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Bringing home to work

• 04.06.19 •

Arttu Tolonen • Communications Specialist

One of the aspects of the Industrial Age that carried over into the Information Age in more or less full force was a modernist conception of society and life where these functions are strictly separated. Your life at work and your life at home are discrete areas, and the former often fails to take the latter into account.

Fortunately, this is changing slowly but surely as especially employers in high skill and high-value added fields start to realise that a human being is a holistic entity - all parts of life reflect on each other. So a happy employee with a good work-life balance and a healthy amount of “bleed” between the various areas of life does better work. Happiness is, of course, a worthy goal in and of itself, too.

Work-life balance is an extremely important question when you have children. At Futurice, we try to provide a flexible environment that helps families thrive. We also work to maintain a culture that supports people as complete beings with a rich life outside work and an important role in the life of their family.

As a part of a cooperative effort with Mothers In Business Helsinki, we asked four people at Futurice three questions about their experiences in fitting together work and children.

Janetta Ekholm - Service Creator & Business Director

Tell us about an instance when your work and family life came together in a way that just worked for both?

Parenting is a never-ending scheduling conflict, so the fact that Futurice is flexible about when and where I work is great. Childrens’ schedules often can’t be flexible. There are school events, parent-teacher meetings, etc. An important factor is that here the culture is such that taking time for your family is not frowned upon. In fact, it’s strongly encouraged.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced in combining parenting and your career?

Mine was actually more of a close call. I interviewed for a job in Taiwan with a French startup. When I mentioned I had children, they said they don’t mind if I leave for home as early as 7 pm... I decided to stay in Finland and find a job here. I think it’s important to appreciate the support we have for parents here, both as benefits and as a culture.

What would you like to see employers do better in terms of accommodating parents at work?

Just as an example, Futurice organised a one-week code school for children of employees last summer. Having one week of school vacation taken care of in terms of the kids’ activities was awesome and the children have some really nice memories they still talk about. In Finland, we also have access to child care services from Stella. They're great when something unexpected happens.


Perttu Haliseva - Developer

Tell us about an instance when your work and family life came together in a way that just worked for both?

Last year’s week-long children’s coding camp at Futurice was really rewarding for me as well as my daughters. We commuted together, children spent the morning doing their activities while I worked, and we had lunch together. Lunch was followed by a visit to our envy-inducing ice cream fridge and an afternoon of coding activities for the kids. I really liked how they had a fun time learning and I got to show them where I work, too!

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced in combining parenting and your career?

Sometimes the working days can be long. Also, sometimes it’s hard to predict when I can leave from work without having to drop unfinished things. Combining that with children’s and my own hobbies can require a lot of compromises.

What would you like to see employers do better in terms of accommodating parents at work?

Hard to say. I think we have things pretty good at Futurice and maintaining a healthy work/home balance is an actual priority. Generally, I think a little flexibility and understanding go a long way. Let people take care of what’s most important to them and they will be happier at work.


Anni Harju - Head of Strategy

Tell us about an instance when your work and family life came together in a way that just worked for both?

I think my favorite moment was actually on my maternity leave. I ran across a really interesting seminar, but my child was still too small to leave with someone else. I packed her in the pram and went to the seminar. Everyone was really into it and one of the presenters even remarked on the youngest audience member falling asleep quite early in the presentation. In this day and age employees are always reachable and at least in our industry do bring work home. I think this should work both ways. We should be able to bring home to work, too. Be courageous and take your kids with you.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced in combining parenting and your career?

I came back to work when my daughter was 9 months old. At this age the child is still learning to sleep, so sleep deprivation is a fact of life. I actually don’t think there is a solution to this problem, so I’m just asking that our employers and colleagues be aware of the fact that on some days parents will be in a slightly zombie-like state. Please be patient!

What would you like to see employers do better in terms of accommodating parents at work?

I love Stella’s childcare services and wish all employers offered them to all parents. Generally, I think a lot of extracurricular activities that companies in the IT industry sponsor or facilitate are geared towards younger employees. There’s not a lot that people can participate in with families. I’d like to see this change.


Jussi Hacklin - Vice President

Tell us about an instance when your work and family life came together in a way that just worked for both?

I think every time I’ve brought my son to the office, things have worked out great. It’s important that work is the sort of place that welcomes kids. To me it’s also very important that my son experiences the fact that I enjoy the work I do.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced in combining parenting and your career?

The unpredictable nature of work is sometimes a challenge when trying to be truly present in my son’s life. A typical situation could be one where something falls into my lap right as we’re supposed to go on a vacation trip. Nowadays, I tend to set aside a block of time before my vacation to take care of any surprises, so I can devote my free time to being with my son.

What would you like to see employers do better in terms of accommodating parents at work?

I’d like to see more employers really work to create a more family-friendly culture and atmosphere that is flexible in accommodating people with children. The kids will grow up regardless of work schedules. Being a parent is not something you can get back to later.


If you want to work at a company that is truly family-friendly and doesn't just pay lip service to the idea, check out our Careers section. Find a suitable vacancy or fill in an open application.

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