Micro Tech Systems May 2019

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May 2019

Finding Harmony How I Maintain a Work-Life Balance

I used to think work-life balance was a junk phrase, and instead, I preferred to call it work-life integration. As a business owner, I’m never not thinking about MicroTech Systems, our clients, and our employees. Even during my down time, work finds a way to seep into what I’m doing and gets integrated into my daily life. Then again, I never used to be good at balancing my professional and personal lives. For years, I would go, go, go without any vacations, breaks, or check-ins with my longevity. I put a lot of hours into MicroTech Systems early on in my career, as I wore various hats throughout the years. Then, I hit a wall. I was burnt out, and for about 5–7 years, I was just moving through the motions. I was miserable, and I admit that I wasn’t the best husband, father, or boss. How could I be? I wasn’t balanced at all. Since that breaking point, I’ve adhered to a better work-life balance routine, and I’ve found ways to incorporate my constant need to be working on MicroTech into my daily life. For example, as an avid reader, I frequently read business-related books. I let my mind wander as I watch television, paddle board, or ski with my family. But I’ve also learned how to turn it off, and it’s gotten to the point where, when I’m at home, sometimes I’m thinking about MicroTech, and sometimes I’m not. At work, I’ve learned how to delegate and trust my employees to work on some of the roles I previously felt compelled to do on my own. Finally, I couldn’t take it. I got to the point where I either had to make some changes, or I had to leave my position with MicroTech.

As a boss, work-life balance is a two-part issue for me. There’s my balancing act, as I try to run a company, be a good husband, and help my wife raise three growing teenagers; the other side of that token is the balance in my employees’ lives. I want to make sure they have harmony too, because I know that creates happy employees. As to what that means for employees — it can vary. Some workers will want flexibility in their schedules, while others want to work a certain number of hours each day. However, much like my ability to handle work and my personal life, MicroTech’s scheduling has vastly improved. An example of this is how scheduling has gotten easier for our technical personnel. One of the basics of our IT industry is that we have to be available to our clients 24/7. This means our employees have to be on call, and in the early years of MicroTech, we did not have an appropriate on-call system. Essentially, for our employees, Fridays meant nothing. There was a good chance they would be on call and would have to be a slave to their phones for the weekend. Now, MicroTech has grown to where our IT professionals, in theory, can anticipate being on call for one week every 10 weeks. This gives them more freedom in their schedules, especially since we’ve grown to service more than 100 clients and more than 3,500 devices. This is a built-in system for down time, recovery, and work-life balance. In a service industry like the IT world, relaxing can seem impossible, but as I learned early in my career, it can be vital to help you find balance in life’s chaos.

–Randy Amorebieta

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