Since 1996, I have been in business as an organizational and community development consultant. Even though it certainly has its challenges to be self-employed, I have never regretted it. Since then, I sleep better at night, I am much happier and creative at work, and I have enjoyed working on different projects, meeting different people, travel to various places and continue to learn plenty on a daily basis.
I have always been a very responsible worker. However, being self-employed has increased my ownership over the work I am blessed with. Flexibility and choice are indeed at the core of my boosted joy and motivation at work. The flexibility that applies to most regular work settings is the leverage over how I use my time. If I am having problems concentrating, or need time to think through a topic, I can go and take a walk at the park or shore… or go to the gym. While swimming or after a great swim, I have often figured out more creative solutions to complicated scenarios. Moreover, I often go shopping or to meet colleagues at lower-traffic times and when stores are less crowded.
In the non-profit world, it is common that employees take time off when a special personal need arises. This is the case as most employees work more hours than they are paid for, often attending evening meetings or weekend events. When it works well, “I am flexible for you since the organization is flexible for me” is the unspoken organizational practice. And, by in large, organizations get the better part of the deal.
It is really thrilling that the corporate world is further developing this practice. Genentech, for instance, is very well-known for being exemplary in terms of how it motivates and treats its employees. Among many organizational features, it has on site childcare and allows its employees to go to their paid gyms when their schedules allow them to do so. Wouldn’t you be happier and produce more at work in an environment when your personal needs are considered?