How Ad Hoc supports working parents and caregivers

Ad Hoc was founded as a fully remote company in 2014, and ever since, we’ve celebrated and encouraged our team members to create a healthy balance between their home and work lives. Ad Hoc’s #remotelife culture gives our team members the flexibility to adjust their work to meet the needs of their lives. Sometimes, this involves their pets making noise in the background of a Zoom call, having to step away to sign for a delivery, or even making dinner for their kiddos while listening to our weekly All Hands call (our team members are expert multitaskers!). Recently, we’ve added a number of company-sponsored activities for the kids of Ad Hoc team members.

Kiddos Challenge

When schools were shutting down in March of 2020 due to COVID-19, our CEO, Greg Gershman, wanted to provide extra support to the parents and caregivers on our team. Working with Ad Hoc’s People Experience Team, we put together some educational and fun activities for our team members’ children that were home from school. These activities would hopefully provide a bit of distraction for the kids and a break for our team members. And so, the Ad Hoc Kiddos Challenge was born!

Ad Hoc’s People Experience Team announced a month worth of weekly activities for our Ad Hoc kiddos. The activities included decorating an outline of our Ad Hoc logo, sending letters or drawings to Veterans and seniors in the kids’ communities, taking virtual field trips to our National Parks, and exploring the NASA STEM Engagement website. Kiddos that participated in the 4-week challenge won an Ad Hoc Together t-shirt design by our Creative Director, Danny Chapman.

Virtual playdates

Ad Hoc team members hosted several virtual playdates for their kiddos to connect during lockdown by self-organizing through our #-remote-playdate channel in Slack. The People Experience team also hosted a remote Halloween party in 2020! Kiddos and pets are encouraged to join our company-wide All Hands Zoom calls every Tuesday. At the end of every All Hands call, we have a tally of the kids and pets that have joined and close out the call with a DJed song (and optional dance party!).

What does your parent or caregiver do for work?

Child's drawing of parent at computer, with text that says: This is my daddy working. He is typing on his keyboard. Maybe he is ordering a pizza.

This summer, the People Experience Team launched another activity where we asked our Ad Hoc kiddos “What does your parent or caregiver do for work at Ad Hoc?” Take a look at some of the responses:

“My dad is programming.”
—   Nikkita, age 5

“She's a computer designer. She's the boss of a small group of people. And she works for or helps Veterans.”
—   Clay, age 6

"Momma is makes dinner and lunch for me and baby Colin. Oh in your office? In your office you use pretty colors on your paper and talk to your friends in the 'puter. THEN you is makes dinner and lunch."
—   Connor, age 3

Supporting parents and caregivers

As a part of our Slack culture, parents and caregivers can connect through the #parents channel to chat about the funny (or frustrating) new habits their little ones picked up, ask for baby product recommendations and advice, or share cute pictures of their kiddos. We also have the #pets channel where pet parents frequently share photos and videos of their pups, cats, fish, chickens and more. This is a great place to commiserate with others on the unique joys and challenges of life with a pet! Of course, for a healthy dose of dopamine on every subject imaginable, Ad Hoc team members can pop into the #happy-place channel and catch up on all the things that are making folks smile.

Beyond these fun activities for our Ad Hoc kiddos, we support our team members by encouraging work-life balance through our remote-first culture. Ad Hoc has an unlimited Use What You Need PTO policy that allows parents and caregivers to step away from work and be fully present with their families. We also have a generous parental leave policy that can be combined with our Use What You Need PTO, Short Term Disability, and/or FMLA. We should note that although parents and caregivers are heavy users of this benefit, it’s also our primary tool for supporting the work/life balance of all of our team members, regardless of their familial status.

We’re committed to building great teams and making Ad Hoc a great place to work. Ad Hoc is only able to pursue its mission of empowering the government to serve people by supporting our incredible team members first.