Working from home with children Interview <LATAM edition>

PamCotton
Community Manager

Hi Community, 

 

Welcome to the sixth edition of this series. As you know it has been more than 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. 

 

This time we’ve interviewed a few HubSpotters from our LATAM  region. Our first interview is with our Country Director & Sales Director for Brazil,  Paul Rios.

 

 

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Paul Rios
Role: Country Director & Sales Director for Brazil

Child’s age: 6,4,3 years old.

 

 

 

 

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

 

I have a lot of meetings and 1:1's...I call my sales team my other children, lol.  I wake up early (~5 am) to do admin work and generally work uninterrupted.  The family typically wakes up ~7:15-7:30 am and we try to eat all together.  After breakfast I jump into ~3-4 hours of meetings and at 11 am or 12 pm I stop to eat lunch with the family, and after lunch help the kids with homework.

 

After the ~1-2 hour break I do another block of meetings until 5 pm - at 5 pm it is a HARD stop and computer away.  I spend the evening eating dinner with the family and then playing with the kids until bedtime.

 

How has been your WFH with children experience?

 

I'm not going to lie - difficult.  The kids need (and deserve) a lot of attention.  Structuring the day and setting clear expectations is fundamental.  I have discrete blocks of time for me/work, or for the family/kids.  Everyone knows what is expected in each block.

 

What are your challenges about WFH with children?

 

It is easier said than done to keep the kids entertained (in a productive way, ie: not just gluing them to an iPad) when you are in a work block or in a meeting.

 

Also, the smaller children do not really fully comprehend what work is or what it means to you, and are still likely to interrupt you.

 

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

 

Variety is important.  Sometimes they just play in their playroom.  Other times they are doing crafts (though this is tricky because usually at least one adult needs to be present), other times a movie or a little bit of iPad (if they've been good).

 

 

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Shelley Pursell

Role: Marketing Director, Latam and Iberia

Child’s age: 20-month-old and 4 year old

 

 

 

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

 

Since being in quarantine, my days have changed a little bit. I start working around 7 am and spend a lot of the morning on ZOOM calls with people from many different time zones. A lot of my work includes coordinating amount of multiple teams, so meetings take up a large amount of my time. My husband is with the kids in the morning, but I often get a visitor wanting to say hello to whomever I am speaking with on Zoom. Then I have lunch blocked in my calendar so we can have a family lunch and put the kids down for a nap. (I am SO grateful my kids still take a nap!) I then hurry to finish as much work for the day as I can, because when they wake up, it's my turn to be with the kids while my husband works. In the afternoons, I try to do some type of art activity or exercise with the kids and play a bit more before dinner, bath, and bed. Once the kids are in bed, I try to relax, catch up with friends and family, or get any other urgent work done. The weekdays are busy and long, but rewarding! 

 

How has been your WFH with children experience?

 

Working from home with children full time is tough. Before COVID-19, I usually worked from home once or twice a week, so I have a great WFH space set up. However, most of the time, the kids were at preschool, and I was used to having peace and quiet while WFH. However, now, that's not the case. It's difficult to manage both kids and work at the same time. I find that creating a plan with your partner on when each person is responsible and then blocking time on my calendar when I am on parent duty helps make it manageable. 

 

What are your challenges about WFH with children?

 

The biggest challenge is keeping up with the pace of work while not having the flexibility to work as many hours as I did before. It's also very challenging to stay focused on work when hearing crying or screaming in the background. 

 

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

 

This is an ongoing challenge, as they are constantly wanting new activities to keep them busy. The easiest is TV but they are also starting to get bored with that. So, books, play-doh/kinetic sand, stickers, and activity books all help.

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I hope you find these interviews interesting and you are learning from our HubSpotters from different regions and countries

 

Stay Safe!

 

Pam & HubSpot Community team!

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2 Replies 2
prios
HubSpot Employee

I hope folks find my contributions useful!  Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions (or insights) into working from home full-time with kids.

 

One last thought that I wanted to contribute: after a few weeks of remote work (with the family) I came to the realization that I was prioritizing the wrong thing - work.  I realized that in the absence of school or daycare it is now my fundamental responsibility to care/teach/develop my children, and that I should prioritize them over work.  This may seem obvious to some, but it requires a major restructuring of your day, and commitment to stick with the new routine.  I would be lying if I said my productivity has not suffered, but that is OK (people must be OK with this, and they should help their employer be OK with it too, otherwise it will lead to a lot of stress and friction).  It is more important for me to do the right thing for the kids...at the end of the day, I do this job in large part for them, in service of them.  What would be the point to work so hard only to lose focus on what really matters and why we do this in the first place?

natsumimori
Community Manager

Thank you @prios for sharing your experiences and thoughts! 

That's really a good point- we easily put oureslves aside and prioritize something else, but it's very important right now to put more focus on our family and our own mental health.

I wanted to share this interview edition too @Rolf Smiley Happy