Odd Hours For Our Odd Team: Work-life Balance at Kira

by Brett Willemsen on Feb 16, 2017 10:31:08 AM

Kira at the beach

Work-life balance: Everyone has a different opinion on what is ideal for themselves, for their employees and their families. Some companies like to push their employees to their breaking point, while others like to enforce 30-hour work weeks.

 At Kira, we’re pretty opinionated on this subject, as we are on most things. We are a company that follows the “results only work environment” ideology, but like all things at Kira, we have our own interpretation as to what that means. Everyone on our team knows the expectations set for them, we have our quarterly, weekly, and daily goals, and most importantly we know that those goals have to be realistic. We believe that our workplace environment is so balanced that we need to share it so that you get inspired and make some changes to your environment and produce better results.

Realistic Goals = Realistic Expectations 

One of the most important aspects of maintaining work-life balance at Kira is that we do not set unrealistic, “pie in the sky” goals. Never. Ever. (Not anymore.)

We know that setting unrealistic goals makes our team stressed, miss their targets, and then get more stressed. By having realistic goals, our employees live happier and less stressed lives. In fact, most members of our team do not get into the office until 10:30 am because that’s what works for their life. Most of us work 6-8 hours and then go home with many people changing their schedule on a daily basis. As some proof here’s our internal message channel activity:

Most employers would start pulling their hair out if all of their employees didn’t show up until 10:30 am. At Kira, we openly support this flexibility because it gets us results. We find that people can identify their most effective schedules based on how they want work to fit into their life.

For example, parents in the office might leave the office earlier some days to accommodate child care needs, or night owls might come into the office at 11 am and leave closer to 7 pm. Personally, I work about six hours in the office and one hour from home.


Flex Hours may mean Odd Hours

Because this environment means that you can work where and when you want, people are often responsible for managing themselves to stay on task and on target. However, in a keen startup environment, sometimes this flexibility can lead to people overworking and getting burned out.

For example, when the members of the product team can’t sleep they’ll do code reviews or late night technical reading. We try to call each other out on it if we notice a member of our team working too many hours. We know it’s not healthy and we try to bring attention to it in healthy and fun ways. We’re big fans of The Simpsons.


TGIF

To support our commitment to work-life balance, we also strive to create a fun and healthy team environment. Because what's better than getting to work with friends?

We have a weekly Friday hangout in our main room with beer, soda, and snacks which are all provided by the company at 4:00 pm. The team will usually talk about their weekend plans, play board games, and talk about struggles or successes they’ve had over the past week. If people are still at their desk working too hard, we call them out because we take our healthy balance very seriously.


Team Social Outings

Each department at Kira has a budget for a social outing every two months. Typically, departments will plan an event where all of their employees get together and do a fun activity like ax throwing, board games, or an escape room. And then to unwind and connect even more there is a dinner/drinks portion where significant others and Kira ‘alumni’ (former team members) are encouraged to join.

M100-teamnight.jpgMarketing (and friends) playing board games on a recent department outing 

Flex hours, TGIF, and social outings are only three of the benefits at Kira aimed to provide a comfortable and happy place for our employees to work, so that they can provide their best results. It works well for us, and we believe it could work well for others in a results-based work environment too.

If you'd like to learn more about what it's like working at Kira, visit our Careers page!

 

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This post was written by Brett Willemsen

Brett is a Software Engineer at Kira. He builds software to support a global applicant base, and is in a constant battle to destroy Internet Explorer and Safari.