May 30, 2014
If you had a one-year-old daughter, could you spend all day without seeing her? Anthony Smith, the founder and CEO of Insightly, doesn’t have to. His company has day care, something you won’t find at many Silicon Valley startups.
“We’re not the typical bunch of under-25-year-old guys in a house hacking away 18 hours a day,” he says.
The child care program started when Smith’s wife, who works in the accounting department, was pregnant – at the same time that a few other employees were expecting babies. Smith sees this family-friendly, work-life-balanced culture as a holdover from Australia, where he started the company.
Smith moved Insightly from Perth to San Francisco in early 2012, looking to find better talent and more customers. Insightly offers a web, Android, and iOS app for small businesses to do customer relationship management. But he discovered a work culture that was quite different from down under: Australians are guaranteed 4 weeks of vacation per year, 10 sick days, and 18 weeks of maternity leave; where US employers have no such obligations to their employees.
“The US has some of the hardest workers in world, but Australians certainly tend to favor more of a work-life balance,” says Smith.
Besides the day care, parents (and everyone else) working at Insightly enjoy flexible hours and work locations. Everyone still works 40 hours a week, but many employees are remote or choose hours outside the typical working day.
If they do make it into the office, the 42-person Insightly team is welcome to bring their dogs and enjoy massages on Thursdays. Smith has tried to cultivate a casual environment, where you can spend time socializing and chatting about your personal life. Different groups head out to dinner during the week, and everyone gets together on Fridays for a meal. Smith even bought a huge custom-made table to encourage people to take breaks and chat.
As founder, Smith gets into work around 9 am and tries to leave every day at 6 to have dinner with his wife and daughter. But inevitably, he’ll find himself answering emails late in the evening. It’s not your typical 9-5, but it’s a lot closer than most under-25 guys in the Valley get.
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