We live and work in a 24x7 world. We're always on, never far from a screen that is badgering us with email, advertising, notifications, offers, inducements. It's little wonder that so much is written about mental health. The ability to switch off and to recharge is becoming ever harder.
I was interested therefore to read Justin Bariso's article in Inc magazine over the weekend. The thoughts he expresses about the impact of Elon Musk's work ethic and expectations on his workforce struck a real chord with me.
I'm lucky to work for an organisation that strives to provide the right work life balance. A company where vacation is generous; where there is a range of benefits (including paid subscriptions to Mindfulness apps such as Calm and Headspace); where we are not expected to be always on; and where the leadership is committed to personal well being. I can't imagine working for a leader who expects the type of sacrifices that Musk is asking of his people.
Bariso is spot on when he says that the best companies treat their employees as real people as opposed to disposable commodities. Our mission to be the best agency our people will ever work for is grounded in this principle. And you know what, judging by our team satisfaction scores, it appears to work!
In contrast, the most effective mission-driven organizations encourage balance and taking care of oneself. They realize that anything other than that is foolish and will hurt the cause in the end, in the form of damaged workers and, subsequently, damaged culture. Yes, the best organizations use their messaging to inspire their people and reach them on an emotional level. But they do so while keeping their individual needs in mind. The best organizations encourage their people to get enough sleep by not sending emails at 1 in the morning.