"Authenticity" is a word you hear a lot when you’re a digital editor, but what does it even mean really? That’s the question I asked myself over and over when I joined Werk as Head of Content and Communications back in January. I knew that I wanted our brand to be more than just a brand. I wanted everyone who visited our job board and social media pages—and now, WerkLife—to feel a real connection to who we are as humans: our values, our passions, our purpose. I also knew it was important for us to lead by example, showing the world that we practice what we preach. And that it works.
That’s why I interviewed every member of the Werk team about the kinds of flexibility they use and how flexibility helps enhance their lives, both personally and professionally. Plus, I asked them to share one fun fact about themselves, so you can get to know them better.
So, in the spirit of authenticity, here’s a brief introduction to the brilliant humans of Werk.
Flexibility: “I use MicroAgility™ so I can easily accommodate any foreseeable but unexpected things with my son or with life, in general. I also sometimes use DeskPlus™ so I can optimize my thinking time and productivity.”
Bet you didn't know... “I've been to six of the seven continents—just missing Antarctica!”
Flexibility: "Working as a startup founder and CEO is not a 9-5 job, but those are generally the hours I keep at the office. With TimeShift™, I'm able to drop my son at school every morning, and put my kids to bed most nights. I catch up with a few hours either at night or on the weekends. My life is crazier and more mentally and emotionally demanding than it's ever been—and yet, it's incredibly manageable and an immensely easier experience than my life as a Wall Street attorney. I listen to my body and prioritize my needs; I work when I'm most productive, and I hope I inspire our team to do the same.”
Bet you didn't know...“I was the 8th grade class president.”
Flexibility: “I use PartTime, which means I'm able to pick up my two daughters from school every day and get in some quality time during an otherwise extremely busy week. I also work remotely from Philadelphia, where we recently moved in order for my husband to start his own real estate company. While working remotely has its challenges (all those Werk happy hours I'm missing!), today's technology (and the Bolt Bus) allows me to feel like a constant member of the team even when I'm not present. It also allows me to live in the best place for my family where both my husband and I can succeed professionally.”
Bet you didn’t know… “I speak four languages: English, French, Hebrew, and Italian.”
David W. Tuffy
Flexibility: “We have an amazing team. I prefer to work in the office with them, but sometimes, when I've got a morning doctor's appointment, or just need a quiet commute-free day to crank through some heads-down tasks, I opt to work from home. DeskPlus™ allows me to do that. This is New York—the most inconvenient, convenient city in the world. MicroAgility™ allows me to make small, last minute adjustments to schedule and that is crucial to getting by here.”
Bet you didn't know...“I took up open water swimming while living in San Diego, and I try to go whenever I'm near the water (including summers in Brighton Beach and holiday visits to my sister in Seattle). I don't mind when it's cold. I am terrified of sharks.”
Flexibility: “MicroAgility™ allows me to work the hours that I am most productive and take care of the unexpected. Some days I like to get in early and get a head start, other days I know I will be more productive working later. Since I am not chained to my desk, I am able to make my work-life compatible and do what’s best for me and the company.”
Bet you didn’t know… “I grew up on a farm around more than 100 farm animals!”
Flexibility: “Despite the rigidity of most engineering, coding is a creative pursuit. MicroAgility™ enables me to adjust my schedule so that I can be coding when my brain is at its most creative, whether it’s 2 a.m. or 2 p.m. It’s better for me and better for my team. The success and leadership of Annie and Anna with Werk has inspired me to pursue one of my own projects. With PartTime, I finally don’t have to choose between career and passion. In that way, Annie and Anna are helping me be the best version of myself—they are invested in my success, and I in theirs."
Bet you didn’t know… “I was Troop 491’s 1993 Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Champ. No one can beat the ‘Blue Lightning’!”
Flexibility: “My first few months at Werk I was a remote employee. While at times I missed the social environment of the office, in many ways being remote allowed me to be more more productive because I could minimize distractions and spend more time reflecting and strategizing. Now that I'm back on the East Coast I have a long commute, so I utilize TimeShift™ to beat rush-hour mayhem and tackle my inbox from the train!”
Bet you didn’t know… “I was in the same Latin class in middle school with Werk’s co-founder and co-CEO Annie Dean!”
Flexibility: “MicroAgility™ has changed my life. I can’t even count the number of times throughout my career that I canceled doctor’s appointments or spin classes and never rescheduled them because I was unable to step away from my desk. With flexibility I can make my health and wellness a top priority no matter what is going on at work. Annie and Anna trust that I will meet my deadlines—and I always do.”
Bet you didn’t know… “It’s my dream to one day write the definitive biography of Mariah Carey.”
Mary Beth Chau
Flexibility: “I use MicroAgility™ the most. I live in Queens, so getting up and just enjoying a cup of coffee with my husband in the morning is nice. I haven’t officially started DeskPlus™, but I will soon. I plan to work from home at least one day a week. This will allow me to work with zero distractions and really get the time to think. I also haven’t yet, but will be doing some remote work during my sister's wedding and the Thanksgiving holiday. This allows me to spend time with family in another state while still continuing to be productive.”
Bet you didn’t know… “I grew up with every animal you could think of: At the age of 7, I was given 7 chickens. After a few years, that became about 150 chickens. I used to paint their toenails and bring them inside for Valentine’s Day dinner. I had a chinchilla, 2 sugar gliders, a deer, multiple squirrels, a black swan, and more.”
Flexibility: “MicroAgility™ enables me to be an equal partner at home by providing support when something unforeseen arises (a delivery requiring signature or a leaky pipe in need of repair). Some of my work benefits from being side-by-side and collaborating with teammates, while other work is done best alone. DeskPlus™ lets me have the best of both worlds. I also use TravelLite™—after years of being on the road as a consultant, the only traveling I want to do these days is for personal reasons!”
Bet you didn’t know… “I manage a Bachelor Fantasy League (or Bachelorette, depending on the season).”
Flexibility: “MicroAgility™ has been really helpful the last few months as I’ve been planning my wedding. Vendors usually can't take calls outside of business hours, so it’s been great that I can step away from my desk for an hour or two, if necessary.”
Bet you didn’t know... “I’m a hobbyist game designer/developer and every year I participate in the annual Global Game Jam weekend hackathon. Five of my games there have won awards including ‘Best use of the theme’ and ‘Best use of a controller’ and have beaten out games made by professional game designers and game design students.”
Flexibility: “I use MicroAgility™ to increase my productivity by getting things done in a timely matter. The quicker I can take care of my personal concerns, the more I can intellectually and emotionally invest in my work.”
Bet you didn’t know… “I know all of the lyrics to ‘We didn't Start the Fire.’”