Work family?

By Chris Varosy
A group picture of smiling Primitive Spark people in Ojai, California in a lush wooded area.

I want to balk when people say “work is not family.”

Maybe it’s because I’ve worked with many of my amazing coworkers for decades.

To me, it’s oversimplifying complex relationships and priorities that differ for each person. As a dedicated father and husband, I unconditionally put them before myself and my job. But I also originally met my wife at work, and my priorities were different back then. So I think it’s important for each of us to regularly ponder and maintain our boundaries and priorities as we change. I don’t think it’s my place to draw those boundaries for others.

It does make me wary when a company says “we’re like family here.” I believe you have to earn it rather than say it, and you have to earn it with each team member. Also, some people might want a family-like bond at work, and others may not. We need to respect each person’s needs.

In my life, I want to support everyone around me as I have the capacity to do so. I know there will be times when I won’t be my best. And I have to hope that the other times will make up for it and that people will be there for me when I’m at a low point.

It doesn’t feel right to make a general rule about what work relationships mean and where they fit in the hierarchy of priority.

#culture #lifebalance #priorities #boundaries #primitivespark