I’m a mother of two young children and work as an in-house lawyer at Braze in our London office. I feel lucky every day that I have the type of job and work for the type of company that allows me to be flexible in my working hours. I need to be able to work around my family life. Being able to do this lifts an enormous weight off my shoulders and enables me to concentrate on my job without worrying about where and when I work.
Today, I had a dentist appointment mid-morning. My office is an hour away from my house, so I dropped my youngest at nursery and then worked on my laptop from a coffee shop near my dentist until my appointment. I had my appointment, and I arrived in the office before lunchtime. Easy.
If you’re a working parent, you’re familiar with the number crunching that can come along with coordinating end-of-day pick up. On this particular day, I needed to pick up my kids at 7 p.m. I had a call scheduled from 6:00-6:45 p.m. Recall that my home is an hour from the office, and you’ll soon realize that doesn’t quite add up. So, I left Braze at 5pm, took my call from home, and picked up my children on time. My husband was working late too that night, so once the kids were in bed, I worked a couple more hours from home, and had another call with a US colleague. (It’s helpful to have the option to have calls in the evening with the U.S. if I need to.)
All in all, I had the equivalent of a full working day, and worked from a coffee shop, from the office, and from home. I still managed to spend quality time with my kids and put them to bed. I commuted when it was most convenient.
Now I do have days where I do 9 to 6 in the office and I don’t work evenings every day, but what I like is that it’s up to me. I like working remotely or from home, but I also really enjoy being in the office to meet people. On Wednesdays we have lunch catered in the office, and we take the opportunity as much as possible to eat together.
I love working at Braze, for a lot of reasons, but work-life harmony makes all the rest possible. My colleagues are respectful of the fact that I have young children and that I may need to work around them, and even though I often choose to work in the evening for my own convenience, my U.S. colleagues are always mindful that it’s my evening and still try to schedule calls earlier in my day when possible.
I feel more productive because my mind is not busy worrying about having to ask for half a day off for a 20 minute dentist appointment. I feel trusted because I do not need to explain why I’m arriving late to the office or why I’m leaving a bit early so I can get my kids on time and because people look at my work without focusing on where or when I prepared it. I feel empowered because I have the means to work from anywhere I wish. I feel respected because my colleagues are mindful of my time and my family life.
Now, I still want to brag a little bit because I love Braze! In our U.K. office, we have about 40% of female employees, which is pretty remarkable for a tech company. We have people from 10+ countries. We are proud to have a diverse employee population, and we cultivate an amazing work atmosphere. Braze also trusts its employees to work responsibly and gives them an unlimited allowance of holidays. We have snacks, a lunch allowance (catered lunch in the US!), a cool office, great benefits, friendly colleagues... and we’re hiring! Come and join us.