When the pandemic started in 2020, we had no idea how drastically all of our lives would change. From working remotely to running a household full of kids, the pandemic taught us a lot about human resilience and power in community. We are lucky to say PLANOLY was able to adapt to the now “newish” normal and foster an efficient and successful workforce despite not being in the office. PLANOLY’s success may have even contributed to the nine out of forty-two employees having babies in 2021. Yes, that’s right, nine babies. Almost 20% of our team were expecting. But with that many people having babies sometime in 2021, we continued business as usual. Here’s the story of PLANOLY’s very own baby boom!
As predicted, there was a surge of babies born during the pandemic, and we were no exception. It seemed like everyday we were getting a Slack announcement of another one of our team members was expecting. And never once was their excitement overshadowed by a slew of questions about coverage.
But really how does a company operate effectively with so many of its employees out on parental leave? The answer is you just do. Each of our pregnant or expecting team members came up with a thorough coverage plan prior to their leave time. They ramped up their teams to help cover their job responsibilities while gone and to do it confidently. Our executive team, three of them being a part of the nine PLANOLY babies, started their strategic planning ahead of schedule to account for any needed input before their leave started. While we are grateful that we have these practices in place in case something like this ever happens again, we owe a lot of the success to the community we’ve fostered together. Everyone’s can-do attitude adds to why everyone feels supported and like they can leave and come back.
Part of that support is due to our parental leave policy that’s not only generous but inclusive too. Currently, we offer 12 weeks of paid parental leave for both primary and secondary caregivers and flexible re-entry for returning team members. We don’t assume who’s taking care of the child, whether the primary, secondary, or both. That’s everyone’s individual decision to make. We just lead with a family-first mindset. Christina Wells, our VP of People, spoke as to why it’s important to have empathy and support,
“When the pandemic started and my kids’ school was closed, I had a 2-year-old and 4-year-old at home while working full time remotely. I had to balance remote work, parenting, remote schooling and everything in between all at once. PLANOLY understood the difficult times for me and for anyone in the company that was in my shoes. Before the pandemic, I would have never considered working from home with kids at the same time. PLANOLY allowed me to maintain work-life balance that worked for me, which made me want to work hard for the company in return.”
No matter how challenging this year has been, we are excited about what the future holds, and with a bunch of newborn babies, we are feeling more optimistic. We are proud to work with and for a company full of empathetic workers who strive to never be content.