At Geben, delivering our clients the highest quality results is top priority for employees and for the company as a whole. So it is important to create a culture that allows for our employees to work when and where they are most productive. If you’re familiar with our House Rules, you know #5 is Design your day. What does this mean, exactly?
“Design your day” means identifying ways to structure your day or week in a way that maximizes energy and productivity. We’ve found several ways to make sure everyone here is able to do so:
Flexibility is Key
I don’t think anyone in this line of work should be tied to a desk from 9:00 to 5:00. Since social media doesn’t close up shop at 5:00 p.m. in any time zone, occasionally I have to ask my employees to be available after hours. If I expect them to be available after traditional office hours, that means I need to provide flexibility during the traditional work day for work-life balance so they don’t burn themselves out.
Designing your day should include working from somewhere you can feel truly energized and focused. (We call it a #WorkAway.) If you have a project that requires a lot of concentration or creativity, or just a list of menial tasks to knock out, take half a day to work somewhere outside the office that’s best suited to help you GSD (get stuff done!).
Time to Recharge Doesn’t Have to Mean “Vacation”
I think it’s unnecessary for employees to take formal “vacation days” every time they might need a break. For instance, my social media strategist recently wrapped up two big plans for a client and is starting another, making for a few extremely busy weeks—on top of his normal community management duties. To make matters a bit more chaotic, he was slated to speak at a conference the weekend between these two heavy weeks! Since he didn’t get a full weekend to decompress, he asked to take off the following Friday to go hiking. My answer? Yes, absolutely! He hustled extra hard to deliver high-quality results in an unusually short amount of time, so then he designs his day (or rather, his week) with time to disconnect and re-energize for projects ahead.
Map Out Your Energy
A helpful exercise I’ve found in designing your day is mapping out your energy levels. Knowing your own daily energy flow can help you design your day to work accordingly. Note your patterns and identify your times of peak energy, then make a point of using that time for the tasks that require you to be in top creative or strategic form. Likewise, identify the times of day when you usually feel the least efficient, and set that time aside for more menial tasks. Understanding both your energy sources and your times of peak energy can help you design your day to maximize creativity and productivity.
Find Your Personal Strategy for Delivering the Best Results
As I mentioned earlier, we’re a very results-driven company, so I want to empower my employees to feel equipped to work at their highest level. Writer’s block? Go for a walk! Impending errand distracting you? Run the errand, then come back to your project with a clear mind. Personally, I leave the office at 4:00 p.m. three days a week so that I can hang out with my son. Sure, I might occasionally have to do some more work after he’s gone to bed, but it’s a small price to pay in return for the fulfillment of designing my day to include plenty of time with my kid.
Design Your Day By Designing Your Team
Even with varying schedules, we have internal systems in place that ensure our bases are always covered. We structure our clients’ accounts so that multiple people work on each account. If someone is out of office or very busy with a project for another client, there is always someone else to pick up any slack—and we watch this very closely so that no client feels under-served. After all, we want every client to feel like they’re our top priority! With this kind of infrastructure in place, we can all trust that our clients are being delivered the highest quality of service.
At the end of the (designed) day, it’s critical to feel empowered—and to feel you’ve empowered your employees—to deliver maximum results while still feeling healthy and energized. Try this trick of designing your day and see what new potential you unleash!