FAMILY AFFAIR: This international-travel outfitter's home is a modified flat that feels like, well, a home. Attire is decidedly casual (it's Montana), and parents can even set up a playpen next to their desks. "Going to the office and seeing my colleagues actually improves my day," says Brian Morgan, Adventure's founder and president. All employees can opt for compressed four-day workweeks and, once a year, take a free Adventure Life tripwith a family member or friend to make sure it really feels like vacation. adventure-life.com
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: FROM THE COMPANY
Adventure Life is an adventure travel company committed to providing quality small-group tours that have a positive impact on the local culture and environment. We offer tours throughout the Andes, Amazon, Central America, Galápagos, and Antarctica. We are dedicated to expanding ecological and cultural awareness, and do this by utilizing local guides, family-run hotels, and the local transportation infrastructures whenever possible.
We are a small office of 17 full-time staff, and while everyone in the office has independent positions and responsibilities, it is the team effort that makes this company work and thrive. The owner of Adventure Life, Brian Morgan, is in the office on a daily basis; he has an open-door policy and invites all employees to share their questions, concerns, and suggestions. Newborns are invited to come to work with the mother until baby (and mother) are ready to start daycare. And not only are newborns welcome at work, but other children are also invited to come to work when there is a scheduling conflict with daycare or an unexpected day or two school holiday, or if the child is not feeling well enough to attend school. Whatever the reason, children are welcome to come to work with their parents, and to ensure they do not interrupt other co-workers, we provide space (and a box full of arts-and-crafts supplies) for the children in the break room. There are also a number of gatherings and functions: Whether it is a wine-tasting party or an impromptu get-together after work, Adventure Life friends and family members are always welcome to these events, at the expense of the company.
As an adventure travel company, it is only natural that we attract staff who have a wanderlust. To show appreciation to our employees, we provide a Travel Education Opportunity program (TEO). The TEO is a method of educating employees on the destinations we serve, but furthermore allows employees to take some incredible trips to legendary destinations throughout Latin America and Antarctica. The TEO program allots specific travel funds to each full-time employee. If an employee does not take advantage of their TEO, a portion of their TEO can carry over to the following calendar year. A travel companion is also invited to join the staff member on their trip at a significantly discounted rate. After three years of full-time work at Adventure Life, an employee is rewarded five additional vacation days when they take advantage of their Travel Education Opportunity benefit.
Providing flex time and ability to work remotely from home allows employees to accomplish their work without sacrificing time with their families. Life does not happen only on the weekends, and a typical nine-to-five work schedule is certainly not always accommodating with life. Coordinating schedules in a family is always a challenge; the more flexibility we can provide to our employees, the healthier the work environment. The most common option employees take advantage of is to work four-day weeks. Some employees have taken four-and-a-halfday weeks. The point is: The company is flexible about fitting the needs of employees without sacrificing the company's performance.
Within the company we have developed soccer, volleyball, and softball teams. After work the staff can be found supporting each other and our passions outside of work through kayaking classes, Wednesday-night lap swims, Tuesday evenings at a local track, or simply scheduling a walk when the workday is through. Some staff members take advantage of a flexible work schedule and take time off during the afternoon to schedule in a half-hour run or bike ride. The point is, not only do we make it possible for our staff members to find a healthy balance between work and life; the office collectively supports this type of lifestyle.