November marks the one year anniversary of Ballinger B::Flex, a formal program allowing employees to customize their work schedule. Observing that staff members were working beyond 9 to 5, and recognizing the importance of work/life balance, in 2016 Ballinger leadership developed a framework for working in and outside of the office, within and outside of core workday hours. The program enables Ballinger to meet client milestones and deadlines while providing opportunities for employees to exercise, teach, handle family commitments, or simply work at times of the day when they are most productive.
Ballinger principal Craig Spangler, AIA, who co-led the initiative, said, “B::Flex provides greater flexibility to better balance work and personal commitments. Our culture is based on collaboration, and effective communication is key to producing exceptional work. We have invested heavily in the firm’s infrastructure to enable our collaboration to remain effective in the context of a more flexible work environment where we are working in different places and at different times.”
B::Flex was implemented following a 4-month trial period. Staff and leadership have embraced the change, applauding the care that went into designing the framework. Web-based tools such as Mitel MiCollab and Teradici PCoIP technology help nurture the ethos of collaboration that is the firm’s signature.
“B:Flex makes it easier to do something that’s really important to me: teach architecture students,” said Ballinger designer Marc Krawitz. He’s an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Architecture Design and Urbanism at Drexel University and teaches on Wednesday mornings. “The firm has always encouraged staff to engage with the community, but now that there’s a formal program it’s easier to schedule daytime classes. I’m free to embrace my role as teacher while making sure that office deadlines are met,” he said.