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Practicing What We Preach: The Importance of Work-Life Balance at AT&T

As a participant in our Finance Leadership Development Program, young professionals are given a holistic view of the businesses through rotations that help better prepare them to make impactful decisions and lead teams in management roles. At AT&T, our executive leadership understands the value in maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle to ensure employee satisfaction and productivity. Hear what Trent Obermueller has to say about our dedication to work-life balance and the support he received during his first year in the program:

Work-life balance. It is something we all strive to have but few achieve.  We read articles talking about it and hear leaders speak of its importance, but we rarely see people in positions of authority who maintain balance themselves. Since no employee wants to be seen as lazy or as having a weak work ethic, they often mirror their superiors’ actions and ignore the “do as I say, not as I do” instructions. However, at AT&T, even just during my short tenure, I have witnessed our leadership truly practicing what they preach and striving to be good examples.  

An illustration I like to share is our ability to work from home. I will say that each leadership rotation is different and may have varying work demands. Nonetheless, in my first Finance Leadership Development Program rotation, we were afforded up to two days per week to work remotely.  Initially, I was hesitant to take advantage of this perk for the reasons I mentioned above and assumed no one would actually take advantage of it. My assumption was wrong.  Executive leadership paved the way by working from home themselves, demonstrating their commitment through action. 

Knowing that I had the support of management and a tremendous wealth of remote access tools available to me, I joined my colleagues and began working from home. I found it to be an extremely beneficial option, as I was given not only a respite from my two-hour commute round-trip each week, but the chance to better meet the needs of my family. I found I was more engaged and alert at home during non-work hours with the elimination of just a few hours of driving monotony. I could also address little things, like meeting a contractor at our new home, while remaining productive and avoiding needlessly taking a day off from work. 

Additionally, I have encountered nothing but encouragement to take my vacation and truly disconnect while out of the office. This is a departure from prior roles where I felt on-call and unable to be truly present with my family and use that time to re-energize. In the end, we each have our own balance between work and life and we must each determine what works best for us. Knowing I have the option to dedicate a healthy balance toward my life outside of work is something important to me and is one of the many benefits of working at AT&T.

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