Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Competitive Advantage Of Letting Your Employees Leave at 5:30

I am and have always been a working mother. When I had my first job at a communications company I felt how many do. You have to give a 1000% and never wanted the fact that I had an 18 month yr old child to affect the perception of how hard i worked. To the point that while in the middle of a very stressful week with a client, as a co-ordinator, i was told that even though my daughter had a fever i was not allowed to go home (my only choice was to bring her in and put her on a mattress in a spare office - and by the way, i'm not kidding).

As you move up in your career you get braver. You realize that how much you work or when you work isn't and shouldn't be the marker of what makes you great at what you do.

It's why i love this article with Sheryl Sandberg about how she leaves every day at 5:30 to be with her kids but makes sure people see she is the last and first to email.

And it's funny bc my business partner and I had that exact conversation the other day. He said he likes to be the first in and the last out of the office -- and I laughed and said i like to be the last to email to which he laughed.

What does this all have to do with competitive advantage? The truth is, we all have different lives and different situations. Being flexible enough to allow people to live their lives well will make them not only want to work with you and more importantly on behalf of your brand.

In a market place where who you recruit and retain can make the difference between being just good or absolutely brilliant, it's time to rethink our traditional lenses and understand the competitive advantage of a truly flexible workplace.

(h/t to Katherine Emberly for the Sandberg article)

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