Because voting is so important, Clockwork is doing something we’ve never done before: we are going to close on election day. For me as a citizen, mother, and business owner, it’s important that as many people vote as possible. I don’t expect my colleagues — or the rest of the world — to share my politics, but I do expect them to recognize the importance of this single participatory act of our democracy.
It is a responsibility and privilege that I want every Clockworker to take seriously, and one that I wish more people took seriously: nearly ½ of eligible voters didn’t vote in the last election. Well, here we are. Clearly more of us have to do our parts. Moreover, this is a mid-term year, so even fewer might show up. By giving our staff the day off, we not only allow them the time and space to go vote, but they can help others vote, too, by volunteering at polls, driving people to poll locations or any other type of civic engagement.
Why close for the election now?
If we’ve never done it before, why now? Because businesses don’t have to distance themselves from causes they care about anymore. In fact, I think it’s important that small businesses start bringing their work values out into the world. Even 10 years ago, work remained separate from the personal and political spheres. But work has evolved and we’re seeing a movement toward uniting — or at least aligning — the various aspects of our life.
I see this simple act of closing for the day as us demonstrating our values, not just here at work, but in our neighborhoods and greater communities. As a queer woman, my freedom is not something I take lightly. As an entrepreneur, I know how critical that freedom is to my business.
I hope each of my colleagues honors the day with time and your attention. And uses it for good.
What role do businesses play in social causes?
Doing business is universal. Buying and selling goods and services is at the heart of every community: Healthy business leads to thriving communities. So businesses have a right and a responsibility in participating in their communities.
In a previous post, I wrote, “Never underestimate the impact that businesses can have on the culture around us. What we demand and require of colleagues, partners, and vendors can have a huge impact on who shows up to the table and who has a voice beyond that table.” I stand by that. Every decision we make, at work or at home, impacts the world around us. It shows people what we care about, or what we don’t care about.
Businesses are at the heart of our lives — whether it’s our own business, our employer, or the shop where we go to get coffee with our friends and families. These spaces should openly share the values with which they identify. It can bring people together, start conversations, and illuminate beliefs.
Closing on election day is one way Clockwork is showing our values and showcasing what we care about — democracy, participation, and access.