Four Reasons to Love a Non 9-5 Work Day!
I spent most of my career working in 9 – 5 (more like 7:30 am – 4:00 pm) jobs. We had a defined work day and a set number of holidays and vacation days. When I started working in the mid-1980s, I had two weeks of vacation and had to be in the office every day. Back in the “old days”, there was no wide spread use of laptops, tablets, or smartphones. In those days, I didn’t even have a desktop PC! Heck, if you had a cell phone, it was the shape of a brick and you carried it in a case that today you’d think was a small suitcase. How times have changed!
Over time, technology improved, laptops and smart phones have become the norm and employees can work from any corner of the world. By the time I left my corporate job, I worked from home a day or two a week and since I lived on the east coast, my company encouraged us to bring our laptops home when inclement weather was forecast. It was great to not fight the snowy icy roads when a winter storm hit. Though I must admit, I did miss the forced day off when mother nature brought us a snowy white blanket!
Since leaving the corporate life, I’ve found rewards and flexibility in working for Bracken Marketing.
Here are four of the reasons that I love the non 9 – 5 work life.
Location: Our team is distributed across the globe (we live across 3 continents to be precise). We work from our home offices, dining rooms, bedrooms, friends’ houses, coffee shops, and even hotels now and then. As long as you have an internet connection, you can work.
Working hours: With a global team, we all make allowances for the time differences involved with that. Some days I’m on a call with Europe at 7 am (I live in California). Other days, my teammates in Europe will participate in a call at 8 pm their time. Our global footprint is also ideal because our clients are located across the globe as well (50% of our client base is international). We are able to respond quickly and get things done in ways that can’t happen when everyone is in a single time zone with fixed hours.
Time away from work: Besides my work as a content manager for Bracken Marketing, I volunteer with Meals on Wheels and at my local public library. The flexibility of a job that doesn’t slot you into a specific time schedule allows me to serve my community. My teammates do other work and have interest beyond Bracken Marketing. Having the flexibility of working when you want as long as you get things done is invaluable.
Vacations/Holidays: Technology has changed the way we all take vacations and holidays. I’m a passionate hockey fan (Let’s Go Flyers! & Go Kings Go! and yes, it’s okay to have an east coast and west coast team) and travel around the US and Canada to watch my teams play. I’ve been to 27 of the 31 NHL arenas. This season I’ll be crossing three of the final four arenas off of my bucket list. While I’m away, I’ll be checking email, working on projects, attending meetings when I can, and maybe writing my next blog post. There will also be some days that I’ll take a break from work. When and how I work during my trips will be a choice and one supported by Bracken Marketing.
Our team isn’t physically co-located so we work hard to find ways to build personal relationships and community. We have weekly video team calls in which the first 10 minutes are designated for non-work talk, use Slack to share jokes, gifs and interesting business articles, and always take the time to check in on each other ensuring we are aligned on all projects. While this sort of flexible working arrangement isn’t for everyone, it takes discipline, self-motivation, productivity tools, and organizational skills to stay on track. After almost a year of flexible working, I’ve learned so much about myself and what I like and don’t like about working. I could never imagine going back to a “normal” 9 – 5 schedule.