WFH (with kids) hacks from the professional services community (Part III)
This installment of our work from home blog series focuses on a topic that parents around the world are currently grappling with – working alongside their children. With school and organized childcare on pause for the foreseeable future, our young cohorts are always there, whether “bombing” video conference calls, asking for snacks throughout the day, or just needing some extra TLC. Here, we take the pulse of four Intapp employees who are currently experiencing this new work from home with kids (WFHWK) culture. They lend their perspective on their top challenges, benefits, and some tips that help them get through the day with their little ones.
Work from home with kids (WFHWK) hacks from the professional services community
Natalie Papaj, Senior Manager, Global Public Relations, Intapp
Working virtually for 1 year at Intapp and multiple years for other companies
Home office: Northern Virginia
#1 benefit: We take the day-in and day-out happenings for granted, so it’s the little in-between moments with the kids at home that are special. The days are long, but the years are short.
#1 challenge: The wearing of multiple hats: full time employee, Mom, school teacher, IT support, entertainment committee, nurse, snack regulator.
Personal tip for staying sane: Exercise and cocktails. A healthy balance of both!
Favorite activity for keeping the kids occupied: Unfortunately, screen time. It has been rewarding to see my kids bond more as siblings. Though they don’t have much of a choice, they all have started to play together, help each other, and of course argue more.
Sarah Smithline, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Intapp
Working virtually for six months
Home office: Jersey City, NJ
#1 benefit: Typically, I love not having to commute so I can spend more time with my kids. These days I’m just grateful for a job that can continue pretty seamlessly during this period.
#1 challenge: Keeping my kids busy – or at least quiet – while I’m on Zoom calls most of the day. This usually involves a lot of snacks.
Personal tip for staying sane: Breathe. Take it one day at a time and relax typical rules and expectations. If the school lessons don’t get done, but the kids can measure ingredients or make patterns while they help me, I know they are still learning.
Favorite activity for keeping the kids occupied:YouTube has a lot of good videos for kids! I also take them outside every day to run/skip/scoot — and hope the fresh air and exertion leads to an earlier bedtime so I can get back online!
Barbara Ozimic, ABM Marketing Manager, Intapp
Working virtually for 2 1/2 years
Home office: London, UK
#1 benefit: I’m loving the hugs we get throughout the day! And those rare moments when everything flows just right and we function as a great little family team are priceless.
#1 challenge: My girls are five and seven years old, so old enough to keep themselves busy and entertained for a time but too young to sustain it for long. My younger daughter loves checking out my colleagues on video calls and my biggest challenge is having to say no and send her away, especially when I’d like to give my kids more reassurance in a situation that is very difficult for them, as well.
Personal tip for staying sane:With relatively young kids like mine – relax and adjust expectations. They’re trying to cope as well as they can.
Favorite activity for keeping the kids occupied: Take them outside each day and let them burn off energy. The Easter Bunny has brought soft tennis rackets, hopper balls, and we’ve dug out skipping ropes, frisbees, old footballs to help entice them away from screens.
Alicia Butler, Director, Marketing Operations, Intapp
Working virtually for 3 years
Home office: Atlanta, Georgia
#1 benefit: Work life balance. Nothing is more important than spending quality time with my sweet, loving and crazy 3- and 2-year-olds. WFH allows me to have less frantic mornings, eat lunch with my kids, and have more time in the evenings for family. Pro-tip: Do one load of laundry a day for more free/fun time on the weekends.
#1 challenge: Toddlers have no boundaries, courtesy, patience or filter when I am on calls. The need for a cookie is urgent and priority over all things. Pro-tip: Block off times on your calendar for family time. It is difficult sometimes to sign-off when WFH.
Personal tip for staying sane: It’s worth making the investment in your workspace. It will allow you to be more efficient and productive with the time you do have to dedicate to work – and find a room with a door. Pro-tip: use the Zoom virtual background or Teams blur background features during video conferencing. No one will see the destruction behind you.
Favorite activity for keeping the kids occupied: A walk, dance party or a few ‘exercise and learn’ videos in the morning to get the wiggles out helps with focus. Sidewalk chalk, coloring or painting are typically all winners. When all else fails, invest in a bounce house!
Sr. Manager, Influencer Marketing and Social Media