Introducing… Life-Work Balance

[image: Seven Sisters, Eastbourne — Lola Oguntokun]

We talk a lot about Work-Life Balance. The idea of Work-Life Balance is great and all, but I think the problem is the word “Work” precedes the word “Life”, giving the impression work is above life itself. The pandemic has significantly shifted perspectives, and now so many people have had to embed their work lives into their personal lives, we are all currently re-thinking the future.

What do I want my life to look like? What is important to me? Do I want to spend the majority of my time living or working? Do I want to continue doing both? If I continue doing both — what do I want that to look like? How can I make sure I have more quality time with the people I love? How can I make sure I have time to do the things I love and create new personal experiences? How do I ensure I am living a life of deep quality and balance?

Another popular conversation is that of Living to Work vs Working to Live. Even here, I feel we are unnecessarily pitting two ways of living against each other. For those who want to work, the goal is to have a job that is your main hobby; you should be having fun, you should be learning, you should be creating, you should be growing, you should be challenged. If we considered work in this way, maybe we wouldn’t see it so much as a means to an end.

What do you want for your life? We’ve got this unique opportunity to reset the matrix, and decide how we mean to go on. Please take it.

[image: Cranbrook, Kent — Lola Oguntokun]

This is a time for reflection and action.

With this in mind, my current company has done something very special and courageous. Understanding the toll of the past year, Silverfin is trying to help team members get their lives back. From this month (April 2021), Silverfin will down tools every third Friday of the month for the rest of the year. These off days will sit outside of annual leave or wellbeing leave quotas. Three-day weekends once a month until the end of 2021?! What a bold move! 😮 🙌🏾 🤩

I’ll admit, last year, we were a little too hopeful about how quickly the panic would die down, and did not support team members enough at the time. We have now implemented a number of initiatives to support our people much more effectively, but this company-wide shut down stands out significantly and honestly, warms my heart. We are giving people the space to work on their lives and recalibrate as we readjust… again.

Stefaan Arryn, VP People at Silverfin, has a fantastic and open article about the initiative that you can read here.

A special shout-out goes to our Co-Founders, Joris Van Der Gucht and Tim Vandecasteele, for fully supporting this groundbreaking initiative.

Our first company-wide Wellbeing Day was on Friday 16th April. I had a wonderful day and have shared some footage from the day in a short video below. The recording was actually for another reason but I thought it would be fun (and funny) to share with you. (NB: I have to apologise in advance for the video you’re about to watch. I asked for a 2 second recording, and someone got a little excited. 🤦🏾‍♀️ )

I’m so grateful to work for a company that gives a flying lotus about wellbeing. 🧘🏾‍♀️

Less Work-Life Balance, More Life-Work Balance. 🥰

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Lola Oguntokun

Lola Oguntokun

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I help build, shape and champion innovative companies and culture.