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Industry Updates

Get on the YOLO Bus AKA Find Work-Life Balance

toy bus ornament

Friday, March 4, was the National Day of Unplugging. This begs the question, when did you last really unplug? Some companies took the day off Friday, as a mandatory day to relax; but we’re willing to bet you weren’t one of them. As an IT company, you’re required to be present 24/7/365. Unfortunately, this is exactly why there is so much burnout in our industry. The tech industry holds an 18.3% annual turnover rate, meaning that you’re constantly searching for new engineers and can’t quite seem to ever have a full bench. How do we combat this and continue to grow our companies in a way that is healthy, sustainable, and respectful to all of our staff? While we too weren’t among those who shut down the business on Friday to celebrate the National Day of Unplugging, we do take work-life balance EXTREMELY seriously. In fact, at BLOKWORX, regular unplugging is part of our core values.

Get on the YOLO Bus

We call this value “Get on the YOLO Bus.” One day, the team was sitting in an off-site meeting in West Sacramento and our Midwest resident burst into laughter. He happened to see the YOLO Bus drive by and was shocked. Now, if you’re not familiar, West Sacramento is firmly seated in YOLO County. This bus was not exalting the then famous You Only Live Once hashtag. It was a simple county bus, but the name stuck within our core values.

To us, “Get on the YOLO Bus” means don’t take yourself so seriously. Yes, we’re doing extremely important, serious work that must be handled with the utmost care (see our other core values that reference quality, competency, and the long game), but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun with what we’re doing, both at work and at play.

Some would call this mentality, “work hard, play hard,” but we’ve found that mantra embodies people that work extremely hard but never actually get to the play. We call it work-life balance, and we truly mean it. Our team houses a bunch recovering workaholics. We’re also proud to have a few new to the industry that we’re mentoring in the ways of self-care. We understand being chained to a desk. We also understand what it means to break free from those chains.

Without knowing that the National Day of Unplugging was fast approaching, our president, Rob asked the team what they’ve been doing lately to Get on the YOLO Bus. Here’s a compilation of some of our answers in an effort to get to know the BLOKWORX team a little bit better, as well as to help you unplug a bit:

Create an exercise group.

I’ll admit I didn’t really have much success on my Peloton bike before starting work at BLOKWORX. I’d ride in fits and starts, ultimately be disappointed that I wasn’t losing any weight, and hang up the shoes for a while. In my interview, I found out that other team members had bikes. We created our own Peloton tag #BLOKWORX, and an internal #fitworx Slack channel. From there, I was hooked. Now, I live and die by my Peloton ride, run, or strength class. The best part is the team is right there with me celebrating milestones, picking out rides to do together when our brains are fuzzy, and competing on our PRs and pace. This team comradery has created a life-giving, healthy habit for me that I truly enjoy.

Reconnect with family.

The pandemic has done a number on our connections with extended family. Now, it is safe and exciting to re-establish those relationships. Our team has taken this to heart and is scheduling time to enjoy their loved ones both near and far to ensure that they’re connecting with the most important things in life, those around them.

Take a drive.

Working from home, you tend to forget the pleasure of driving the windows down jamming to your favorite tune. Multiple team members suggested getting out for a drive on a regular basis just to tune out the home/work environment even with no where to really go. Never underestimate the freedom of the open road. If your commute used to be your time to relax and unwind, perhaps this work-life balance strategy is for you.

Get out into nature.

Our team takes camping and hiking very seriously. One team member has already booked out ten trips for the summer to their favorite campgrounds. Another is prepping to do his regular trek to the middle of nowhere to avoid cell service and the temptation to work. Another finds joy in hiking ten miles on the weekends. Still another is excited to get out and explore his new home. Whether your nature is ocean, mountains, or the sidewalks of suburbia, take it in.

Weekly Shenanigans.

Our SOC manager has implemented a unique event to unwind during the work week with the team. Every Wednesday, for an hour, we stop our regular work to play party games online. Whether it’s guessing what our teammates doodled, making up hysterical captions, or creating ludicrous brackets about meaningless items, we take time during the week to let loose as a group. This is an extremely important way for our remote team to bond and build connections without the water cooler or lunchroom banter. We all leave shenanigans brighter and better for it.

Maybe you chose to take time to unplug on the National Day of Unplugging. Maybe you’re trying to have better self-care or work-life balance habits. Either way, we encourage you to hop on the YOLO bus with us. After all, you really do only live once.

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