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Work-Life Balance For Passionate Geeks - #OpenWest

Work-life balance is touted in job postings everywhere - but what does it really mean? If you’re a passionate developer that’s excited about the technology you work with every day, you probably spend a fair bit of time outside of the office doing something that looks a lot like what you do at work. Even if you’re excited about your work, it’s important to find ways to rest, recharge and disconnect periodically. After spending 7 years building a team of passionate developers, I’ve learned that everyone approaches work-life balance differently, with vastly different results.

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Work-Life Balance For Passionate Geeks - #OpenWest

  1. Work/Life Balance For Passionate Geeks Presented by Joshua Warren
  2. OR:
  3. Put That Laptop Down And Come To Bed!
  4. About Me
  5. PHP Developer Working with PHP since 1999
  6. Founder & CEO Founded Creatuity in 2008 PHP Development Firm Focus on the Magento platform I was inspired, in large part, by never wanting to work in a traditional office thanks to the movie ‘Office Space’.
  7. Frequent Conference Presenter Occasional Open Source Contributor Over-Tweeter
  8. Hardware Hacker Avid Sci-Fi Reader Aspiring Author
  9. @JoshuaSWarren
  10. IMPORTANT! Download slides Post comments Leave a rating!
  11. What’s That? Work/Life Balance
  12. –Wikipedia A concept including proper prioritizing between "work" and "lifestyle"
  13. –Wikipedia “Lifestyle” includes health, pleasure, leisure, family & spiritual development/ meditation
  14. Work/Life Balance Used to be simple Work 8 hours making widgets, then go home The widgets didn’t follow you home
  15. Work/Life Balance Today Work 8+ hours Spend an hour driving home Check your work email on your smartphone Finish up “one last bit” of work after dinner
  16. –Every Overworked Developer That’s OK, though, because I love what I do!
  17. Work/Life Integration “If people enjoy what they do, there’s no need to draw strict lines.” —Fortune Magazine Not a bad concept, but…
  18. Work/Life Integration Work/Life Integration, especially when abused by employers, destroys personal boundaries Healthy personal boundaries are critical to self-worth, happiness & fulfillment
  19. The best attempts at work/life integration use technology to allow employees to alter their work to better accommodate their personal life.
  20. The worst attempts at work/life integration use technology and peer pressure to take advantage of passionate, driven employees.
  21. Cui Bono Evaluate a company’s work/life initiatives by asking a simple question - cui bono - “to whose benefit?”
  22. Or: It’s about to get real… The Personal Case For Work/Life Balance
  23. 2,000 Saturdays
  24. #OpenWest The average male in his mid-30’s has 2,000 Saturdays left in his life. Don’t waste them.
  25. 2,000 sounds like a lot - but think about how fast each weekend disappears.
  26. Also, that assumes you reach the average.
  27. Every year, our community loses friends and colleagues well before their time
  28. Work is important, but life is precious, and it’s entirely too short.
  29. Importance of Personal Time Develop and maintain healthy relationships Personal growth & development Happiness & fulfillment
  30. Importance of Personal Time Improve your health Lower stress levels
  31. Or: A slightly less depressing, more business-y segment The Business Case for Work/Life Balance
  32. #OpenWest Tech executives - you’re not running a factory. Stop treating your employees like factory workers.
  33. Studies have linked personal downtime to increases in creativity, memory, learning and problem solving.
  34. Hiring millennials? 40% of them will leave if you don’t have a good work/life balance policy. — Washington Post
  35. In other words - do you want high performing employees who are creative, solve problems and help your business grow? Give your employees downtime!
  36. Or: Stop Working Your Employees To Death Implement Work/Life Balance at Work
  37. #OpenWest Work/life balance is not a perk. It’s an attitude of respect for each employee’s life and need for rest.
  38. Healthy work/life balance requires a culture where employees feel safe disconnecting from work.
  39. Create clear boundaries and expectations between working and non-working times.
  40. Flexible hours and working from home are great, but create a clear boundary that signals to manager and employee when the employee is working.
  41. Flexible hours and remote work are not an excuse or justification for overworking employees.
  42. As an employee - ask for these boundaries if you’re not receiving them.
  43. Popular Options Telecommuting 20+ PTO days Compressed workweek Flexible schedules
  44. These options are great, but implemented on their own without a cultural change, they are often underutilized.
  45. For example - instead of “flexible schedules”, set “core hours”.
  46. Corporate employees of Darden Restaurants have core hours from 9:00AM - 3:30PM
  47. Old culture: all employees must be in the same office at the same time, or they aren’t getting work done
  48. New culture: it’s important for employees to be able to collaborate, but their productivity won’t suffer if they don’t have the exact same hours.
  49. Or: Rediscover Those People and/or Pets Living In Your Home Implement Work/Life Balance at Home
  50. Set boundaries. Determine what you and your family are comfortable with, and stick to it.
  51. For some people, that means work stays at work.
  52. For others, it means getting that last hour of work in after the kids have gone to bed.
  53. Experiment with small changes. I banned laptops from my bedroom and discovered that one change greatly improved my sleep.
  54. #OpenWest Know yourself. Take time to set priorities to help you guide your own personal balance between work and life.
  55. Track all of your time for a week - including time spent at home.
  56. Does your time spent at home match up with your priorities? If not, rearrange until it does.
  57. Treat your personal time the same way you treat your work time.
  58. Would you walk out of a meeting at work for a minor issue at home? Then don’t give up your personal time for a minor issue at work!
  59. Focus on your health
  60. Get better sleep - FitBit Improve your nutrition - MyFitnessPal Get some sort of exercise - FitBit + MyFitnessPal
  61. Even minor improvements to your health will have a noticeable impact on your work/life balance and your enjoyment of life
  62. Or: gl hf Work/Life Balance For Remote Workers
  63. Remote workers tend to have the very best or very worst work/life balance.
  64. Again - it all comes down to boundaries.
  65. Set clear boundaries with everyone involved - both your family and your coworkers.
  66. Ensure your family respects your work time - establish a clear signal when you are ‘at work’.
  67. Ensure your work respects your family time - establish clear rules and expectations of when you will and won’t be reachable.
  68. Find a support group - A coffee shop, a coworking space, a makerspace.
  69. You need an in-person outlet for work-related stress other than your family.
  70. Or: gl hf dd Work/Life Balance For Passionate Geeks
  71. Example: You’re a full-time PHP developer who spends all day working with a custom app in Laravel
  72. Coming home and working on a personal project in Laravel - is it work?
  73. Personal projects closely related to what you do at work aren’t necessarily bad.
  74. The key is balance.
  75. Don’t spend all of your personal time on a project that closely mirrors what you do at work.
  76. Split your personal time between projects similar to your work and completely unrelated projects.
  77. Start small - if you usually work with Symfony at work, learn Laravel at home.
  78. Then, find hobbies in unrelated areas
  79. Spending your downtime learning a new hobby or skill will boost your creativity.
  80. If you’re a software developer, buy an Arduino and start tinkering with circuits.
  81. Combine your interests and your work with new hobbies as well.
  82. For example - I enjoy speaking with developers and trying new beers. I use every trip I take - for work or pleasure - to connect with local user groups and get their recommendation for a good local beer.
  83. Work/life balance is hard. Especially for those of us passionate about our work.
  84. It’s an important topic, and important to get it right - those 2,000 Saturdays will pass by in a blink.
  85. Set aside time for yourself, for your family and for downtime.
  86. Stop and think about how you’re spending your time, and what boundaries you have in place.
  87. #OpenWest Define one boundary between your work and your life and starting Monday, respect that boundary.
  88. Keep In Touch! @JoshuaSWarren