Has this ever happened to you? You arrive to work only to receive a phone call from your son or daughter at school saying he or she left an important assignment at home that morning and needs it right away. Then your boss stops by and asks whether you would mind taking over an upcoming fund-raising drive. And last night, your washing machine quit working, and you need to arrange for a repair person to fix it as soon as possible.

Finding the time to run errands, have a home appliance repaired, take the car in for an oil change, or make vacation arrangements, much less do the grocery shopping and laundry or taking on an additional project at work, can be hard when you work full time. Employers realize that balancing work and personal life is challenging for their employees. Many employers have turned to us for creative ways to make the work environment desirable and this is a trend we don’t see going away anytime soon.

Lisa Earle McLeod states quite eloquently in her article on HuffingtonPost.com “The reality is: If you want a meaningful career and a meaningful personal life, they’re going to bleed into each other. Constantly.” The only way to handle this is to accept that our work and life needs to blend, and it’s up to us to make it happen as smoothly as possible. “You don’t get a work life and a home life. You get one life. Don’t waste it trying to achieve balance.”

In an effort to improve productivity and work-life balance, companies are turning to personal concierge services. The idea is to allow employees access to someone who in one phone call can plan their trips — both for work and leisure; find them a plumber, plan them a dinner party, take their car for an oil or winter tire etc… Concierge companies as opposed to call centres or VA’s are local, on the ground in your city, and know how to make things happen on a moments notice. Just make sure you are doing your due diligence on your Concierge. Ask if they are licensed, and insured.

Typically, the word “concierge” has a luxurious ring to it, but personal concierge services are not used only by 1% looking to charter private jets. Concierge services used to be associated with high-end hotels or celebrities, but the new concierge is more about saving time.

Few would argue that time is one of the most precious commodities we seem to be losing. Making a living consumes the bulk of our days, leaving less time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

This complicates life, causing stress and lowering the quality of life.

Studies have shown that concierge services render invaluable benefits to the employers as well as the employees. It provides corporations a variety of professional and personal assistance options that can be made accessible to employees through their employee assistance program or HR. These stress-reducing services have been proven to:

1. Help employees achieve optimum productivity;
2. Increase efficiency and reduce absenteeism;
3. Upgrade benefit packages for attracting new employees, while complementing compensation packages;
4. Provide fresh, affordable ways to enhance employee loyalty.

By offering a menu of services valuable to employees, concierges services can alleviate personal stressors that make working 40+ hours a week physically and mentally exhausting.  Remember: employees like not having to use PTO (personal time off) that can be applied towards their vacation.

Our newest offering to complement our boots on the ground service is virtual, so between the hours of 9-5 you have local assistants at your disposal for as little as $39.75/week who you can delegate time-consuming tasks to, like what Tim Ferriss recommends in his book “The 4-Hour Work Week”.

Imagine what would happen if you never had to make calls around for dinner reservations, hair appointments, car services, doctors’ appointments, price-shopping, Fedex re-delivery, meeting calendar coordinations, travel plans or chasing down your own accounts receivables? Our approach (and recommendation) is this – every time you have a task that doesn’t need your personal attention, outsource it to your Concierge or Virtual Assistant.

If this article resonates with you, Balance InStyle is located in Ottawa and we would love to chat about ways we can help your team be more productive!

Keep an eye out for us, as our services are now being sold at Costco in Ottawa. Looking forward to giving you back the one thing we all lack … TIME!