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Apart no more: how WFA resolves the Catch-22 of working parents

It used to be choosing one over another; now working parents in our team can have their cake and eat it too.

Working parents often face a dilemma: job or family.

Chances are many of them feel guilty for not being more involved in their children’s life, since they only have limited time to spend with their kids. However, when the moment comes, they can’t fully engage in the activities due to exhaustion from work. For them, finding the point of balance between their careers and their families seems like a Herculean task.

But the past year transformed the way businesses operate, including us. Since the early days of the pandemic, DKatalis has embraced remote working or using the current catchphrase: Work from Anywhere (WFA). We believe that our team can perform and be productive anywhere they want, including from the comfort of their home.

Various studies have shown that eliminating geographical boundaries is beneficial for employees, especially working parents. It opens up a chance to restructure their lives in ways they never thought possible. They can spend more time with their children and spouse without sacrificing their jobs.

Three of our team members shared how being able to work from home helps them get closer to their children.

Yuke Priyantoko, Engineering Chapter Lead

I used to only spend weekends with my children. At that time, I was working in Jakarta while my family stayed in Bandung, our home.

Since I couldn’t be at home much, we tried to make the most out of our time together. We video called at least two or three times every day when I was away, keeping each other updated. Obviously, it wasn’t enough. But as the family’s head and sole breadwinner, I had to do it.

There were some important moments I regrettably had to miss, like when my kids joined sports competitions or school events where both parents were supposed to attend. Those moments didn’t wait until weekends to occur. Of course, my wife attended for both of us, but I still ached to be present. My kids wished their father could be there for them as well and my absence saddened them, but my kids understood and didn’t make a huge fuss over it.

I had a growing fear of having to sacrifice one for the other. I even considered starting my own business just to have more time with my kids.

Apparently, I don’t have to.

I’m now working from home and it significantly boosts my quality time with family. No more waiting until the weekend to see them, we now have every day. I can spend mornings riding bike around the neighbourhood with my youngest child. When I have a slow day, I can take them to ballet or taekwondo lessons.

Nurdian Farikh, Sr People Partner for Digital

Growing up in a family where my father was the sole breadwinner, I normalized him rarely being at home. And it kind of imprinted on me. Most of my career consisted of working from an office, just like many others in this country. I left at dawn and returned home late in the evening, there wasn’t much time to spend with my kids. We usually packed everything on weekends, and it was not ideal. I was already tired from work and preferred to spend my day-offs on “me time.”

Due to my fixed work schedule, it was hard for me to be present in my kids’ important moments, like competitions or school events. Sometimes I had urgent works that I couldn’t leave. But there was no other option, wasn’t it? I already accepted the possibility of missing out on those moments and only witnessing the fragments.

However, my wife often reminded me that my children need their father to be more involved. I initially countered with “my father wasn’t like that”, but I slowly accepted that times are changing and it’s time to unlearn some old perceptions.

Then COVID-19 came and I got to work from home, even until now. It opened a whole new option that I didn’t see before. My children are currently studying from home, so I know their daily lives, even helping them with homework. We can pray and eat together or team up for household chores. We hop on our bikes and explore the neighbourhood when I have free time in the afternoon — no meetings or urgent tasks to attend.

Growing up in a family where my father was the sole breadwinner, I normalized him rarely being at home. Then COVID-19 came and I got to work from home, even until now. It opened a whole new world that I didn’t have the option to see before.

Those are simple activities that we never had the chance to do together before. I hope this setup will stay. Because when you finally get to spend a lot of time with your family, it would be a shame to let it go again. I believe that if we can do this right, it will keep us centered, and feel wholesome. It’s good for you, your family, and the company as well.

Herminda Aprisari, Product Owner

As a working mom, I used to think that I eventually had to choose between work and family.

When I was about to have my first child, I worked a full-time office job in an agency headquartered at the city center. I had to spend more than two hours commuting from home every day. After contemplating the work culture and circumstances, I decided to quit.

Then, I got offered a position at DK , which I was eager to accept but mildly concerned about the office location as it was quite far. Thankfully, I was later informed about the WFA arrangement, which became one of the biggest reasons for me to accept the offer.

Now, I can spend more time with my toddler while still pursuing my career. Our bonding time increases significantly, but we also bicker more often. My kid is still cranky and demands a lot of attention. He won’t let me do my job sometimes. For him, we have to play together at home. There are times when he acts out, like suddenly pressing buttons on my laptop when I’m in a meeting.

Setting up a routine doesn’t work either, as toddlers are very whimsical. He does whatever he wants. Luckily, my husband would take over when I had important tasks. We are still slowly teaching him to understand this new routine.

Regardless, it’s much better these days. I can be more present and attentive to my son. Since all meetings are online nowadays, I can join via phone while tending to his needs.

Most importantly, I get to experience sweet and tender moments with my son. He sometimes sneaks a kiss when I’m busy with a work task or in a meeting.

Seeing him playing cheerfully or listening to his cute babbles really alleviate my work stress.

Like the culture you’re seeing? You might want to check out our team! Join us in making the next life-centric digital solutions!



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