InterKOM

A Balancing Act

June 2015, Inver Grove Heights, MN. – Most days it feels like I’m standing on one foot with an armful of balls, trying to keep my balance and not drop any; and as the years pass there are more balls added and that balancing act gets a little trickier. It seems like only yesterday, when I was newly married and had just joined Krech, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates (KOMA), life was a little simpler. Yet here I am fourteen years later celebrating the company’s 30 years, working as a managing partner, a husband with an awesome wife, and a father with four great kids.  Some days I wonder how it all gets done but a healthy balance between our work lives and personal lives is an extremely important value to me and I am fortunate to be a part of a company who believes in a healthy balance just as much.

Balance between work and family life can be a tricky thing and it looks different for everyone.  For me, there are certain things that are a priority with my family which sometimes means adjusting my work schedule or asking for a little more time from a client.  Dinner with my wife and four children is one of those priorities, so on those busy, crazy, jam packed days, it may mean coming in a little earlier in the morning or finishing up a deadline on a Saturday morning.  I come in a little later on Friday mornings to make time to have a weekly bible study with my kids.  It’s important for me to show that they are a priority in my life and to share the things in life that are of high value to me.  Trust me, it’s not always easy!  Early mornings are some of my most productive and enjoyable times at work but it is a sacrifice I have chosen to make and I am dedicated to staying active in my children’s lives and teaching them by example – and having some fun along the way.

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I hope to do the same with my employees. As our ownership transition comes to an end, it is extremely important to me to keep this value of balance alive at KOMA for the next 30 years and to lead by example. I can’t (or won’t) expect my employee to work all night if I’m not there alongside them. I believe that a healthy balance contributes to dedicated, hardworking employees and that dedication and hard work aren’t dictated by how many hours you are at your desk.  We are better workers when we have balance (employees and bosses alike!) There is focus and productivity and inspiration rather than burnt out exhaustion. We are healthy and well-rounded individuals and not only does that breed a better work environment and better results for our clients  but it also breeds better people. It’s important to remember priorities, to see the big picture and to know that holding on to one ball too tight is going to mean dropping the others.

About Matt Van Hoof, PE

Matt graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering and has been practicing structural engineering ever since. Matt joined the firm in 2001 after working in Chicago for four years.   What do you enjoy most about working at KOMA? I enjoy the people I work […]

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