Inspiring the Next Generation: Bring Your Kid to Work Day 2016

Terra Mrkulic Social Media & Content Marketing Director

On April 28th FreeWheel was proud to host our 2nd Annual Bring Your Kids to Work Day (BYKTWD).  Over 40 children of our FreeWheel employees, ranging from infants to teens, were treated to an amazing array of activities including face painting, costume parade, balloon artistry, cookie decorating, arts & crafts, and lunch.

BYKTWD developed as the company started to grow up together. SVP Global Human Resources, Lisa Iadanza, shares, “We started this venture last year when we realized our company had started to evolve. Our people were growing up and we were beginning to celebrate milestones with them, like getting married and having babies. This has been one of my favorite days in my personal FreeWheel history because it’s so exciting to see everyone and their families interacting together and having a great time.”

For older kids, beyond the balloons and face paint, BYKTWD is a way for them to get an idea of what their education may be leading to—by learning about how and why we do our jobs.  When kids can see how passionate we are about the work we do, they gain an understanding of the importance of finding a career you love and the hard work and perseverance required to be successful in that career. By exposing our kids to an energetic workspace like FreeWheel, where innovation and ideas are encouraged, perhaps they’ll aspire to find such a vibrant environment for their own future careers, whatever field they may choose.

But Bring Your Kids to Work Day isn’t just about providing fun activities for our children and inspiring the next generation, but also a chance for our employees to share a glimpse of their family life with their colleagues, which in return helps FreeWheelers forge deeper connections with their “work family.” I take a lot of pride in the work I do at FreeWheel, but also in my role as a mom. I talk to my team, probably more than I should, about the antics of my toddler. Having the chance to introduce him to my colleagues, and for them to see me in ‘mom-mode’ was a great way for me to share a part of my life that is very important to me.

FreeWheel takes work/life balance seriously and we pride ourselves as being a deeply caring organization.  Not just on a day-to-day level, but also when it matters most.  FreeWheel Solutions Engineer, Jesus Mascias, shares how he was able to take time with his family when his daughter required two surgeries. “I had all the support and help when I needed it most. I never had to worry about anything other than my daughter’s health, and I was able to focus solely on taking care of my family at a difficult time. FreeWheel made me feel that I am not only seen as a worker by the company, but a father and a husband too. The message to me at the time was, ‘your family needs you, and advertising can wait.’ It was amazing.”

I’ve heard countless stories like this since I joined FreeWheel last year. Stories of how the company has gone above and beyond the call of duty, time and time again, to give employees the time and support needed to be with their family when necessary.

When people feel more connected to their colleagues through days like Bring Your Kids to Work Day, they work better together. When children see their parents leading by example, it helps them find their entrepreneurial spirit. BYKTWD is a tradition that will long be celebrated in our hallways. On behalf of everyone at FreeWheel, thank you to all those who took time out of their busy schedules to help bring this amazing day to life.