One of my favorite aspects of public relations is being a part of agency life. Even our “non-account people” are intensely focused on creative, strategic solutions for our clients at all times. I’d argue there’s an energy and a pace found in New York agencies that’s unlike almost every other type of job. As much as I thrive on the agency atmosphere and enjoy being around my colleagues and clients, last year before going on maternity leave, I felt anxious about readjusting to life as a full-time working mother. Not that parents have “cornered the market” on being busy or having lots of things to juggle. But I knew this would present a new challenge for me, and one I wanted to proactively address before my son was born.
Fortunately for me, part of the incredible #CKWellness culture includes an open attitude about flexible working arrangements. Client service remains our top priority, as it should. Yet CooperKatz realizes employees have unique needs, and as an independent, people-focused agency, I’m proud of the nimbleness we’ve demonstrated to accommodate those needs. In my case, we created a custom solution that enables me to work remotely one day a week (most weeks), allowing me to contribute as a full-time employee. On my remote day, I have no commute. This may seem like a “small” perk for someone who already lives right here in New York City. But it allows me to take an hour long walk with my son at least once a week in the morning. Foregoing the subway and getting office-ready in favor of sweatpants and more time with the funniest little boy I know is a BIG perk for me!
Of course, our solutions are always arranged with productivity and results in mind. Our family has in-home childcare on my work remote day, so my son is all taken care of and my attention is undivided when I’m in work-mode. For my clients and co-workers, I’m active and only a phone call or instant message away. For me, I can use that work remote day to attend my son’s doctor’s appointment or read him a story during lunch if my schedule permits, and then jump on my next conference call or write my next press release. I don’t think I’d ever want to work solely from home. As I said, I thrive on being around smart, creative and driven people, and being physically together is an important part of the work we do in PR. That, and I enjoy wearing something other than sweats – at least four days of the week!
My situation / solution is unique, but the openness to evolve and create flexible work arrangements for loyal and proven employees has become part of our agency’s DNA. I’m so grateful to be at a place that always strives to celebrate and support our employees inside and outside of the workplace.