Leaving your personal life at the door of the office is becoming more difficult every year, particularly with the overlapping spheres of professional contacts, social networking, and hyper connectivity that allows us to both work at home, and play at work. It is important not to let personal passions disappear, and if possible, pursue our interests in productive and beneficial ways within the landscape of our profession. Finding a balance between work and life is key to maintaining happiness in the demanding, high-speed business world, and a company that facilitates and encourages that is almost sure to win the hearts and loyalty of their employees.
For example, Orbitz is one of the most popular online travel sites, so it would make sense if the people employed by this nearly $1 billion company were interested in traveling. Most people are bound to develop an interest in what they spend their lives working on, and traveling is a spectacular hobby, if you can fit it into your schedule. Orbitz wants its employees to enjoy their free time as much as they enjoy their work, and they have created a number of different options for compensation and work-related travel that not only satisfies their employees desire for life experiences in different parts of the world, but also makes them ambassadors of the company and veteran travelers in their own right, better able to advise and counsel travelers who need assistance. Orbitz also encourages workers to participate in community projects and charitable foundations, as well as bring these opportunities to company leaders to see if they can get involved on a large scale.
As a travel company, destinations are rather important things, so investigating, experiencing, and protecting those areas are equally important. By enabling employees to travel throughout the world to top destinations, and encouraging them to develop their own outside projects with colleagues that aren’t necessarily work-sanctioned, Orbitz is motivating and inspiring a deeper passion in employees for their actual work. That translates into better service, more business, and a deeper engagement across the lines of traditional work/life balance. Workers feel appreciated, empowered, and respected, and the trust that is placed in them as ambassadors of a major travel company must be a nice feeling as well. Demanding that people stop living their lives or participating in their passions just because they have arrived at work sounds like a counterproductive endeavor. Innovation and progress come almost exclusively from passionate, engaged, and creative people that love what they do, both at work and outside it.