As a manager, how am I sympathetic to working parents while meeting goals (and/or adjusting goals)?

Question submitted by Laurie.

As a working parent, some things I do / would find helpful:

  • Let them know it’s ok to have kids scream in meetings. Say hi to the kids if they pop up in the meetings, etc. As a parent, it can be stressful trying to schedule meetings around nap times and meal times, so if you can just let your workers know they don’t have to worry about this will help them.
  • I find it helpful to split my work into small tasks, some of which I can do while distracted, some of which I need more focus for, and then I can choose what to work on at any given moment based on how my kid is being. You might offer to help your workers organize their projects into smaller tasks (but offer, don’t mandate, some may not appreciate the micromanagement)
  • Let your workers make their schedule, to a degree. All kids have their own schedules, so some people might have lots of free time early morning, or an open afternoon, or a scheduled family babysitter, etc.