Monday, January 9, 2012

The Best Places to Work Fallacy

For some, work is like spending a week at summer camp.

There are plenty of games to be played.  For instance, LivingSocial in Washington, DC energizes its staff with air hockey, Skee-Ball, cupcake eating contests and ziplining.

Your daily needs are met in one place.  Google is famous for its free food in company cafeterias, no charge laundry service and exercise facilities.

And there is an environment that fosters friendships.  Tax software company Intuit hosts what it refers to as “idea jams” to bring employees together.

This the life of employees at companies on Fortune Magazine's list of Best Companies to Work For and Washingtonian’s 50 Great Places to Work.  It’s so very sweet…or is it? 

Every time I read about a company-sponsored yoga class, billiards tournament in a chill out room or free after hours car service, I think here’s a company that aspires to keep you tucked away in their four walls. 

Life is about work, right?  If you’re going to be here 60 or 70 hours a week we might as well make it more tolerable under the guise of a zany culture.

More than four years ago Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) moved to a completely open and flexible work environment.  Work where you want, when you want and how you want.

We count on each other to provide a high level of client service, meet deliverables on time and invest in professional development without the need of a daily pep talk.  We’re all responsible adults. 

Plus, we’ve structured our environment to accommodate this flexibility.  That’s why we outsourced our technology to a partner that makes our entire infrastructure available anywhere there is Internet connectivity.

Is this type of work situation right for everyone?  It’s not.  Some people dig on Foosball.  That’s cool. 

For us, finding an appropriate work/life balance and making sure we spend time with family and friends is paramount.

1 comment:

Maggie McGary said...

I work for one of Washingtonian's "Best Places to Work"...and I couldn't agree with you more. Flexibility and the ability to do your job from where you want, when you want beats rah-rah company stuff, hands down.