Work-life balance: Think movie, not snapshot
Most of us spend our entire careers trying to find that perfect but often elusive work-life balance. Truth is, work-life balance means something different to everyone, and it constantly evolves. Balance looks much different for a 38-year-old partner than a 22-year-old staff member who recently graduated from college. (Spoiler alert: It gets easier as you go.)
And, if you can look back over the course of a month or a year and “see” a healthy mix of memories from both work and everyday life, well, you’re on the right track.
Balance takes support
Since work-life balance is so highly personal, we’ve put many supports in place to ensure staff always have tools to use as they grow with the firm.
First, as with many things at Plante Moran, we have a principle for that. Co-founder Frank Moran used to say, “The whole person comes to work.” Since Frank’s time, balance has been baked into firm culture.
Next, to uphold that whole person principle, we have a committee. Our Committee champions serve as a resource for staff with challenges and ideas related to improving work-life balance. As champions learn of changing needs among staff, they bring suggestions to the management team for discussion and action.
The key is to think about balance as a movie rather than a snapshot in time.
Finally, we have programs and policies to help staff find balance — and navigate uncertain times, like a pandemic, as well as significant life events. A few of the more notable ones include:
Flexible Time Off
Our flexible time off (FTO) policy allows staff to take time off when they need it most with no need to bank time or worry about PTO availability, provided work objectives continue to be met. With a traditional PTO bank, concern about available time off could distract staff from what’s : their well-being.
Enhanced parental leave
Our leave of absence policy includes a six-week paid parental leave for all new parents, including moms, dads, and adoptive parents. This is in addition to the six to eight weeks of short-term disability benefits the firm provides to birth mothers.
Tax-season day care
To ease family stress during a hectic time of year, we offer free, on-site on tax-season Saturdays at many of our offices. The creative program features a weekly theme with fun activities that incorporate art, math, science, music, drama, and writing workshops.
Alternative work arrangements
Many staff tailor their work schedules. Arrangements are based on , and can include telecommuting, compressed workweeks, part-time schedules, and putting in extra hours during tax season with reduced summer schedules.
Dress for your day
Hugely popular, this program makes denim optional any day of the week, based on your schedule. No client meetings? Break out your jeans — even if it’s not Friday.
To help staff meet their fitness goals, we reimburse 50 percent of athletic expenses up to a maximum of $80 per month. In addition, the policy applies to family gym memberships, online fitness programs, and race fees.
Work-life balance continues to evolve since COVID-19 redefined our lives, transforming what was once known and familiar into something uncertain. We recognize that it’s not always going to be easy, which is why we’re proud to be a firm that emphasizes flexibility, balance, and a variety of supports to ease whatever challenges our staff face.
After all just when you think you’ve achieved that perfect work-life balance … you guessed it: Something changes. So, forget evaluating the snapshot, the brief moment in time, and take a longer view. What’s the work-life mix of scenes in your movie?