How Work at Home Parents Stay Productive
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In Chapter 4 of 16 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, cloud computing technology executive Marc Ferrentino shares home office challenges, including face time with colleagues, and benefits such as eliminating a commute to spend more time with the kids. Over time, he learns discipline that increases his productivity. Ferrentino is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of cloud computing at BMC Software.Previously, he was Chief Technology Architect (CTA) at Salesforce.com.

Transcript


Erik: How do you manage the balance between working from home and being a parent? Marc: It’s hard. You know both at Salesforce and at BMC I, you know, I’m not at HQ, right? I’m remote in both cases and so it means I fly a ton but also means I work from home. It’s hard. It’s really hard actually. Sometimes I’ll -- you know we have a New York office, I go in to the office but I don’t go in every day. I’ll go and visit friends at their startups and I’ll camp out at their place for you know for the day. Some of it’s because it’s nice to be around with people, it’s for my own sanity. Other times it’s just good to, you know, you have to have a conversation you need to have with somebody in person. It’s hard to balance it actually. The nice part about it is of course if you work from home you get to take these little mini breaks where you’re with your kids, you get to say hi to them, play for them for five minutes and then you can get back to things, so it’s kind of like your coffee break, right? The positives are that you get that extra time with your children. I mean there’s lots of people out there who commute into the city, have long you know long you know kind of 8am to 9am – 9pm jobs. They don’t see their kids until the weekend. I’m very lucky that I get to see them at different points during the day. I get to see them in the morning, I get to see them at night. So I have a ton of time with them more time than I think you probably expect a dad to have with their kid you know normally but that balances of course you know pulling yourself away and getting back to work, refocusing, right? It’s almost easier actually I have my – I have really productive days when I’m usually in an office somewhere and so if I do stay home the challenge of course is to stay productive in that environment during the entire time and you know it’s discipline you just learn how to do it over a couple of years. When I first started doing it in Salesforce, it was yeah it was definitely hard but now I’ve kind of been doing it for so long it’s not really as hard as it used to be.