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How Do Developers Define Work/Life Balance?

  • Post published:February 26, 2015

Work/life balance is perhaps the hottest topic in business; how does one juggle professional versus personal lives, how much time at work is too much and what hours are best kept?

Is this “balance” even possible?

It may seem counterintuitive given the late nights and irregular hours that developers keep, but this industry may well have written the book on work/life balance. No developer maintains a traditional schedule, and for this reason the issue is particularly relevant.

A schedule that falls into place.

Contrary to business blog scare tactics and industry lore, it’s not that the late hour effectively lays ruin to our lives but instead that our lives tend to wrap seamlessly around the hours we need to keep. Every industry has its own schedule based on the best possible results: morning shows can’t be hosted in the late hours. No rock concerts are held in the early morning. It’s in this way that the natural process unfolds; every industry has its own ideal clock, most often dictated by the audience or, in our case, the client.

Just because hours are untraditional doesn’t mean they’re harmful.

In some cases, a business will never truly shut down; a restaurant, for example. Shift after shift of workers will enter and exit through a 24-hour timespan, prepping, cooking and serving. We consider ourselves lucky in that if we’re working night or early morning hours, chances are we’ve had a wonderful afternoon to enjoy with family prior; our work is productivity-based. It’s up to us how we divvy it, and therein lies the secret.

Our General Manager, Fahad, addresses the matter by looking outside of the box:

In the position that I have, availability matters a lot more than working time; these designations fulfill entirely different needs. If there’s a late night or early morning meeting I need to attend, I typically schedule time at home with my family around that call. Any commitment, weekends, holidays or the wee hours of the night, I’ll be available.

Late nights and late mornings. Excesses of productivity. Days off with the family.

This is what work/life balance means to us, and it truly wasn’t hard to get here.