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A Day in the Life of Remote Working Parents Working From Home Together

At Shield GEO, we’re incredibly passionate about offering our employees flexible working conditions. Everyone has to work, but we don’t believe work has to be something you dread. By choosing their hours and preferred work environment, we believe our employees can have more autonomy over their day-to-day schedules resulting in a more balanced lifestyle.

To showcase the benefits of a flexible work offering, we’re profiling a range of our employees to illustrate how they choose to utilise these benefits.

Meet Mara and Carlo 

Mara started working from home back in 2009 after deciding to step away from her corporate accounting job after the birth of her son.

“And then I decided I still wanted to work,” she says.

Mara and Carlo with children, Caroline and Carl

“So, I took online jobs. Article writing for the first few years but then around 2013 I finally found work that was related to my course which is accounting.”

Carlo had a similar experience. He was working in accounting for a global company in Manila, Philippines for almost 10 years before he made the switch to at-home work.

“I was transferring to another private company, and while waiting for the final contact with the new employer Mara asked for my help because there were a lot of new clients coming in at the time,” he says.

“I liked it! There was no traffic, I was with the kids and with Mara more.  I think I received the final offer from the other company a month later, but [by then] I couldn’t leave Mara because there were lots of clients to service. So, I took the opportunity and decided to stay working with Mara at home.”

This arrangement lasted a few years before Carlo took on a position with Shield GEO’s finance team in 2015. Mara joined a few years later.

Working remotely has given both Mara and Carlo more time with their family and given them better working conditions.

Bagsik family Christmas in the Philippines

“We get to be hands on in taking care of our children which is very important to us especially when our kids are still young in their critical stage,” Mara says.

Carlo agrees, “I want to spend time with the family because sooner or later they will leave us, so I really wanted to be there when they were growing up.”

Flexible work hours help to facilitate this too. There’s no point working from home if you’re having to work when the kids need your focussed attention.

“One benefit of working with Shield is that I got to choose my schedule,” says Mara.

“When I start working, I’ve already taken care of the house and the kids and then when I finish work my kids (especially the oldest) are just about to arrive home from school.”

For Carlo, the flexibility means he can take time out of his day for errands or important events when necessary.

“I’m able to attend some of the kids’ school activities, which, before when I was working in a corporate setting, I couldn’t do,” he says.

“With Shield definitely we were able to balance our work and our time for the kids and our time for ourselves.”

Carlo’s current work schedule is to work mornings and evenings to ensure he’s online for account managers in other time-zones.

“As much as possible we want to answer those easy questions during the AMs time,” he says.

Carlo and Mara’s home office!

“[In previous roles] I would work from morning until night time, so at least now I have a four-hour break to take a rest or take a jog or to do some errands,” he says.

For Mara, one of the advantages is a quieter more focussed workspace.

“With my personality, I enjoyed working from home rather than the corporate set up. I appreciate working without disturbances, no chatty office workers are stopping by my area.”

But she admits having a work buddy helps to avoid feeling isolated.

“With Carlo, it’s a given if anything comes up I can just tap his back and disturb him, and if I’m feeling bored I can annoy him,” she says laughing.

Chatting with co-workers via Skype helps too.

“I can easily chat with Jessica and Eliz for just about anything that comes up even things not related to work, so it doesn’t feel isolated.”

Mara and Carlo’s Day in the Life

6:30 We wake up and have a black coffee with stevia (need this boost to start our day!); Mara prepares breakfast for the kids before they go to school.
8:00 Prepare and have our breakfast together. This is normally scrambled eggs or hash browns with ham or bacon, or else hotdogs and toast.
10:30 Join our daily Zoom call with the other APAC remote workers for some water cooler chat.
 11:45 Another coffee boost and then it’s time to resume work.
 12:30 Break for lunch together – normally Filipino foods e.g. pork or chicken adobo, pork sinigang, menudo plus rice! 😊
13:30 Another coffee boost and resume with work.
19:00 Family dinner with the kids, and chit chat about our days.
20:00 Check e-mails and do any urgent and important tasks. Then prepare to-do list for the next day. After that, it’s time for chores and tidying the house. Then, surf the internet, continue chit chat with the kids or watch TV together. Friday nights are wine nights or a date night (without the kids) 😊

Tips for working remotely with your spouse

While both Carlo and Mara are adamant that “the advantages outweigh the disadvantages” of working together, they admit it’s important to take time out together away from work.

“Sometimes we go out for lunch just for some sort of change in environment,” says Carlo.

“We have a regular red wine on Friday nights, but from time to time we make sure we go out together on weekends too.”

But ultimately, the pair find working together hugely rewarding.

“I think we became closer as a couple by working together at home,” says Carlo

“We can support each other. By working together, we know what our strengths are and can encourage each other in our weaknesses to try and be better.”

Mara agrees, adding, “I would recommend working from home and all the more if you can work with your spouse because you’ll be closer to your spouse on a daily basis.”

– Bree Caggaiti, April 2019

Want to know more about Mara or Carlo? You can visit their profiles on our Our Team page!

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