Episode 116.5 – Green Apple Slice


In the Workplace: Improving Employees’ Work-Life Balance

The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a Money article, “In the Workplace: Improving Employees’ Work-Life Balance” by Diane Stafford.


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    Happy New Year! It’s January 1st and it’s a Monday so you get another episode of Green Apple Slices. This is John Garrett coming to you with Rachel Fisch. Happy New Year, Rachel.

    Rachel: Happy New Year, John.

    John: Yeah. I’m so excited that it’s a Monday and it’s the 1st and we get to do a Slices.

    Rachel: I know. There’s simply nothing better, yeah. We gave everybody a break from us for Christmas. That was like our Christmas gift to everybody, was a break from us.

    John: Well, yeah, but excited to be back and hit the ground running here to start out the New Year on the very first day. There’s a great article that I found that we talked through every week, a different article about employee engagement or culture or fun things like that and this one was in Reading Pennsylvania’s newspaper, the Reading Eagle, an article by Diane Stafford titled In the Workplace: Improving employees’ work-life balance.

    Rachel: I kind of feel like I’m not the right co-host.

    John: No, but I love this example. There’s a Tradewind Energy and the CEO of this company in Kansas City mandated that you can’t send any emails between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. If it’s that urgent, then call or text but he saw everyone getting all burned out and was like this is it, I’m just going to step in and have to make this happen.

    Rachel: Right. A couple of the things that I liked about this. So first of all, it’s actually based on the law that they introduced in France, and we actually did an episode of this last year when France came out with that law to really restrict basically the expectations that employers could have on employees.

    He was kind of inspired by this, saying you know, it’s not law but it’s still a really great idea and so went to instill it in his company, Tradewind Energy, but what I found interesting was kind of the challenge that he had in doing it. It’s basically nobody wanted this, everybody thought it was a bad idea, but I believed in it so much that I did it anyway and he didn’t even see results of people were still emailing when they shouldn’t be and I just started calling them out and eventually, the tide started to turn and now, they’re starting to see the fruits of that so I thought that that was pretty cool.

    John: Yeah. I mean I laughed pretty hard too because everyone’s like, that’s impossible, you can’t do that. But yeah, you just use a program. I use Boomerang for Gmail that allows me to send emails whenever I want so you can go into your email system and you can type up the emails in the evening but just set them to send in the morning.

    Rachel: That’s what I do at Outlook as well. So I schedule the emails because what I found is that you kind of end up training the people that you’re communicating with that you are open and available all the hours of the day so it’s like what do you mean you want an evening with your family? I thought you worked during the evenings? Anyway, by pushing off that communication, I still get it out of my head which is really important for me to do, to not — I have to remember that so it’s out of my head, it’s sent, but then the person doesn’t receive it until the following morning and I don’t have to worry up to the following morning.

    John: Right, no. I mean that’s exactly it. Another thing that he did which I think is awesome is no-meeting Wednesdays because everyone was getting all stressed out and when your calendar’s getting full and all that stuff.

    Rachel: I want that.

    John: Yeah. It’s like no meetings on Wednesdays which is great. I mean that’s so fantastic that he even thought about it.

    Rachel: Imagine how much work you would actually get done if you didn’t have meetings.

    John: Well, I just wouldn’t even come in. No, but I think that’s a great idea and it makes you channel all of your energy into the space where it is available like a Wednesday where on the other days, you have all these meetings and half the meetings are to set up another meeting.

    Rachel: Or talk about the last one or yeah.

    John: At least you know on Wednesdays, you’re getting something done and then spouses everywhere excited because you come home and actually got stuff done and things to say as opposed to complaining about a meeting that went nowhere. But no, but I love that idea. It’s just trying to — people can’t do it on their own is what it basically came down that he gave them the flexibility, you can do whatever you want but then people were just out of the control and they felt the pressure that they needed to be sending these emails and having these meetings and all this and so he just stepped in.

    Rachel: Yeah. They needed them to reset for them, yeah for sure.

    John: Right. Exactly, exactly. So that’s it. That’s a good start to the New Year right there everybody. So just hit the ground running on that, no meetings on Wednesdays going forward and quit sending emails at all hours of the day and night. That’s it, Rachel. Thank you, guys, so much.

    Check us out on Twitter @GreenApplePod and of course if you want to see a link to the article and all the other episodes that we’ve done at greenapplepodcast.com.

    So that’s it, Rachel. Have a good rest of the week.

    Rachel: Yup. You too, John. Talk to you later.

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