How Terakeet Parents Find Work, Life, and Family Balance

Molly McGuane

Editor’s Note:

Our employees believe a fulfilling career should not compromise family life. This month, we caught up with some of the Terakeet team to hear what it’s like to be a parent at Terakeet and how Terakeet supports them as both parents and employees.

What makes Terakeet a unique place to work for parents?

The supportive culture and sense of community at Terakeet make it a special place to work. Parents and non-parents alike understand that balancing career and family life is challenging and unpredictable. The past few years have revealed just how true that is.

Whether it’s juggling appointments, days off from school, or extracurricular activities, Terakeet employees give each other the support they need to put their families first.  

I’ve only been here a month and can feel and see all the support from the Slack channel, to babies and kiddos popping into Zoom calls (mine included) to checking in on parents with the devastating news in Uvalde. It’s not just parents to parents either; it’s everyone supporting parents and offering genuine heartfelt support.

Kristin Miller, Digital Outreach Specialist

During Zoom meetings my colleagues do not even let me apologize if I have to step aside to nurture a kid that might be home from school. They may even help distract and calm my kid virtually in a way that the dad in the same room didn’t think of. ‘What does your shirt say?’, ‘You excited to be home?’, ‘I hope you feel better!’ are just a small fraction of the warmth my colleagues send through the screen that lets me know family comes first.

–Rakesh Patel, Sr. Operations Analyst  

The recent tragedies our country has faced have shaken us all. The day after the shooting in Texas I was blown away by the number of people who reached out overall or to me directly knowing I’m a mom to two little kids. It was heart-wrenching but also so appreciated. It felt really telling of the caring culture that is Terakeet.

–Emily Kulkus, Digital Content Manager 

The community of parents here is unique. The support that is offered on Slack is unmatched. And the fact that the demands of parenthood and flexibility of schedule also extends to employees without children who also have competing demands for attention.

Kristin Fiedler, UX Designer

Health insurance and health spending accounts (HSAs)

In addition to the overall compassionate culture, Terakeet offers several benefits to employees and their families. Those benefits include competitive health insurance and health spending accounts (HSAs). Through an HSA, employees can reduce out-of-pocket healthcare expenses and invest funds. 

Terakeet also offers Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) to employees for both healthcare expenses and dependent care reimbursement. FSAs allow employees to set aside tax-free money to cover healthcare and childcare expenses.

My son has a long health history so I have to be really particular about our insurance. After hearing so many great things about the job I figured the benefits wouldn’t stack up – like something had to give. But I was pleasantly surprised and here I am! Without a really solid insurance plan, there’s no way I would have been able to accept my offer.

–Emily Kulkus, Digital Content Manager 

Paid Family Leave for new parents and growing families

Terakeet understands that new parents need time to bond with newborn children. That’s why Terakeet offers up to 12 weeks of paid leave for employees after the birth or adoption of a child — meaning employees will receive 100% of their annual salary.

This provides employees with the time and comfort they need without the stress of immediately returning to work.

Knowing that I didn’t have to worry about not getting my full paycheck when I had my daughter was huge, because maternity leave can be such a financial strain for so many families. Also, the way that Terakeet handled the pandemic was phenomenal. My daughter was born at the height of the pandemic, and Terakeet provided so much support as I navigated uncertainties, I never imagined I would encounter as a working first-time-mom.

–Alicia Suskin, Sr. Project Manager

[Paternity leave] was incredible. The team was really supportive and respectful of the boundaries we set, and I was able to spend quality time with Jude after his mom returned to work. I’m so grateful to Terakeet for offering this benefit so that I could be with my son and get to know him while he was still so small and new to the world.

–Patrick Lane, Marketing Manager 

Flexible schedules for busy families

More than ever, parents need the flexibility to fit their work around when they’re most productive. Thanks to our flexible work policy, Terakeet employees have the option to work outside of a restrictive 9–5 schedule.

For example, this benefit allows parents to more easily schedule doctor’s appointments, pick their kids up from school, and never miss important extracurricular activities. 

No matter what their situation is, parents can find comfort in knowing they can make their work schedule work for their family.

It’s rare to find a company that follows through on their value in supporting work life balance. Terakeet has far exceeded my expectations already. There is comfort in knowing that I can take a pause to jump into parenting then jump back to working and Terakeet trusts me to make these decisions while also holding myself accountable for my work.

–Kristin Miller, Digital Outreach Specialist

I never would have imagined being able to work for a company that makes it so easy to schedule doctor appointments and other commitments for my daughter, without making me feel guilty for having to take time from my workday. Terakeet’s flexible work policy makes being a working parent so much less stressful.

–Alicia Suskin, Sr. Project Manager

I’m very grateful for Terakeet’s benefits and flexibility. It really has been a game-changer for finding some balance in life as a new parent. I feel supported by my team and the company as a whole – it’s a really great feeling and I’m glad I’m working at such an incredible place.

–Patrick Lane, Marketing Manager

Today’s parents love remote work

All Terakeet employees have the ability to work remotely and from home. For many parents, remote work has been a game-changer when it comes to maintaining work-life balance.

Although Terakeet has offered flexible and work-from-home options for many years, the Covid-19 pandemic reinforced the importance of these policies for parents and non-parents.

Since the pandemic I’ve been a remote employee. That coupled with flex time is such a cheat code to a balanced life. I have all the time in the day to complete all my work and Terakeet provided me with the tech to be agile enough to attack unexpected opportunities. The remote and flex benefit is how I can handle shipping my kids off on the school bus, never missing a school volunteer opportunity, taking them to their sports activities, getting dinner started, dog walks, and tackling all the loose ends that comes with home ownership without it being overwhelming or distracting to my career.

–Rakesh Patel, Sr. Operations Analyst  

Your kids will always need you, no matter what their ages. That is why remote work and flex time are so important to me. Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment, school ceremony, or a quick visit to see them at college, having the ability to be there for my kids, while working for a company who understands that need, is invaluable to me.

–Stacy Galiczynski, Digital Outreach Specialist

Stacy Galiczynski, Digital Outreach Specialist, with her family

Remote work is a game-changer for parents. Give me the flexibility I need and I will be as loyal as the day is long. And seeing other parents with kids on Zoom makes me realize that many of us are in the same boat, especially as the pandemic lingers.

–Emily Kulkus, Digital Content Manager 

Use paid time off to make family memories

There’s little more important than taking a vacation (or staycation) with our loved ones to make memories. Working parents need more than just the weekend to enjoy quality time with their families. And sometimes they just need a day to themselves.

That’s why Terakeet offers an extensive paid time off (PTO) program which starts with three weeks off, with the ability to earn unlimited PTO. All employees are encouraged to take time off to enjoy family vacations or just to relax at home.

All of my PTO is going towards spending time with my family and I can’t wait to spend this time making memories and spending time with my kids.

–Amber Verity, Digital Outreach Specialist

I do plan to use PTO to spend time with my family. We have a Charlotte and Atlanta trip planned. I’d also like to take a few days off here and there for a staycation. My wife is a teacher so everyone but me will have a summer break, and it would be fun hanging out with them in CNY.

–Rakesh Patel, Sr. Operations Analyst

We are going up to the Adirondacks for Fourth of July, and also staying in the Finger Lakes for about 10 days. We rented a house and I will be able to work remote part of the trip, and use PTO for the rest. I feel so lucky for that.

–Alicia Suskin, Sr. Project Manager

Digital Outreach Specialist, Kristin Miller’s children

How does parenthood motivate and inspire you?

For Terakeet employees, family is a source of immense pride, inspiration, and ambition. We asked employees how they’re motivated by parenthood in their professional and personal lives.

I feel as a parent sometimes you are so focused on providing the best life for your kids. Because of that there is an extra motivation to go the extra mile in every area of your life to be a good role model and someone at the end of the day you are proud of for your kids.

–Amber Verity, Digital Outreach Specialist

I feel inspired by my child’s imagination. I try to create fun imaginative scenarios or worlds for him to explore at home to bring levity to the day-to-day grind.

–Kristin Fiedler, UX Designer

I find it inspiring that my kids see me as a role model. As parents, we have the unique privilege to help shape the future of our society. It motivates me to make better choices on everything from eating habits to manners to respect for all others.

-Kristin Miller, Digital Outreach Specialist