We are not ashamed to admit we love to play hard while working hard. Since we are self starters, we find this works great in our Company culture. In fact, more and more studies are showing that a healthy mix of play during work increase productivity, and we’ve certainly found that to be the case at ServerPress.
Just a few weeks ago, Gregg went on a week-long hike in Utah while managing both the marketing and support departments. This week, Stephen took a much needed mini vacation after working 24/7 to deliver DesktopServer 3.8.2. We are able to do this because we made a decision from the beginning to be a remote team. It fits us and our lifestyles.
While it’s true that this may not be right for every company, we have found that when we are able to tend to our personal needs during work hours, whether it’s traveling or home chores, we are more effective at work and far less likely to get burned out. Marc likes to say that there is no such thing as “Work/Life Balance.” There is simply, “Life.”
Even so, though, there was an adjustment period and it did affect our Workflow in the beginning. It was not uncommon for a Team Member to have to track team members down when they had a question. Honestly, communication may not have been what it needed to be in order to make it an efficient system. But, through some planning, trial and error, practice and discipline, we quickly established some structure to accommodate our “Freedom Lifestyle”.
One meeting time, around the World.
One of the things we implemented is that everyone is required to attend our morning status meeting. It’s on everyone’s calendar. Rain or shine, there’s a 9 am PST meeting no matter what time zone you are in around the world. This is the only time each day we solve problems, make last minute feature release decisions and cheer each other on, Together! This can prove to be especially challenging, depending on the number of time zones you’re dealing with. This is why we try to keep the meetings to under 30 minutes. For some, it could either be the interruption in the middle of the day or the much needed break from what they’re doing. Either way, because it’s planned for, it makes it easier for everyone to know what to expect, and when.
One of the purposes of these meetings is that we each announce our “task plan” for the day. The purpose is not to micromanage but to make certain we move forward in the same direction, as a team. The rest of the day, we communicate through Slack. It’s our way to stay connected from day to day.
Coding instead of meeting…
When appropriate, the Project Manager makes the call to cancel a meeting. Last week, for example, we were heavy into coding. There wasn’t much to discuss. We would have ended up talking about the same thing we talked about the day before. It was wiser for us to use that time coding. So, we canceled. This happy medium allows us the luxury to have a proper Workflow on the Team, yet not bombard everyone with pointless meetings.
Work/Life Balance isn’t easy!
Juggling Work and Life isn’t easy but having a balance is very important to us at ServerPress. We make a point of hiring only self motivated team members. We put in extra effort refining a Workflow that makes sense for our Team on a regular basis. Everyone has the freedom to take care of what they need to take care of, including taking time off to refuel. At the same time, development is not slowed down because we play hard while doing what we love! That, to us, is real freedom.
Let us know how you take care of yourself. Do you mix work and play like us? Or do you have dedicated vacation scheduled?
Besides being the Scrum Master at ServerPress, LLC, Jennifer oversees the Product portfolio, leading Projects from conception to launch. When she’s not analyzing Workflow data, she enjoys watching her dogs steal tomatoes from her veggie garden.