“Back to school” is a big transition for everyone — students, teachers, and parents. Schedules are upended, new activities take flight, and everyone strives to find a new equilibrium in their day-to-day lives.
Working parents face the unique challenge of meeting their children’s needs while also remaining productive and focused at their jobs.
6sense has an employee resource group (ERG) for working families, and we spoke with two members — Brittany Sarsfield, Director of Revenue Efficiency, and Lauren Johnson, Senior Marketing Operations Manager — about how they juggle it all, the support they rely on, and their recommendations for other working parents.
6sense: What does “back to school” mean to you?
Brittany: I think it’s about helping people transition through change and cope with the change, and getting better at this is where our ERG can help.
Lauren: This fall is going to be the first time in 10 years that all my kids are out of the house for most of the day. I want to make sure I’m squeezing in authentic quality time with them before that happens. Then, there’s the preparation and scheduling of after-school activities and different things like that. But I feel like I can do that at 6sense. I feel like I can organize my calendar in a way that allows me to do both.
How would you describe being a working parent in the age of remote work?
Lauren: It’s stressful. I think that’s probably pretty universal. Sometimes for women, you want to be great at it all, and sometimes you feel like you’re just not hitting the mark in any of those spaces.
But remote work makes me feel like I can still be present. I can be here to give them a hug before they get on the bus, or go downstairs and have lunch with them if they’re home. It gives me that flexibility and some time back, because I don’t have to commute.
Brittany: It requires a lot more time management and separation of home and personal life because the lines are so blurred now.
At 6sense, we foster a great remote work environment. My leaders, my direct manager, and other leaders in the company are all in the same boat. We have a lot of people with young kids who are trying to balance everything. Everyone is very empathetic.
How do you bring your authentic family-self to 6sense?
Brittany: I try to set boundaries and openly communicate. I’ll tell people, “My son does karate on Wednesdays and that’s going to be the night I leave a little early.”
I like to paint a picture of what I’m dealing with so everyone is aware. I try to be a role model for that too, for all my team members. If I’m not honest about it with other people, they won’t feel like they can do the same.
Lauren: I agree. If I’m on kid coverage right now, I put that block of time in the calendar and say in Slack: “I’m with my kids; I’m going to be slow to respond.”
I have four kids. It can get crazy and they bop in and out sometimes, especially during summer break. But it’s become a much more normal part of this virtual world that we work in. It makes you relatable sometimes, too — especially to other parents. It’s another way to connect with people.
Any advice for those looking to be a valuable ally or provide a support system?
Brittany: Recently someone gave a heads up in Slack that a bunch of people had kids going back to school and to be aware. That was nice because honestly, I wasn’t thinking about it. My kid does the same routine every day right now. But it was good for me to know that some people are facing a different situation.
We talk about giving people grace; just try and give people the benefit of the doubt. I think I’ve gotten better at this now that I have a child. I try to be as empathetic to people’s situations as possible, because it is so hard to juggle everything.
What can companies do to make sure they’re supporting working parents?
Brittany: First of all, having a repository for on-demand content — so people can access it when they have the time — is super important.
The second thing is education. I was a member of a support group for moms, and they did a lot of education on different topics, like bad eaters or poor sleepers. They brought in outside specialists to educate people. Everyone really enjoyed that. Then that goes to your arsenal of library content, too. You’re not just providing internal resources, but also bringing in external experts to support your working parents.
Lauren: Having online and off-site experiences — where you can bring the kids or not — is a great chance for everyone to connect on a different level and share thoughts freely.
Just creating that community is super helpful. It lets people share different ideas that might not have come up before. We had someone suggest the idea of storybook time with everyone and their kids. That’s what I love about the community.
Learn About 6sense Careers
6sense has received a number of accolades and recognition for its workplace culture, including:
- #3 Best Place to Work in 2022 for Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards
- Ranked among the Top 2022 Best Places to Work in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times
- Recognized by employee-review website Comparably for the Best Company Outlook and Happiest Employees, Best Perks & Benefits, Best Culture, Best for Women and Best for Diversity, Best Places to Work in the Bay Area, Best Engineering Teams, Best Product & Design Teams, Best Marketing Teams, and Best Sales Teams
- Best CEO 2021 by Glassdoor and Comparably
Check out our Careers page to see our current opportunities.