Work-life balance means different things to different people. Some might consider the option to leave the office early to have dinner with family and friends or spend time with their kids as the perfect balance whilst others might value a flexible work schedule, the ability to work from home when needed or the opportunity to work part-time to pursue a degree.
At DCMN, we strongly believe that our people need enough time to pursue both personal and professional interests and that too much energy spent on just one side can lead to people feeling very stressed and decreased productivity.
With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrated in the next few weeks, we caught up with parents and parents-to-be at DCMN to see how (and if) they manage to perfect the work-life balance. This is what they had to say:
Gargi Mahapatra, Mom-to-be, People team
For me, work-life balance does not mean a perfect schedule, but a realistic one. Some days I have a lot of work and stay late and at other times, I have more time to pursue my hobbies or take time off and lie on the couch to watch Netflix. I also love traveling and with the unlimited holidays we get at DCMN, I have been able to take time off from work to travel to different places, to visit my family in India or take days off when I needed it urgently due to personal reasons.
However, since falling pregnant, I realise the real importance of work-life balance. When I informed my team about my pregnancy, they were very supportive in taking over tasks and allowing me to carry on with tasks that are less stressful for me. The flexibility we have at DCMN meant that taking time off during my early days of pregnancy (nausea) or leaving early for a doctor’s appointment was no problem at all. With the support from my team and my partner, I have managed to stay healthy and strong.
Our two founders have children themselves and they encourage people to spend enough time with family and kids. This flexibility and understanding encourage me to work harder and give my best in whatever I do at DCMN and to also work in the best interest of the company.
Patrick Vogel, Daddy to Ava (1.5 years), Senior Art Director
In spite of all the ups and downs, it is worth it being a working parent.
My work-life balance did not change much after becoming a father since DCMN has always been flexible. I never thought it to be a problem because it is so normal at DCMN, but I do know that it is harder at other companies. No one on my team complains if I do not turn up at the office at 9.30 or when I have to take Ava to a doctor’s appointment. There are no bad feelings from the team and I am relaxed without any pressure. Since our co-founders also have kids they know what it is all about. I can easily take care of things in the morning and be home earlier in the evenings, but getting the work done is my responsibility and I need to take care of it.
With unlimited holidays, it means that I can take a three-week holiday with my family without any complications. When it came to paternity leave, everyone was flexible and I received a lot of assistance from our People team regarding the paperwork.
The best thing about being a working parent is that I can appreciate my baby more when I get home and I hear ‘’Papa’’. I also appreciate and enjoy my work a lot and it’s not that I want to be at home all the time, I like the balance between my work and home.
Julian Reiztig, Father of Jonah (10 years), Tayo (4 years) and Nia (1.5 years), Sales Director
At DCMN, we have a lot of flexibility to achieve work-life balance, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. We enjoy a lot of freedom and opportunities to pursue our professional dreams and private duties. No matter what happens or how important the client meeting is, if something urgent comes up with family, my team always understands; those with kids and those without.
Since my role requires me to travel quite a bit, it is always hard to say goodbye, whether it is for two days or two weeks, but it also means that we appreciate each other so much more. The killer for family life is routine, and at DCMN there is never routine. Working with different projects and different people, there are always different things to talk about at home.
Of course, I would like to offer more support at home and take over more responsibilities or tasks and DCMN is definitely the perfect place to have an ideal compromise for daily family life. We work a lot when needed, but we also have unlimited vacation allowing us to spend more quality time with family. Being a parent has also taught me to be more empathetic, both towards my teammates and with my clients.
Heloise Nelte, Mother of Edgar (4 years) and Margaux (1 year), Team Success Igniter
DCMN is a results-driven company, so it does not matter how and where I work. This gives me the motivation to deliver the best work. Of course, my children need me as I am their mom, but I also need to work and pursue my career goals to allow me to be a great mom for them. I learn a lot at work and I do not mind if work crosses over with family life sometimes; I know that DCMN will support me when it is the other way around.
Having flexibility at work is the key to a good work-life balance. It is quite easy when your children are healthy, but when someone is sick, the organisation gets messed up. Because of the flexibility, I can then work from home without any problem.
I spend a lot of time with my kids, and they get balanced care from both parents. It is important for children to learn and grow by having diverse people to take care of them and to spend time with them. They also spend time with other family members and friends. I used to feel guilty when I picked them up late from the Kindergarten, however, I see that it is important for their learning curve to get along with other children and to get professional help from educators. Although I always try to pick them up earlier, it is important to also get time for myself in the form of social engagements, doing sports or other activities apart from work. This balance makes me a better parent.
Taryn Jenkinson, Mom to twins Sian-Lia and Shanna-Rose (8 years) and Luca (18 years), Business Development Manager South Africa
If I had to imagine what my perfect job and work-life ratio would be, then DCMN would be it. There is this freedom just to be me, whether it is being a mom or being an employee.
It is hard working full time and having kids and I won’t deny that. Of course, I get all the support needed from my partner and other people, but in the end, the responsibility lies with me, their mother.
The organisational needs of the kids are quite a lot, including school projects, dress up for school events, etc., and they need me for that. It helps a lot that I can work from home when needed so I have the freedom to help the kids and work on projects at the same time.
The way I cope with being a working mom is that I multitask a lot. I also colour code everything in my calendar so that I can see in a glance what is coming up every week. I take it day by day, plan ahead and arrange everything based on what the day should look like.
As much as I love my kids, I would go insane if I had to be with them and take care of the routine stuff 24/7. I need my work and have to be productive and think like an adult. For me, it is important to bring myself to my family as a fully fledged being with my own rights.
In my team, there is a balance of parents and non-parents and everyone is very supportive. I feel safe in my team, knowing that I can be a productive member of the team but also have a life amidst that.
If you want to connect with any of our inspiring parents, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.