Snow Day ~ by Christina Stewart

Snow Day

The view from my office window today

The view from my office window today

“School’s Cancelled due to Snow” These are probably the five best words that a kid can hear. But for me, it used to be quite the opposite. These five words used to send me scrambling.  Those five plus the dreaded six words: “Mom, I’m too sick for school” and my worst three ever: “Professional Development Day.”  

But then I started Praxis.  I started my business to be able to build the flexibility into my life that eliminated trying to find some kind of work/life balance. Since I was in charge, I could schedule, cancel, assign and take on the work I wanted on my own terms.  Sure there are still client meetings, trips to Nanaimo and late night report writing but I’m the one fitting them in on my own terms.  I like get up early and get a jump on the day when the house is dark and quiet.  Then by 3:00 when the kids are out of school, I’m done with work and able to focus on them.   

But wait – I’m in the business of HR and building strong, functioning teams, right? So why does this only exist for me as an owner of a small business?  Well, I don’t think it should.  Take our Praxis workplace: None of our employees has a schedule.  How about that!  No schedule.  They have work that needs to get done and parameters on how to do the work and deadlines for completion just like anywhere else, but how and when they get to it is up to them.  This isn’t about providing flexibility to employees with a family either - none of my employees have school aged kids and some don’t have any. It’s about life outside of work and filling it up with the things that will be enjoyed.  The 20/30/40 hours that someone is working is only a small portion of each week.

I work with my clients to ensure that their people – their absolute greatest asset – are engaged and connected to each other and to the organization and its purpose.  That’s my job and when I’m able to ensure that my family is tended to I have more freedom of mind to tend to my business and my clients and my own team - quadruple win.  Just imagine what it would be like if all of us – owners, leaders, and individual contributors had the same opportunity? When I look ahead to the future of work and workers, I see organizations that focus on the results and not the hours that an employee puts in.

Snow days shouldn’t just be fun for kids.

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