“Bring Your Kid to Work Day” (BYKTWD) is a much-anticipated tradition at our office, an opportunity for parents to bring their children (and in some cases, nieces and nephews) for a day of fun and educational activities to learn about our business and enjoy meeting their parents’ “work family.” This year’s event was nothing short of epic, with nearly 60 children ranging from ages three months to thirteen years old in attendance from FreeWheel, Visible World, Strata and AudienceXpress.
BYKTWD is a wonderful way to help our children understand where we invest so much of our time every day– and why. Letting them experience our office, learn about our business and meet our talented co-workers is key to showing them our passion for what we do, which in turn will help them tap into their future career inspirations as well.
This year, children were divided into three activity groups depending on age. Our youngest guests were entertained by free-play and coloring books. Our toddlers got their art and science gears going by making their own puffy paint and glitter slime. Meanwhile, our oldest attendees were given a hands-on opportunity to learn about the process of ad insertion by filming their own 30-second commercials and then seeing them inserted into an actual TV program (on a local computer of course!) that we watched as a group.
When kids can see our passion for the work we do, they achieve an understanding of the importance of finding a career you love and the hard work and perseverance required to be successful in that career. By exposing our kids to an energetic environment, culture and community like FreeWheel, where innovation and ideas are encouraged, perhaps they’ll aspire to find such a vibrant environment for their own future careers, whatever field they may choose.
It’s gratifying to work at a company where the leadership truly embraces putting family first. As Diane Yu, Co-Founder and CTO, recently shared, “In the early days of my career I didn’t think about life/work balance much. You have to feel like you are reaching your goals and that you enjoy what you are building. So, it’s fine if you work all the time– if you love it. However, it’s possible that once you have a family, what you enjoy changes. Not everyone has to run 120% all the time, and you can still have a great career. Today, it’s important to me that my daughter Maggie sees how inspired and fulfilled I am by my work. As her mother, it’s my duty to help her understand that the opportunities ahead are endless and that she can be successful at whatever she chooses to do.”
Adopting a family-first culture makes us a more connected, smarter, and innovative organization. FreeWheel, Strata, Visible World and AudienceXpress all began as small start-ups and now collectively have hundreds of employees across the globe. As these companies have grown, our people have also matured and many have started their families along the way. Now that our teams are all coming together, it’s exciting to see our rapidly expanding family connect in new ways around our core traditions like BYKTWD.