I want to be inspired by every person I work with, and am not inspired by people who are plotting their escape from the office—before they’ve even accepted a job offer.
I get it. When people are considering a new position, they want to know if they’re expected to show face time for 60 hours or more. But instead of voicing their need for work/life balance, they should be asking, “What are your employees passionate about?” This will not only tell them if people in the organization have time to explore their passions, but it will tell them if the person they’re interviewing with actually encourages it. Having a life outside of work is good for the employee, good for managers, and good for business. Here are five reasons why.
1. It Enhances Their Job Skills
Our desktop support analyst spends his free time building apps, and just won second place in the Onramp 2014 Challenge hackathon! While he’s not an engineer here at Jumpstart, he recently helped develop a tool to automate the content tagging QA process—a clear indication his outside interests are having a great impact on his work.
2. It Builds Their Endurance
Everyone knows exercise is good for your mood and sustaining energy, and when you marry that with an innate desire to win, you have a recipe for success. Our director of account management competes in sprint triathlons and brings this get-up-and-go drive to work with her every day. And it shows in the way she interacts with clients and with her colleagues.
3. It Gives Them Perspective
Our head of sales not only has an active social life; he has four kids! He’s able to put a client fire drill into perspective.
4. It Connects Them to the Marketplace
More than one of our employees races cars or has grown up in an automotive family. These people have deep, personal ties to the industry and therefore can truly walk the walk and talk the talk.
5. It Just Makes Them More Fun to be Around
We have the music obsessed, the part-time yogis, the wine aficionados, the 49er super fans—and so many more. These people are fun to work with! Whether I need restaurant recommendations or the scoop on NFL draft picks—all I have to do is turn to one of our cultural know-it-alls.
So, if you’re focused on attracting passionate people who will be high achievers at work, find out what they do in their personal time, and, when they become a part of your organization, encourage them to explore those outside interests. You’ll all be much happier and more productive. And you’ll never have to hear the worn-out work/life balance phrase again.