engineering Co., Lacey knew that my Mum (Australian spelling) was extremely ill back in Perth. She also knew my family and I travel regularly both domestically and internationally. Because of this, Lacey purchased a laptop for me, allowing me the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world and allowing me to keep up with my day to day, week to week duties and deadlines. It makes me very happy to be able to work from wherever, whenever with Lacey’s 100% support of this working lifestyle!
When I received the news that my Mum had become terminally ill, Lacey didn’t even hesitate to offer me the support I needed to get on the next plane home to be with my family in Australia. There is no price tag on the freedom and compassion Lacey showed me during this emotionally stressful time. For three months, whilst I was back in Australia, and when I wasn’t at the hospital, I would catch up on work, all from 10,000 miles away through email and Skype video calls with Lacey. An employer whose company values correlates with my own personal values is extremely important, and for this, I feel truly blessed.
A bush walking trail - Perth, Western Australia
Elizabeth Quay Bridge - Perth, Western Australia
When I’m not in Australia or traveling elsewhere, I am back in Denver able to work from the comfort of home whether it be in my exercise gear or work attire. Even though a significant portion of my work life is spent at home, I am still in regular contact with Lacey and the rest of the team through phone calls, texting, email, and video calls. Once a week I go to the office for those tasks that need to be handled in person, as well as attending our monthly lunch staff meetings and social catch-ups that occur throughout the year which allows us to feel connected to one another.
Kangaroo in my Perth garden - this big guy is commonly referred to as a “Boomer”
All of these circumstances provide a more balanced, happy and fulfilling life for me and as a consequence of Lacey giving me so much freedom, trust and flexibility during my working hours, it makes me fully committed to the work I am doing throughout the week and dedicated to Integral Engineering Co. I am extremely grateful to have had this professional opportunity and this job that I love so much.
Me getting my last bit of beach time in Perth, before flying back to Denver
Studies have shown again and again, if your employees are happy with their work, this will be demonstrated in the quality of their work, and the work product they create. “Flexibility is not about working less, but it is about encouraging people to work differently. It’s a two-way street. We give our people the flexibility they need when they need it, and sometimes, we need them to give more when business demands require it. When done right, flexibility results in a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce. And it helps attract the best employees, and makes them want to stick around.”
Perhaps you could ask yourself:
Is your business providing you the lifestyle you set out to create? Are there any changes you need to make to live more in your ideal lifestyle?
How about your employees? When was the last time you asked them the same question?
What if you took the time this quarter to sit down with every member of your team to ask them a few questions, such as:
- What are your goals for the next 3-5 years?
- How can we help you achieve those goals? What is your ideal lifestyle?
- On a scale of 1-10 how close are you living to your ideal lifestyle?
- Are there any things we can do to help you get closer to achieving your ideal lifestyle?
- Donovan, Anne. "What PwC Learned from Its Policy of Flexible Work for Everyone." Harvard Business Review, January 28, 2019. https://hbr.org/2019/01/what-pwc-learned-from-its-policy-of-flexible-work-for-everyone