The Art of Work-Life Balance feat. Summer Fridays

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It’s 4:45 pm. Your day was flawless. You killed that 11 am presentation, took a break at 11:45, and even had time to squeeze a Yin yoga session in while you waited for your food order to be ready. Then you ate, you got back to it and now you’re not only done with work for the day but ahead of your work for the week? 

Now your workday is over 15 minutes early because dreams do come true. It’s time to sign off and you actually do. That’s probably a good thing because you have 6:00 reservations with your mom and aunty at that Italian restaurant you’ve Yelped and drooled over about 8,000 times since you first heard about it. 

After a delicious food-coma-inducing dinner where you laughed, shared bruschetta, and enjoyed an over-the-top dessert without any thought of work, you make it home and get started on your night routine. You sneak a 15-minute meditation in, hop on the couch with your pup and get into the newest book in your stash, have the most delightful pre-bed cup of tea, and put your head down until the next equally well-balanced morning. 

Okay, stop. Did we accidentally step into a utopian novel? Because in all honesty, life is so much more imperfect than that pristine vision of what work-life balance could be. 

Many never see 4:45 pm days or on-time dinners with family after work. Many struggle with the very titular work-life balance I’m talking about. I know at a point in my life work permeated my off-the-clock thoughts to the point where my morning alarm clock became nothing more than a self-narration of my endless to-do list. And it’s no wonder why so much of my time out of work was still spent on it. 

In a 2019 study by ResuceTime, it was reported that 26% of work is done outside of regular working hours since 40.1% of workers’ days are spent multitasking with communication. While this statistic may not ring true for everyone, what does it tell us?

Balance is something everyone needs to stay above water. Like we talked about in our latest meditation blog, that balance is difficult to hit even in normal times. But with the pandemic making home the office for millions, including the team at Advertise Purple, working hours blend a little too well with our personal hours. 

Sometimes the disappearance of that line between our personal lives and work lives can make achieving a work-life balance feel like a bit of a pipe dream. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Work-life balance is vital, as we know, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. The most important things are being present, reducing stress, and balancing both the physical and the mental to prevent the all-too-common workplace burnout. But that’s just me. Some of the team have other things to add about the importance of this balance. 

“Work-life balance is important because I greatly value and prioritize mental health. I consider myself a very hard-working person, and if you push yourself too much, you will get burned out and do more harm than good,” says Riley G. “As a result, I think it is essential to work hard and strive for success in your career, but never be consistently overexerting yourself to the point that beyond work you have no time or energy to do the things you enjoy. I strongly believe that you will be more successful if you achieve a solid work-life balance than if you never left your desk.”

And to that, I think so many of us can agree. Just ask Marissa V. “Work-life balance honestly maintains my mental health. I’ve been striving to focus on mental health for years, especially during the pandemic,” she says. “I feel not taking breaks or creating a healthy balance for yourself creates an unclear mind making it harder to work and focus. I have learned that when I give myself the time I need to relax and recharge even just on a Sunday, I feel so refreshed starting the work week on that note.”

They’re both right on target. No matter how hard-working you are, burnout is inevitable without the implementation of balance. With that, a big question I have is: What constitutes a good work-life balance? I thought I’d seek out a little help in answering that, so I chatted with a few of our team members to see what they thought. The answers varied from person to person, but collectively, everyone agrees these are important elements: 

  1. Time management to ensure you’re getting your work done without having to catch up on it after work hours
  2. Setting boundaries as much as you are goals
  3. Getting the rest you need
  4. Making time for yourself during the workday 
  5. Unplugging after work and focusing on the present
  6. Always having something to look forward to 

The next question that naturally pops up is, how does Advertise Purple deliver on those?

“I’ve been with Advertise Purple for over three and a half years now and I have always been able to check-in and out of work as I please, especially during this pandemic and in our current remote situation,” says Justin Y of his experience with our culture of work-life balance. “The work-life balance here has been good. When I’m not working, I rarely have work-related thoughts looming over me and weighing my nights or weekends down.” 

When I spoke with Christina F, she actually touched on some of what Justin said about being able to tap into and out of work so freely.  “Everyone has a lot of autonomy and respect. So long as they’re getting their work done, it’s totally cool to adjust your hours to squeeze in a workout class or go for a walk to break up the workday,” she says. “We also have an unlimited paid time off policy, so if you make sure that your work is handled for proper coverage, you can take the time you need. I’ve personally even needed to take off for a mental health day here and there since we’ve been in a pandemic. I couldn’t be more grateful to work for a company whose culture allows for and encourages that.” 

While unlimited paid time off is an incredible win for everyone at Advertise Purple when it comes to promoting balance, we’ve got more than just that up our collective sleeve.

When it comes to promoting balance for our team, unlimited paid time off is without a doubt the creme de la creme, but so is a little something we call Summer Fridays. And no, it’s not a tropical-inspired beverage, it’s an almost year-round thing at Ad Purp where we get to experience the joy of summer in the form of ending our Fridays at 3:30. 

This balmy-sounding weekly vibe was inspired by one of the affiliate networks we partner with but officially established in 2018 by Marissa after she pitched it to our CEO, Kyle Mitnick.  “At Ad Purp, we’re always looking to get outside and have some fun, especially in the summer,” she says.”It really always goes back to the work hard, play hard mindset.” 

So, what does the team think of Summer Fridays? Let’s ask a few. 

Eidan S: “I have a very deep appreciation for Summer Fridays. That’s because, in Judaism, Friday kicks off the Shabbos, which is a day meant for resting and spending time with family. So those few extra hours that we get on Fridays, I use that to spend time with my family, cook, and get ready for a restful weekend.” 

Justin Y: “Summer Fridays are great. When we were in the office, getting to leave the office at 3:30 pm on Fridays helped a lot for us who had longer commutes or things to do on Friday nights. We have unlimited paid time off as well, which is nice to have. The Summer Fridays that I have been able to take advantage of are amazing. Getting off 90 minutes early may not seem like much, but it makes a ton of difference!” 

Riley G: “Summer Fridays are the BEST! The week always seems more manageable knowing that I will have a little extra free time on Friday. Not to mention how helpful it is to get a jump start on LA traffic if you’re heading out of town for the weekend!” 

Like Justin said, getting off 90 minutes earlier is bigger than it seems. Especially if it means that we can make more time for our families, prepare to honor religious practices, and beat the LA traffic. And in a broader sense, Summer Fridays are just the tip of the iceberg for Advertise Purple’s initiative to get us to live more life. 

“The beauty of the culture of Ad Purp is even though we’re an agency, you aren’t pressured to work after hours like in others. That’s actually something rare and something I don’t take for granted,” says Eidan. I think about my daughter most these days and how I’ll spend time with her after work and during the weekends. I’m enjoying these precious moments and appreciate that I get to work from home and watch her grow up.” 

And what, I ask, is better than that? I’ll wait. 

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