Bosses promise jobs with a coveted perk: limits

“I like to clarify my expectations early on,” Ms Thatcher said. “Their free time is their free time and it will be respected.”

Many workers are focusing more of their attention on family and non-work activities, and some job seekers are trying to decipher buzzwords in job postings to signal that a role could be a one-way ticket to burnout. professional. Some bosses tell their employees that it’s okay if the job is, well, just a job.

A few employers pledge to respect work-life boundaries in their job postings, and some managers say they prioritize work-life balance discussions in the early stages of the job. recruitment process.

Ms Thatcher, a senior environmental engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation, said her management prospects stemmed from her own early career as a geologist. At the time, she worked 12-hour shifts in an oil field and was on call even when technically absent.

“It took me a long time…to realize that weekends aren’t a treat,” she said. “That’s what I would like to do to move forward for others.”

Ms Thatcher’s service offers flexible scheduling options, such as working four 10-hour days a week or alternating Fridays with longer days in between. Before a member of her team takes time off, Mrs. Thatcher schedules a handover meeting so that notes about projects, deadlines and deliverables that might emerge in that person’s absence can be addressed.

Trivinia Barber, founder and CEO of Priority VA, a staffing agency based near Savannah, Georgia, recently advertised an executive assistant position for an entrepreneur.

“You can expect to be appreciated and respected like never before,” the job description reads. Hundreds of applications poured in and dozens of applicants enthusiastically pressed for an interview because they were impressed with the language, Ms Barber said.

Before posting the job with those promises, Ms Barber says she grilled the executive, Frank Mocerino, to make sure he could live up to the expectations he was setting. Would he call an assistant at 10 p.m.? 4 am? Would they be expected to bring a laptop on vacation? Have Slack on their phone? The answers to all were “no,” which she says made her feel like she could stand behind the ad.

Mr. Mocerino helped found his company in 2015 to focus on wellness and wanted that philosophy to extend to his employees. It may come as no surprise that his company, the Ohm Store, is an online retailer that sells metal bowls used for meditation and runs workshops on the practice. He said he felt people assumed the executive assistant role would require working outside of traditional office hours.

“They deserve to be finished by 4 or 5 p.m. They deserve to not have to check their phone or computer when they’re having dinner with family, hanging out with friends, or putting their kids to bed,” Mocerino said, which is based in Marengo, Illinois.

Katie Kirkpatrick, of Sycamore, Illinois, finally got the job and started this week. She said she was looking for a remote position with flexibility so she could care for her daughter, who was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Initially, she thought the job description was too good to be true, but said she felt reassured by the talks she had had with her new boss.

“It’s a totally different pace for me,” Ms. Kirkpatrick said.

Promises of balance are one thing, but candidates won’t know the realities of any given job situation before they start. Some bosses may not deliver on their promises, and many jobs, especially in a market where it’s been difficult to hire at full capacity, require long hours, extra assignments, and responding to customer inquiries outside of 9 to 5. .

An analysis of thousands of employee reviews on Glassdoor, the job posting and review platform, shows that mentions of limits have increased by nearly 30% between 2019 and this year. According to Glassdoor, three out of four comments about how employers deal with limits were negative.

Ayman Al-Abdullah, executive coach and former CEO of software marketplace AppSumo, said he advises his executive clients to be clear about their expectations early in the interview process. Using terms such as “work-life balance” and “limits” to woo candidates, while only promoting those who work weekends regularly, is not fair, he added.

“The last thing you want is to bait and switch candidates,” Mr Al-Abdullah said.

In April, Charlene Holder and her husband opened a LaVida Massage franchise in Rome, Ga. While hiring massage therapists, she said she spoke from her own experience as a masseuse. One patron, she said, added extra clients to her schedule at the end of the day, making her spend longer hours than she wanted, and booking prenatal massages, a service she specifically said she did not want to do.

One of LaVida’s recent job postings read, “You’ll be working for someone who knows what you’re doing to your body, who knows your passion for healing, and who will respect your boundaries and honor your individuality.”

When Sharlyssa Duncan hired staff earlier this summer for Golden Leaf Studios, her boutique in Missoula, Montana, she let her new team of retailers know they could — and should — set boundaries. at work and that she would help to respect them.

Workers shouldn’t look at the app staff use to communicate if it’s not their shift, and people shouldn’t feel pressured to show up to work if they’re feeling burnt out or anxious, says her during the interview process.

“Their store time is store time,” Ms. Duncan said. “Private time is private time.”

This story was published from a news feed with no text edits.

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