Returning to work from parental leave – my story

Tuomas Jalamo

Returning to work from parental leave marks the beginning of a new life phase. In this article, our UX Designer Tiina shares her experiences in combining family and designer lives.

At the beginning of April, I returned to work after 10 months of parental leave.During that time at home with the baby, I often thought about how great it would be to go back to the office and not have to wash my hands every second. Little did I know: me getting back to work coincided with the Coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, my hands are still dry as sandpaper as I'm typing this on my keyboard.

Moreover, the pandemic made the return a lot different than I had originally envisioned. No catching up with colleagues in person or communal lunch breaks at restaurants. On the other hand, working from home meant that I could see my kid during the day. In that sense, I guess you could even call it a soft landing of sorts.

Even amidst these weird times, I find myself enjoying both work and family life a lot. What do I contribute this to? Studies about combining family and working often suggest that flexibility in adjusting working hours and child care is one of the key factors to success.

Luckily, this is very much in line with our independent mentality here at Taiste. You are encouraged to do your work from wherever and whenever it suits you the best. Of course, some conditions apply, such as it should not prevent your teammates from doing their work, you still show up to important meetings etc.

Flexibility has already been an absolute lifesaver for my family for reasons anyone familiar with the hectic world of childcare can probably relate to.

This flexibility has already been an absolute lifesaver for my family for reasons anyone familiar with the hectic world of childcare can probably relate to. For example, I have been able to do my work later in the evening and get some extra rest during the morning if I've had a sleepless night.

Whereas I have my husband to thank for many things, I have to thank my work community as well. They made coming back to work a smooth experience, even when everyone was more or less working from home. This includes them being very understanding of me being offline during the day or when a conference call is suddenly interrupted by baby noises (my loud voice seems to have passed down to the next generation).

Working life is a contract that benefits from both sides being willing to adapt and see things from a wider perspective. At the end of the day, creating a working environment built to handle changing life situations seems to benefit the employer, the employee – and the families.

Tuomas Jalamo
About the author
Tuomas Jalamo

A Swiss Army knife of communications, marketing, project management and concept design. Also a musician, movie buff and game enthusiast.

About the author
Tuomas Jalamo

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