August 18, 2023

Work vs life: this is how we get the balance right

We usually practice scales alone in our bedrooms. Instead, we’re practicing the balancing scales of work vs life to refine those too. It’s already old news that our team works from anywhere in the world, but now we’re taking it one step further. 

Science tells us musicians’ brains have a larger-than-average corpus callosum—the 2 sides are connected with more nerve fibres and communicate with one another more quickly—meaning the musically inclined can solve problems and pick up new skills fast. As 73% of our team are musicians (self-proclaimed counts, we checked), it just wouldn’t be right to expect them to conform to normality at work. Conforming isn’t in our innovator DNA anyway.

Twist and turn ‘til you get it right

We’ve long been striving to solve the problem of how to make our team happier. For selfish reasons, of course—happier people stay, happier people do their best work, happier people are more creative, and happier people bond with their colleagues. The list goes on. With each BMATer being wonderfully unique, a one-size-fits-all solution wasn’t going to cut it. The only way was to let everyone choose for themselves. 

So, we landed on testing out an ethos of flexibility in all dimensions—unlimited holidays, flexible working hours, and (of course) flexible working locations. The formula was simple. 

We trusted our team would pick up these new skills fast, and they have. Gonçal, our head of innovation, is already a master of balance. “This flexibility allows me to be the owner of my time, and to decide with complete autonomy how to organise my work in the best way and successfully combine my obligations inside and outside of work—without compromising my personal aspirations and social and family life.”

More time to do whatever the funk they want 

We want people to have more time to spend with the people they love. It lowers the brain’s stress levels, helps with perspective on what’s important, and increases the production of oxytocin and dopamine. Those are the kind of brains we like. We want people to have more free time for music-making. It stimulates the mathematical left hemisphere and the more creative right hemisphere of the brain simultaneously. Those are the kind of brains we like, too. 

We want people to feel like we trust them to do their best work. There’s actually a mathematical link between trust and performance. This HBR article found that “compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.” Nice numbers. 

It should be life ft. work, not work ft. life

Elies, our charts operations lead, hasn’t had to give up his festivalero identity nor sacrifice his productivity and performance. “If I find a festival in Lisbon or Estonia, I take those days off and I’m there. The Thursday or Friday I work remotely and maybe I take the Monday off.”

We won’t name names, but we know someone who sets their alarm at 3:05 am every day for work because that’s when they function at their best. We know someone who sends 77% of their emails from their phone. We know someone who took 2 months off to make a go of it as a professional kazoo player before reluctantly returning. We know someone who moved roles from HR manager to software developer and back again 4 times because they were gifted at both and suited to both at different stages of their life. Okay, only 3/4 of these are true, but the point is: they all could be. 

Bending the space-time continuum so we can do our best

Life doesn’t always go to plan, but our ethos allows team members like Client Manager Cori to be water, my friend. As they put it: “Things can change unexpectedly, in our personal lives and within the operations of the music industry. Having this kind of flexibility allows me to adapt and manage my time in a way that suits any changing circumstances. If there’s a period or project where I need to be more dedicated, I know that I will make up for it by adjusting my schedule later on. This reassurance enables me to maintain a work-life balance.” 

The Government of our HQ, Barcelona, recently gave us a company award for “best time management”. Behind the scenes of our interview with them, we opened up about how, even with the flexible working hours and unlimited holidays we have, we’re still constantly testing our ideas and learning how to improve the lives of our team.

Tommaso, one of our client managers, has a way with words and the proof is in these wise ones: “Having this flexibility means that everything in life has a rightful time and place. In the end, a good job can only be done when you have a good personal state of mind.” 

By supporting and celebrating life’s many dimensions, we’re working towards a universe where work and life can harmoniously coexist, empowering people to thrive in whatever they do. If you fancy yourself a talented acrobat of space and time like us, go ahead and check out our current career opportunities

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