In this post, we interview Jing Hao, a Software Engineer on the Solutions team. She’s one of the newest mom’s at Diffbot.
Hi Jing! Congratulations on the new addition to your family and welcome back to work – we’ve missed you and can’t wait to hear all about your journey into motherhood during a time of uncertainty. I think it’s a good idea to help parents-to-be understand how to navigate the current environment.
- Given the Covid-19 pandemic, how have you been able to balance your personal and professional life – i.e. working at home and welcoming a baby girl?
At Diffbot, I feel extremely supported by the work-life environment, which is essential for a happy, working mom. Our CEO, Mike Tung, has been extremely accommodating to my situation. Diffbot has a generous 4-month parental leave policy. Additionally, I came back to work part time initially, which allowed me the flexibility to adjust to the responsibilities of a working mom. I’ve been able to establish routines to bond with my baby now that I’m back to full time. My baby usually wakes up at 6 a.m so we spend some time together to eat breakfast, read books, and exercise. When she’s having her morning nap, I’m ready to start work with an energized mindset. Thanks for our generous work from home policy, I get to pump and do feedings while spending quality time with my baby.
- How has Diffbot accommodated your pregnancy journey?
Diffbot cares a lot about employees’ well being and has been extremely supportive throughout the whole journey. I had severe discomforts during the pregnancy, such as nausea and vomiting, and had a limited diet. Since Diffbot offers free meals (lunch and dinner), newly remodeled individual offices, and an onsite gym, just to name a few, I was able to alleviate pregnancy discomfort, stay healthy, and be productive on the job. We also have 100% company-sponsored health insurance and generous HRA benefits, which provides a huge financial relief when having a newborn. Many employees at Diffbot are also parents or parents-to-be who care and share experiences and resources. My co-workers even threw a warm baby shower before my maternity leave. At Diffbot I never feel alone and cannot wait to have play dates with other Diffbot babies after the pandemic is over!
- How have you kept yourself together during this time?
A great thing about working at Diffbot is the ability to work on what you want and acquire those skills necessary to constantly learn and fulfill my potential. When you start here, you aren’t assigned a specific task – rather, you get the opportunity to decide what problems you want to solve and go tackle them. This allows me to work on what I’m passionate about. Outside of work, I keep myself occupied with exercise and my husband and I have been able to create more quality time together with our baby girl.
- Any tips for future parents on maintaining a personal-professional life balance while being successful?
You’ll definitely need the extra help with a newborn! Prepare as much as you can if you plan on hiring a nanny or by asking family and friends to help. You’ll get peace of mind when you know your baby is in good and safe hands while you’re working. Turn every nurture effort into bonding time, and share your activities with your baby. My baby is fond of my favorite music and loves watching me do yoga. If at all possible, work for a family friendly company (Thank you, Diffbot!). It will be of great help if your job gives you flexible hours, lets you leave work for doctor appointments, or gives you the option to work from home. With all that flexibility, you can still get crucial bonding with your baby.
- How can companies accommodate new parents to adjust with the current work setup?
Quarantine is an isolating experience, and it’s critically important for maintaining well being both mentally and physically, on work and off work. Diffbot has opportunities for parents to include the whole family for social events such as happy hour and photo contests. Medication, childbirth, and breastfeeding classes and therapy services are HRA eligible. While we have clean and hygienic workplaces, especially the private offices make isolation possible, we’ve also received masks and weekly food delivery stipends to ease the transition of working from home. With these complete flexibilities, I feel blessed to have found a company that takes care of its employees.