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Work-Life Balance For Passionate Geeks - #OpenWest

Work-Life Balance For Passionate Geeks - #OpenWest

Work-life balance is touted in job postings everywhere - but what does it really mean? If you’re a passionate developer that’s excited about the technology you work with every day, you probably spend a fair bit of time outside of the office doing something that looks a lot like what you do at work. Even if you’re excited about your work, it’s important to find ways to rest, recharge and disconnect periodically. After spending 7 years building a team of passionate developers, I’ve learned that everyone approaches work-life balance differently, with vastly different results.

Joshua Warren

May 08, 2015
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  1. Work/Life Balance For
    Passionate Geeks
    Presented by Joshua Warren

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  2. Put That Laptop Down And
    Come To Bed!

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  3. PHP Developer
    Working with PHP since 1999

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  4. Founder & CEO
    Founded Creatuity in 2008
    PHP Development Firm
    Focus on the Magento platform
    I was inspired, in large part, by never wanting to
    work in a traditional office thanks to the movie
    ‘Office Space’.

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  5. Frequent Conference Presenter
    Occasional Open Source Contributor
    Over-Tweeter

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  6. Hardware Hacker
    Avid Sci-Fi Reader
    Aspiring Author

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  7. JoshuaWarren.com
    @JoshuaSWarren

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  8. IMPORTANT!
    joind.in/13952
    Download slides
    Post comments
    Leave a rating!

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  9. What’s That?
    Work/Life Balance

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  10. –Wikipedia
    A concept including proper
    prioritizing between "work"
    and "lifestyle"

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  11. –Wikipedia
    “Lifestyle” includes health,
    pleasure, leisure, family &
    spiritual development/
    meditation

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  12. Work/Life Balance
    Used to be simple
    Work 8 hours making widgets, then go home
    The widgets didn’t follow you home

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  13. Work/Life Balance Today
    Work 8+ hours
    Spend an hour driving home
    Check your work email on your smartphone
    Finish up “one last bit” of work after dinner

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  14. –Every Overworked Developer
    That’s OK, though, because I love what I do!

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  15. Work/Life Integration
    “If people enjoy what they do, there’s no need
    to draw strict lines.” —Fortune Magazine
    Not a bad concept, but…

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  16. Work/Life Integration
    Work/Life Integration, especially when abused by
    employers, destroys personal boundaries
    Healthy personal boundaries are critical to self-worth,
    happiness & fulfillment

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  17. The best attempts at work/life integration use
    technology to allow employees to alter their work to
    better accommodate their personal life.

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  18. The worst attempts at work/life integration use
    technology and peer pressure to take advantage of
    passionate, driven employees.

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  19. Cui Bono
    Evaluate a company’s work/life initiatives by asking a
    simple question - cui bono - “to whose benefit?”

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  20. Or: It’s about to get real…
    The Personal Case For
    Work/Life Balance

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  21. 2,000 Saturdays

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  22. #OpenWest
    The average male in his mid-30’s
    has 2,000 Saturdays left in his life.
    Don’t waste them.

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  23. 2,000 sounds like a lot - but think about how fast
    each weekend disappears.

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  24. Also, that assumes you reach the average.

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  25. Every year, our community loses friends
    and colleagues well before their time

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  26. Work is important, but life is precious, and
    it’s entirely too short.

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  27. Importance of Personal Time
    Develop and maintain healthy relationships
    Personal growth & development
    Happiness & fulfillment

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  28. Importance of Personal Time
    Improve your health
    Lower stress levels

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  29. Or: A slightly less depressing, more business-y segment
    The Business Case for
    Work/Life Balance

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  30. #OpenWest
    Tech executives - you’re not
    running a factory. Stop treating
    your employees like factory
    workers.

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  31. Studies have linked personal downtime to increases in
    creativity, memory, learning and problem solving.

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  32. Hiring millennials? 40% of them will leave if
    you don’t have a good work/life balance
    policy. — Washington Post

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  33. In other words - do you want high performing
    employees who are creative, solve problems and
    help your business grow?
    Give your employees downtime!

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  34. Or: Stop Working Your Employees To Death
    Implement Work/Life
    Balance at Work

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  35. #OpenWest
    Work/life balance is not a perk. It’s
    an attitude of respect for each
    employee’s life and need for rest.

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  36. Healthy work/life balance requires a culture where
    employees feel safe disconnecting from work.

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  37. Create clear boundaries and expectations between
    working and non-working times.

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  38. Flexible hours and working from home are great, but
    create a clear boundary that signals to manager and
    employee when the employee is working.

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  39. Flexible hours and remote work are not an excuse or
    justification for overworking employees.

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  40. As an employee - ask for these boundaries if you’re not
    receiving them.

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  41. Popular Options
    Telecommuting
    20+ PTO days
    Compressed workweek
    Flexible schedules

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  42. These options are great, but implemented on their own
    without a cultural change, they are often
    underutilized.

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  43. For example - instead of “flexible schedules”, set
    “core hours”.

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  44. Corporate employees of Darden Restaurants have
    core hours from 9:00AM - 3:30PM

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  45. Old culture: all employees must be in the same office
    at the same time, or they aren’t getting work done

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  46. New culture: it’s important for employees to be able
    to collaborate, but their productivity won’t suffer if
    they don’t have the exact same hours.

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  47. Or: Rediscover Those People and/or Pets Living In Your Home
    Implement Work/Life
    Balance at Home

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  48. Set boundaries.
    Determine what you and your family are comfortable
    with, and stick to it.

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  49. For some people, that means work stays at work.

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  50. For others, it means getting that last hour of work in
    after the kids have gone to bed.

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  51. Experiment with small changes.
    I banned laptops from my bedroom and discovered
    that one change greatly improved my sleep.

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  52. #OpenWest
    Know yourself. Take time to set
    priorities to help you guide your
    own personal balance between work
    and life.

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  53. Track all of your time for a week - including time spent
    at home.

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  54. Does your time spent at home match up with your
    priorities? If not, rearrange until it does.

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  55. Treat your personal time the same way you treat your
    work time.

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  56. Would you walk out of a meeting at work for a minor
    issue at home?
    Then don’t give up your personal time for a minor issue
    at work!

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  57. Focus on your health

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  58. Get better sleep - FitBit
    Improve your nutrition - MyFitnessPal
    Get some sort of exercise - FitBit + MyFitnessPal

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  59. Even minor improvements to your health will have a
    noticeable impact on your work/life balance and your
    enjoyment of life

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  60. Or: gl hf
    Work/Life Balance For
    Remote Workers

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  61. Remote workers tend to have the very best or very
    worst work/life balance.

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  62. Again - it all comes down to boundaries.

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  63. Set clear boundaries with everyone involved - both
    your family and your coworkers.

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  64. Ensure your family respects your work time - establish
    a clear signal when you are ‘at work’.

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  65. Ensure your work respects your family time - establish
    clear rules and expectations of when you will and
    won’t be reachable.

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  66. Find a support group - A coffee shop, a coworking
    space, a makerspace.

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  67. You need an in-person outlet for work-related stress
    other than your family.

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  68. Or: gl hf dd
    Work/Life Balance For
    Passionate Geeks

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  69. Example: You’re a full-time PHP developer who spends
    all day working with a custom app in Laravel

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  70. Coming home and working on a personal project in
    Laravel - is it work?

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  71. Personal projects closely related to what you do at
    work aren’t necessarily bad.

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  72. The key is balance.

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  73. Don’t spend all of your personal time on a project that
    closely mirrors what you do at work.

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  74. Split your personal time between projects similar to
    your work and completely unrelated projects.

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  75. Start small - if you usually work with Symfony at work,
    learn Laravel at home.

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  76. Then, find hobbies in unrelated areas

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  77. Spending your downtime learning a new hobby or skill
    will boost your creativity.

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  78. If you’re a software developer, buy an Arduino and start
    tinkering with circuits.

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  79. Combine your interests and your work with new
    hobbies as well.

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  80. For example - I enjoy speaking with developers and
    trying new beers.
    I use every trip I take - for work or pleasure - to connect
    with local user groups and get their recommendation
    for a good local beer.

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  81. Work/life balance is hard. Especially for those of us
    passionate about our work.

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  82. It’s an important topic, and important to get it right -
    those 2,000 Saturdays will pass by in a blink.

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  83. Set aside time for yourself, for your family and for
    downtime.

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  84. Stop and think about how you’re spending your time,
    and what boundaries you have in place.

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  85. #OpenWest
    Define one boundary between your
    work and your life and starting
    Monday, respect that boundary.

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  86. Keep In Touch!
    joind.in/13952
    @JoshuaSWarren
    JoshuaWarren.com

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