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The Washington Post has along piece about how Patagonia differentiates itself to its employees - by encouraging them to achieve a high level of work-life balance.

An excerpt:

"At a time when surveys show many Americans are worried about their jobs and research shows that long hours of face time in the office are highly rewarded, workers at Patagonia set their own hours. And the company signals that it doesn’t want those hours to be excessive; The child development center closes at 5 p.m. The headquarters buildings are locked, with everybody out, at 8 p.m., and on weekends.

"Outdoor companies like Patagonia have a business incentive for making sure their employees have time to pursue sports and try out new gear. But in its 41-year history, Patagonia has taken it a step beyond, ensuring, for example, that even workers in its Reno distribution center have free yoga, an organic cafe, free scooters and skateboards and hiking trails out the back door.

"Far from slacking off, the family-owned company has doubled in size and tripled in profits since 2008, earning $600 million in 2013. Its 2,000 employees around the globe are fiercely loyal. Turnover is minimal. The company is expanding into new global markets.
Now some in intensely competitive corporate America, who once dismissed Patagonia and other outdoor companies’ attention to work-life details, are beginning to take notice."

You can read the entire story here.
KC's View:
Sure, Patagonia is an outlier, and there will be few companies that can mimic its approach.

I'm also aware of the fact that Jeff Bezos reportedly once said that if you are concerned about work-life balance, you must not like your work.

But I think the broader message is a good one - that an appreciation of the people on the front lines is not incompatible with growth, and that if employees feel as if they are an asset to the company rather than a cost, they will respond.