IEA’s Flexible Approach to Balancing Work and Life Priorities
We all work towards project deadlines in the AEC industry. As a consultant, it’s especially easy to lose yourself in projects and client needs.
IEA wants to see our staff thrive at both work and home, not just survive through these deadlines. But how do we achieve this?
“All I ask is that you get 1% better each time,” said Jim Reiser, PE, IEA Director of Transportation to IEA staff and interns at our IEA Aspire Summer 2023 kickoff in May.
“You won’t be perfect the first time, so just strive to be 1% better each time you repeat a task,” Reiser said
For Reiser, he’s still working on balancing projects, managing staff, spending time with family, and fostering his love for baking. He challenges us all to seek small, maintainable improvements when we take on new tasks.
IEA’s current benefits to support the elusive work-life-balance are:
- Coaching/Mentoring on Prioritization
- Work From Home Policy
- Flexible Schedules
- Retention (Events) Committees
- Holiday/Paid Time Off (PTO)
- Flexible Spending Accounts
Kyle Moynihan, PE, CFM, IEA’s Director of Municipal Services, has recently become a dad and leverages IEA’s work-from-home policy to dual hat personal and professional commitments.
“My day looks very similar to when I am at the office however it starts much earlier so that I can make up for periods of time during the day that I must perform my Dad Duties,” said Moynihan.
Moynihan understands that balancing personal commitments with multiple, concurrent project deadlines can be difficult.
“My advice in these situations is to be open about how you are feeling. If someone is starting to burn out or is extremely stressed out, we can work on ways to take some of the workload off them and provide opportunities for others to step up and help out their teammates that might be struggling at that time,” said Moynihan.
Moynihan uses his work-from-home lunch breaks to get a workout in to help with stress relief.
“Striving to find a work-life balance is something that a lot of people struggle with. But I try to remember a specific quote that reads, ‘Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.’” said Chad Altamero, IEA Graduate Engineer with IEA for 3 years.
Altamero worked with his supervisor to leverage IEA’s work-from-home policy. He works from home twice a week on a set schedule and set his office space up like his Dallas office setup to ensure no loss of production.
“I have arranged my schedule in the past to prioritize a few personal hours through the workweek. I had a couple of appointments that I had to work around, but the work-from-home policy allowed me to easily make up the hours,” said Altamero. “I believe that for those who have long commutes to the office, like myself, working from home is a major benefit!”
While Altamero enjoys his work-from-home days to help offset his long commute, he also serves on the Dallas office Retention (Events) Committee and attends as many IEA events as he can.
“I love to attend IEA events. My favorite so far has to be the Chicken N Pickle event, where we got to be active as well as socialize with fellow coworkers, and also enjoy some delicious food,” said Altamero.
When Wendy Ajoku, IEA Staff Accountant I, first started working she found it difficult to get a good work-life balance. Like Altamero, Ajoku is striving to make a good life for herself while balancing making a living.
“I try to do a variety of things throughout a workweek to feel like I have a life outside of the office. I currently enjoy going to the gym, taking a walk, rewatching my favorite TV series, and on days I don’t do any of those, I take a long nap,” said Ajoku.
Ajoku enjoys working from home in her customized home office.
“I currently work from home every Friday and I tend to be more productive compared to my in-office days, probably because I get to sleep longer, and I don’t have to make the long drive coming to work and going back home.”
Matthew Shelton, EIT, in IEA’s Fort Worth office also coordinated one day a week regularly working from home with his supervisor.
“I do like working from home because of the setup I have at home, but it is nice to come into the office and socialize with my other coworkers,” said Shelton.
While not a member of the Fort Worth Events Committee, Shelton tries to attend all the events he can.
“I really enjoy them and appreciate all the work that gets put into them. My favorite event every year is a pool party that we have at Bryan Alldredge’s house. Everyone hangs out and I feel like we can really be ourselves at events like that,” said Shelton.
IEA’s commitment to providing exceptional benefits remains a focus for our leadership. With our CFO Joe Tabone, CPA at the helm, we continuously evaluate and enhance our benefits package, prioritizing both competitiveness in the industry and the well-being of our IEA family.