You might have read the now-infamous New York Times article about Amazon’s rigorous work culture. Harrowing stories of employees being let go or demoted after tragic life events, being expected to respond to midnight emails within several hours, and tales about the common occurrence of grown men and women crying at their desks caused the internet’s jaw to drop.
Thankfully, at See3 we know that it’s possible to do awesome work while creating a work culture that helps employees flourish, not burn out. Yeah, work is important (we are making the world a better place after all), but at See3, we realize that work is a component of our lives, not all of it. We believe our work environment and policies should support the whole person, professionally and personally at varying stages of career and life.
Our family-friendly policies cover our staff for life events ranging from birth to death and everything in between. Here are five benefits we provide our See3ples to support our family-first philosophy.
Benefits 1 & 2: Combined time off and a generous work-from-home policy
Last week, my grandmother died. I was devastated. As many can relate, my grandmother, “Nana”, was a treasured person in my life. As those who have experienced death also know, it’s disruptive and stressful.The world keeps turning, and all the usual stress and responsibilities remain, including work.
Had it not been for See3’s Combined Time Off (CTO) policy and flexible work arrangements, my stress levels would have approached unbearable levels. Instead, my supervisor, CEO Michael Hoffman, completely supported me in being out of the office for two weeks to be with family. I have been able to work remotely and maintain my job duties. (I write this article from my family home in Kansas). All in all, I’ve been able to balance my job, my family, and mourn my grandmother with minimal stress.
Our CTO policy allows employees to take sick and paid leave at-will without the need for approval or explanation. While there is an expectation that employees adequately communicate to their supervisor when using time off, it is not strictly tracked or policed.
See3 offers additional flexibility to its employees through the ability to telecommute, whether they’re taking the day to work from a coffee shop in Chicago or making an extended trip out of state for family reasons. The ability to work from wherever gives See3ples the flexibility to make decisions that make sense for their personal lives without feeling tethered to a desk.
These policies work together to provide our team with the ability to be with family for milestone moments (like weddings or funerals) and everyday stuff too (doctor’s appointments or t-ball games).
3. Paid maternity and paternity leave
For many families, one of the most significant milestones in life is becoming a parent. At See3, it’s important that we provide a transitional path to parenthood for both moms and dads. To do so, we offer paid maternity and paternity leave. Additionally, a gradual return to work (half-time, 3/4 time, or full) can be arranged to support mothers returning from maternity leave. And, See3's flexible work schedule is available also to assist employees in finding the right balance.
Our goal is that See3 parents can participate in the joys of parenthood and alleviate the financial and logistical stresses so that work-life balance is optimal.
4 & 5. Unreimbursed Medical Expense FSA & Dependent Care FSA
In 2015, we added two types of flexible spending accounts (FSA) to our benefits. An FSA is tax-advantaged financial account that allows an employee to set aside a portion of earnings to pay for qualified expenses using pre-tax dollars. See3 also contributes a substaintial matching portion into the FSA's of all of our full-time staff to help cover qualified expenses.
The unreimbursed medical expense FSA is useful to See3ples at all stages of life and family. Employees can use FSA for a host of expenses that would otherwise have to be paid with post-tax dollars, meaning these items cost roughly 25-30% less. This account can be used for the employee as well as their spouse and dependents. The dependent care FSA provides cost-savings to parents by allowing them to use this pre-tax account to pay for childcare while parents are working.
I'm proud of the family-friendly benefits See3 has been able to provide to its employees, and of the supportive culture that we continue to cultivate. To learn more about how we developed See3’s policies and culture to create a company that does good by its employees and to the world, check out our recent blog post on applying for a B Corp certification.
Does See3 sound like a team you’d like to be a part of? Lucky you! We’re hiring. We’re looking for a full-time web project manager based in Washington DC and we’re looking for fall interns in our marketing and video departments. Learn more about our open positions here.