It can’t be won, but can we at least draw? “Work-life balance” is an often-mentioned term. The need to balance work with personal life has always existed yet it is even more apparent in today’s online world. Still, is it not just a buzzword? Or is it a necessity for survival in modern society?
Is there an ideal solution or are we always to be battered by practice? We have looked for the answers among the Titan’s own. Can we put aside our helmets and shields, our phones and laptops? Are we able to turn off the work mode and step calmly into the “mortal world”? Or are we constantly on alert?
A tricky question right off the bat… “There is only life balance and nothing else,” says Jan Fojtů, the Head of Recruitment, who should know something about a balanced life. Our CEO, Jakub Konečný, would use those same words. Such thinking starts to replace the term work-life balance. Why, work should be simply a part of life and not a whole 50% as the term “work-life balance” suggests. In fact, this thought alone is liberating. It tells us that we are not just our job and that personal satisfaction is elementary.
But how does it work in our offices? At 5PM, you can see Honza disappearing into the elevator on his way home. Kuba will have no problem scheduling a meeting with you on his day off. Which one of them leads by a better example? Perhaps, both because each of them arranges his work life according to his own needs. Higher workload and longer hours are, in fact, the lot of all CEOs. We can hardly take Kuba’s work tempo as an example because his relationship to the company, like that to a child, simply is and always will be different than ours.
“I began planning my meetings in such a way that I can make all of them but at the same time have spare time,” says Honza about his time management. “The way I do this is that on Friday, I look over the following week and at the same time I am able to react to changes during the day flexibly. When I need to take care of something I did not plan on a Tuesday, I will amend my calendar not only for Tuesday but for the whole week. Obviously, I also plan for free time activities such as private therapy or family events… So that there is everything including the spare time, travel time etc. I see myself as having only so much time. Therefore from time to time, I prioritise something over other activities planned. Otherwise, I would be shifting work to the weekends, holidays and into the night and the whole time management would collapse,” says Honza.
The Chief Marketing Officer at TITANS CZ, Kristína Poláková is an example of the fact that to each belongs his own. How does she manage her time with a little child?
“Honestly, I feel like I haven’t got the perfect answer for this. It’s a matter of permanent improvisation – I can plan a lot of work commitments, but I am aware that motherhood is something that can reshuffle my whole calendar in a matter of minutes. If my child is sick or just won’t fall asleep in the evening, I will be finishing the work I had promised to do not after 8PM but at 5 in the morning. I am lucky that I work in a team led by men-parents who understand my time management. I work in my “office regime” – making phone calls, attending meetings – primarily until early afternoon but after 3PM, my time belongs mostly to my daughter until she falls asleep again. After that, I can focus on work which requires no further synchronisation with my colleagues. Of course, the support of a partner or another person is essential,” says Kristína.
We looked at the life balance in our midst and the results are not bad… A definite positive is that most people are happy or mostly happy with their arrangement. More than half of them can actively think about their work outside of working hours. Whenever an idea or a “reminder” pops up. What is really great is that most Titans can set up boundaries and can say “no.” At the same time, it seems that there is nobody among us who would be refusing everything and everybody. 😀
Nearly 40% of Titans stated in our survey that they take work home, 12% regularly work in the evenings. And nearly 40% make use of the weekends to work through backlogs. From this it might seem that we are a bunch of workaholics. However, we did not ask who of those working in the evenings leave the office after lunch or who works like a horse all week to have an easy Friday. All of this is made possible by our company’s culture and its operation. Ultimately, the most important question seems to be whether we are happy with our arrangement. And it seems that most of us are. 😊
To balance work with everything else in our lives can often be a struggle. A struggle to secure as much time for family, hobbies and rest as possible. A struggle to fit everything that needs doing into 24 hours without running neither a marathon nor a sprint. John Amos Comenius’ legendary model of a balanced life might spring to mind. Therein, each of the three main activities takes up exactly eight hours: eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work and eight hours of leisure. But Comenius did not live in the digital age; his writing did not send notifications to him and his pupils did not pursue him by email.
Still, it seems that at the TITANS, everybody works according to their own needs and there is no one recipe for happiness. Whether you work at weekends and have free evenings. Whether you prefer getting up early in order to have a free afternoon, or whether you work in the evenings and go to the gym after lunch or enjoy the daylight with the kids. To put it simply…when you are a Titan, everything is possible.
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