Redefining work-life balance

Wednesday June 27th, 2018 in Ampersand Latest

It’s time for us to redefine the concept of ‘work-life balance’. Balance implies equal weight or time to both things, which isn’t always achievable. The quest for work-life balance can leave employees disheartened by the sense that the scales are always tipped too heavily in one direction, and the knowledge that neither aspect is getting the attention it deserves.

We firmly believe that being career driven and a completely committed family person shouldn’t be mutually exclusive—our goal when starting Ampersand was to intertwine and connect these two elements. We’ve built our business to be a progressive, market-leading employer for people who are at the pinnacle of their careers, and also starting families.

While the concept of flexibility seems straightforward, the execution can be much harder. So, how do business owners create a flexible workplace without sacrificing performance?

Commit to your company culture

Executive search recruitment is a burnout job—if you’re a top-performing recruiter it can be 24/7, so we put measures in place to support flexibility and ensure we can offer a sustainable career that doesn’t compromise our employees’ home life.

We walk the talk with a supportive, down-to-earth environment focused on flexibility and outcomes, not clock-watching. Staff have access to the database offline and the right tools of trade at home, which gives them the flexibility to work remotely as needed. We also take the time to thank the families of staff with a yearly event that recognises their support and effort behind the scenes.

We have also instigated a ‘dress for the moment’ philosophy—if you don’t have external meetings, dress in whatever you feel comfortable in. Lycra, jeans, you name it. It’s an agency environment without the pretension factor, and having this relaxed approach helps ensure the office is a place that our employees love coming to.

Why it works

Micro-management doesn’t breed successful (or happy) employees. When you have a sense of control and ownership over your work, it enables better relationships both at work and at home. Empowered employees tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which not only increases company productivity, it also means they aren’t taking their workday woes home with them at night.

Our staff stick around because not only do we reward results, we provide a supportive, flexible environment in which they can thrive. This reputation as a progressive workplace draws high-calibre candidates to us and ensures retention, which in turn provides a higher degree of in-house expertise and saves time and money on recruitment exercises, training, and reduces the need for performance management/mediation.

Food for thought

While our personal motivation to create a flexible progressive workplace stemmed from the desire to provide work-life integration for working parents, it’s important to note that in the ‘work-life integration’ equation, ‘life’ doesn’t just mean ‘family’. We all need time and space to pursue a rich and rewarding life outside of work, whether we have children or not. Access to flexible work arrangements should be available across the board without gender bias or a ‘ranking’ of requirements by perceived importance.

Ultimately, flexible workplaces pay for themselves with a positive, supportive company culture, motivated and productive employees, and a reputation that attracts and retains high-calibre candidates. There’s no downside.


Sarah Wilson, Co-Founder & Practice Director: Marketing

Job Search - Fresh Opportunities

Manager Stakeholder Relations

(Feature Opportunity)

Innovate, collaborate and facilitate change Manage and deliver mutally beneficial outcomes Large scale, diverse and layered stakeholder landscape Our client touches over 100 million people per annum and generates approximately $2.1 billion through tourism and… Read More

We’re hiring

(In the News & Feature Opportunity & Ampersand Latest)

Ampersand International Melbourne is a tightly held team. Why? Because we don’t compromise on talent. For the first time, we are inviting applications for two coveted positions across our blue chip, market-leading practices: Principal Consultant,… Read More

Ampersand Latest

In The Age Of Data And Technology Is Creativity Dead?

(Ampersand Latest)

ADMA, the Association for Data Driven Marketing and Advertising, met recently and collected views about the role that creativity plays in an increasing tech and data driven world. Panelists representing CMO, Foxtel, Horizon State and… Read More

Brand trust can no longer be assumed

(Ampersand Latest)

Vanessa Mitchell writes for CMO about earning trust for your brand. ” Brands must earn consumer trust through human behaviours.” Very straight forward but on the mark as you will discover through this article. Further, Sarah King… Read More

In the News

Emotion, experience and impact, more important than ever

(In the News & Ampersand Latest)

This article published in MarketingMag with content partner UnLtd and Chris Freel at the helm reminds us that good and bad memories and an inclination to give back the drivers of that which can make… Read More

Your Ampersand

Through understanding & authenticity we connect people with people, people with brands, people with possibility. Our clients & candidates feel optimistic, proud & valued.

We seize the opportunity to be your brand advocates because we know leadership when we see it.

Contract Resources Register with us Client Enquiries

Our event program

Ampersand’s quarterly event series exists to provide our client and candidate network with insightful, inspiring and challenging topics relevant to leadership, business of tomorrow, innovation and entrepreneurship.

If you’re interested in attending or speaking at an Ampersand event, please get in touch with Leah Towers
on 03 9008 5101 or



Learn More