Working from home with children Interview <APAC edition Part 1>

natsumimori
Community Manager

Hi Community, 

 

It has been over a month since HubSpot temporarily closed its global offices and all HubSpot employees started to work remotely in response to COVID-19. As the world practices social distancing, we know many of our Community members are in the same situation. 

 

Over the past month, we started to see more people talk about working from home with children and the challenges associated with this. As many HubSpot employees are also parents, we wanted to share their experiences with the Community in hopes that it will help at least one Community member. Over the next few weeks we will be publishing a series of interviews from HubSpotters around the globe. Our first interview is from APAC!

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Reena Chadha

Inbound Growth Specialist Corporate in Sydney office

Child’s age: 11 years old

 

 

 

Could you share your work and how a day looks like? 

Setting routines from the word go.....So managing expectations really. We follow my son's routine at school so follow the structure of the breaks. Lunch time means I actually have to play with him and if I can't, I have a lot of making up to do. He is definitely not like the understanding Hubspot leaders 🙂 I also tend to treat him like a work colleague and tend to answer his questions while he is studying. Earlier, I could tend to snap with " Mummy is working" but with that change in lens, it's getting better and I tend not to get irritated.

 

How has been your WFH with children experience? 

It's challenging for sure and exhausting 🙂 No adult break during the time anymore since the breaks are all spent with him but I am so grateful that I am able to do that so it works. I see enough parents worrying about how they have to choose one thing. Michelle Obama in her book " Becoming " said one mentor of hers was shamelessly apologetic about their motherhood and work news. I tend to think that is absolutely on point. I use this as an icebreaker all the time with my prospects.

 

What are your challenges about WFH with children? 

I guess it's exhausting because you are always doing something, it starts with prepping food in the morning to be there for him during the day. But as I said before, I think we are a lucky workforce to get so much time with them.

 

What type of activity is working for your child while you are working, having meetings, etc?

Reading and hearing books ( audible) , Zoom games with their friends ( Ludo King is a real thing :)!)

 

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Shahid Nizami

Managing Director in Singapore office

Child’s age: 7 years old

 

 

 

Could you share your work and how a day looks like? 

Lot of meetings with HubSpotters,  customers and partners panning across different time zones.

 

How has been your WFH with children experience? 

We have settled into a good rhythm over a period of time. He starts his home based learning at 8 am and so do I start my work. We sometimes sit together in the same study room and work together on our tasks.

 

What are your challenges about WFH with children? 

With home based learning, if my son has a query and both me and my wife are in meetings, then he has to wait for us to get free. We need to manage our time better. 

 

What type of activity is working for your child while you are working, having meetings, etc?

Home based learning, watching TV, writing a journal etc.

 

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Jia Hui 

Receivable Specialist in Singapore office

Children's age: Luke - 4 years old and Ellie - 2 years old 

 

 

 

Could you share your work and how a day looks like? 

I'm in charge of the payment issues for customers in the APAC region. With HubSpot's values in mind, our team tries to help arrive at an ideal outcome for both customers and HubSpot. A day in my work consists of reviewing and resolving customer payment issues, negotiating with them, responding to queries (both internal and external), payment extension requests and more.

Working from home allows me to start my day early. I usually start work earlier so that I can take breaks during the day to spend some time with the children. I will have breakfast while I work and the kids will have breakfast themselves. My husband and I take turns to engage the children so that we each have some time to catch up with work. After breakfast, I will lead the kids for a yoga (Cosmic kids) or dancing session (Ellie loves Hi-5) to get them moving. The kids will then head for a shower before Luke, who’s current in K1, will do some home based learning with my husband while my daughter will have some play time alone. We will all have lunch together before Ellie takes a nap. 

Unfortunately, Luke has not been taking afternoon naps and I really struggled with this for the first few days as he was constantly asking for us to play with him. We set the expectation that there we can allow him to skip his naps but in exchange he will have to learn to have some quiet time in order not to disturb Ellie’s nap and also us. He is now able to read and play by himself for at least half an hour. Thankfully, he loves to read and I also have a stash of new books in the cupboard. 

Around 330-4pm, Ellie wakes up and the kids have snack time. After which we encourage them to play together (free play). We try to end work at around 530-6PM as the kids generally get tired of waiting for us by then. In the evenings, we let the kids take the lead and do the activities they want - coloring, lego, story time, role playing, etc. They usually head to bed at around 9-930.

I don’t usually log on in after the kids are asleep as my husband and I need some time for ourselves and each other. We try to catch up on weekends if needed.

 

How has been your WFH with children experience? 

It has been really challenging and I really struggled the first few days. It has now become better with the support of my husband. I had to adjust my expectations of balancing work and parenting.

One thing that really helps us get through the day is also a rewards chart. We encourage them by giving them stickers and ‘plastic crystals’ when we spot good behaviour. They can exchange the crystals and stickers for a variety of rewards - from more tv time to new toys, books and more! It’s exciting for both the kids and us!

 

What are your challenges about WFH with children? 

My kids are young and need a lot of attention. They cannot understand the situation and why both parents are at home but are unable to engage them the whole day, as this is what they would expect on a weekend with us. We struggled to find ways to keep them engaged for long periods of time while we worked.

 

What type of activity is working for your child while you are working, having meetings, etc?

A new book, having one parent to engage them or last resort is TV (this never fails us, though we’re not proud of it..)

 

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It is very interesting to see how everyone is trying to find their own rhythm as parents working from home with children, as well as discover what works for their children and family. Although it can be challenging to work from home with children, it is great to learn how each parent is managing this situation.

 

We will publish another interview soon, stay tuned!

4 Replies 4
natsumimori
Community Manager

Japanese translated version is here.

日本語版はこちらをご覧ください。

0 Upvotes
PamCotton
Community Manager

Portuguese translated version here 

Versão em Português aqui 

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Rolf
Contributor

My second child was born just before our country - The Netherlands - was locked down as well. I was "lucky" that my wife was on leave for a couple of months and that daycare opened again last week. That said, WFH with a baby and a two-year-old is as much fun as it is frustrating.

 

We hired a babysitter for a few weeks until daycare opened. That was a great solution because it allowed us to work (from the bedroom so that we could distance ourselves as much as possible from the babysitter) and our children got the attention they deserve (from the babysitter in the morning and us the rest of the day).

 

My wife and I now do afternoon walks just to get a bit of fresh air each day. We're lucky there wasn't a complete shutdown. But every day I realize a couple of times that the whole situation is still so bizarre. My sister hasn't even seen my newborn son yet even though we don't live far apart. But my family, my friends, and myself are all healthy. I guess that's what counts right now.

natsumimori
Community Manager

Hi @Rolf 

 

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and congratulations on your new baby!! I can't imagine how hard it is to handle parenting and work at once, but it's great to know that hiring a babysitter helped your family. 

 

The whole situation is absolutely bizarre for me too and probably for many people, but hopefully things will get better sometime soon...! Thanks again for sharing your story @Rolf !