I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately because stress from work has had a major effect on my life.
Physically feeling bad from working was something I did not believe in until it happened to me. Logically, it just did not make sense that simply being at a job could actually cause health issues, but after years of not only working a lot of hours, the pressure to deliver websites in a less than positive office culture caused my autoimmune issues (arthritis being one of them) to become really bad. Being extremely sore in your mid-thirties for no apparent reason is not good.
This got me thinking about about the work, life balance thing and how important it is. Wanting this balance was a major factor in forming Masonry. I really wanted to create a place where we work hard and create quality deliverables but to do it in a way that doesn't create stress for our employees.
The first thing we do is emphasize keeping things in perspective. This sounds cliche but it is something that just makes a lot of sense. At the end of the day work is work. There is no way to avoid having some bad days, so try not to get to low when you have one because for every bad day there will be many more good ones as long as you are treating clients and fellow employees kindly and respectfully (which is another important part of our culture).
Some other things we do to combat stress at Masonry (and therefore hopefully help maintain good health) is to make sure and create an environment that is fun, creative, and flexible. If someone needs to work from home then they should work from home. If they need to be at a coffee shop for creativity, then they should. If they need to spend time with their family, then they should do that. It is a pretty simple concept to that if you give your employees the freedom they want, then they are going to be excited and more fulfilled about the work they are doing.
So start there, and after that ride your bike. Riding a bike is great because you instantly feel like a kid again the second you get on it. If I don't need a car to get to a meeting, I typically ride my bike into to work and it's an amazing way to start the day and improve my productivity. This obviously is a personal opinion but in general it has been proven over and over that exercise is really good for stress, so figuring out a way to squeeze some in everyday is something we recommend.
As a relatively new company, we will continue to make it a priority to make sure our employee’s work life is a positive one. We will always continue to work on processes and capabilities in order to deliver for our clients, but it is equally important to work on the office culture. Masonry will always focus on life outside of work. It's good for the employees, which is good for the company, which is good for our clients. So it's a win for everyone.