Telecommuting and flexible hours were once the hallmarks of a stellar employer. In the new world of talent, that’s just the beginning. Now it’s about supporting people to find work-life balance by defining their own personal flexibility – and helping them to manage their work, instead of letting their work manage them. Welcome to the juggle – Deloitte-style.
Setting benchmarks as a Best Employer
As the only major professional services firm among Report on Business magazine’s 50 Best Companies to Work for in Canada in 2008 – an award largely determined by an employee survey – Deloitte is setting its own work-life balance benchmarks. But don’t take our word for it. Listen to our people’s stories.
Making work-life balance a priority: Leaders set the tone
For individuals to feel empowered to define their flexibility, leaders must set the tone. Deloitte’s leaders are required to include work-life balance goals in their own annual plans, and also to set an example for others. For instance:
- Vancouver partner and mother of three Kirsten Tompkins maintains a 60% workload. Tompkins became a partner while on her third maternity leave in 2007 – after six years on various alternative work arrangements. “Work-life balance means different things to different people,” she says. “While for me it’s my family, for other people it could be sports or community involvement.”
- Halifax associate partner and avid surfer Todd King has the flexibility to quickly switch from boardroom to board shorts when perfect surfing conditions hit. A lifelong athlete, King has found Deloitte flexible from day one – when he took a month off to compete for Canada’s gold medal-winning Pan-Am Games fastball team.
- Ottawa partner and mother of two hockey-crazed sons Nancy Rector balances enterprise risk leadership responsibilities with her boys’ demanding hockey schedules. For her, defining flexibility means banning the BlackBerry, working efficiently, and designating evenings and weekends as family time.
Supporting leaves of absence: From social responsibility to sports
Ask Salim Kassam or Amirali Batada of Toronto, and they’ll tell you that personal flexibility means taking a leave of absence to donate professional skills to international sustainability efforts. Kassam spent three months doing competitive market analysis for Afghanistan’s largest mobile phone service provider. Batada took a year off to help Serena Hotels in Afghanistan and Pakistan establish a corporate responsibility program. And when he returned, he worked with leaders to turn his personal experience into a Toronto-based pilot Deloitte International Development Fellowship – sending six colleagues to developing countries to do everything from improving medical care to increasing access to clean water.
Shelby Evans of Saskatoon says flexibility is being able to take three months off each year to cheer on her husband – a professional hockey player who spends seven months of the year in Europe. In a similar sporting vein, Esther Colwill of Calgary defines flexibility as having the freedom to become one of the youngest women to climb the Seven Summits – the highest mountains on every continent – while also climbing the career ladder.
Award-winning benefits: From prescriptions to tree planting to pet walking
Flexibility means more than work-life balance. It’s also built into Deloitte’s benefits – something that’s earned Deloitte a spot among Canada's 30 Best Pension and Benefits Plans for the past two years.
Need someone to walk your dog? Want to make green investments – like planting trees or installing a programmable thermostat? Deloitte will pay for half. It’s part of a $1,000-per-year, 50/50 “wellness benefit” that includes everything from traditional gym memberships to environment-friendly expenses. And it’s just part of an individually tailored benefits package that encompasses everything from health and dental options to a $20,000 adoption benefit.
If you’re looking for a career with flexibility, take a look at Deloitte’s career opportunities .