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Ah. This is the (work) life.

April 16, 2013

The gDiapers story.

Ever since conception, gDiapers has insisted that business and family can go together better. We’ve had onsite childcare from day one. It’s evolved with time, taking a different shape as the business has grown. But no matter the configuration, what it allows is a freedom for parents to have more time with their children, for nursing moms to conveniently feed their little ones, and for us all to be more interconnected. Here is just a sampling of some of our personal experiences.

gBaby Keagan takes his first steps in the gDiapers customer service office.

“We started gDiapers 8 years ago with flex friendly policies at the fore. We were parents to brand new babies and there was simply no other way to run the company 10,000 miles away from home (Sydney) without permanent back up! We set up onsite day care, offered 4 weeks paid leave and 3 months paid maternity leave, along with the option to telecommute. Today we are moving to a model that moves people into work that is truly in their affinity, not just in their job description.”

Jason Graham-Nye, CEO


We have lots of work to be done here at gDiapers, and we know that the work will happen whether it’s at our desks or from our kitchen tables. And we have seen that true innovative work does not have to happen between normal operating hours. We encourage each other to work from home when it makes sense. To use our paid time off. To be available to our children when they need us, not just when it’s before and after the typical work day.  Does this make us a happy company? It certainly makes us happier individuals, which bodes well for the company in which we thrive. Does it make us more productive? We’re doing jobs that we love in an environment that supports our individuality and our families! The answer is off-the-charts YES. That’s not to say it’s all sunshine and hopscotch. Family flexible also comes with its own set of challenges. For example, sometimes meetings are difficult to arrange owing to the infrequency in which everyone is actually in the office. But we keep ourselves open for adaptation, grow from what we know works and learn from what we know doesn’t.

“Coming back to work after having a new baby is never easy.  But it was much more tolerable because I could bring my newborn with me.  The whole office stopped when he had a giant belly laugh and grinned right along with me. They held him and loved him.  It was like having 15 extra Aunts and Uncles.  And after a couple months of that it became much easier to leave him downstairs at daycare.  The transition had been extended and gentle on everyone involved.”

Stephanie, all-around-jillaroo, gDiapers

“Working for g means I can work and be a mum at the same time. I work when my children are at school and pick up again when they have gone to bed. Not only does it give me wonderful time with my children every day, it means we don’t need to pay a stranger to pick them up and hear their news from the school day, take them to after school activities and feed them as we have done in the past. That saves us money but more importantly; it has given me the opportunity to be close with my children without sacrificing work. Leaving me more fulfilled and happy. And happy parents do lead to happier children.”

Louise, marketing director, gNappies

“We have an awesome daycare just downstairs, so I get to see Quinn playing while I’m working, plus I can pop in on him during the workday, attend field drips, etc.   Being able to drop off and pick up my older son most days from his school is incredible. I break away from work to attend his field trips and special events, coach his teams, etc.  all without sacrificing professional life.  gD doesn’t make me choose work or family, but let’s me blend the two. It makes me my family happier, healthier, and more productive.”

Mike, digital director, gDiapers

“I have a difficult time putting into words how much the family friendly atmosphere here at gDiapers means to me.  I know that moms drop off their babies at daycare everyday and they are fabulous mothers and excellent employees.  That said, when I first came to g, my first child was just 3 months old.  I could not imagine leaving my baby for the 40+ hours/week job that I worked prior to giving birth.  I knew my co-workers at my last job had kids, but I didn’t know a thing about them.  The atmosphere there was to be an employee while you are at work, and all the other stuff would have to wait until after hours.  I just couldn’t imagine leaving my little Zephyr, not only physically, but emotionally as well.

The family friendly atmosphere at g has allowed me to thrive as a working mom.  The flexibility and understanding that motherhood doesn’t always work around business hours gives me the opportunity to meet my children’s and families’ needs while still growing and learning as an employee.  Children are as welcome at our desks and meetings.  Co-workers became family, it truly feels like raising my kids in a ‘village’.  Consequently, I feel fulfilled, not torn between my job and family.  I know all of the items on my to-do list are valued (both the home and work list) and I feel encouraged and supported to get them all done.  It is motivating because it is all recognized as important.  And, as a professional woman, you don’t have to make that choice…to work or to stay home.  You can be great at both.”

Karen, rockstar, gDiapers

This isn’t a new concept. But it’s been buried behind an era of a Mad Men style workplace for decades (kind of like how cloth diapers used to be the normal thing, then we fumbled and went with plastic diapers that polluted our planet and gave our babies rashes, and now we’re starting to recover the fumble ….).

Thank goodness other family friendly companies are out there. And they’re speaking up! They’re showing the rest of the world that not only is a family flexible model better for families, it TRULY is better for business. Better for the planet. Better for everybody.

Please say hello to Moby Wrap. They’re family friendly from the cozy products that hug baby close, to the open arms of their business that keeps family close.

The Moby Wraps story.

Amelia, Moby Wrapped up with her mama, Marisa during a typical workday.

Moby is a pretty neat place to work if you love babies.  We make such an amazing tool for parents and babies! We receive daily emails from parents who use all caps and exclamation points to emphasize what a difference Moby Wraps have made for their families.  They tell us that they couldn’t have kept their sanity through the infant months without their beloved Moby. They tell us that their colicky/fussy/won’t-let-me-put-him-down baby was “only happy” in the Moby. We hear about incredible adventures the family was able to experience because the baby was contentedly sleeping through it all in their Moby.  Pretty amazing, right?

Moby is ALSO a great place to work if you love babies because there is often a baby in the office.  Moby staffers are lucky enough to get to bring their babies with them to work! Needless to say, we recognize how lucky we – and our babies – are. The joy, peace of mind, convenience and closeness with our little ones are just a few of the many benefits of working with baby. For our coworkers, having babies at the office is a reminder of the importance of the work we do as a maker of baby carriers and other good things for families.

I know firsthand how lucky Moby staffers with babies are. Since her birth 11 months ago, my own baby, Amelia, has been with me at the Moby office daily. From the beginning she’s spent much of her day peacefully snuggled up to me, while I work at my desk. I’ve had the luxury of caring for Amelia while I’m at the Moby office: holding her close while I work at my computer or go to a staff meeting, nursing her when she’s hungry, watching her learn to explore and play nearby on the floor and cuddling her to sleep in a wrap at naptime. My coworkers are some of her favorite people and she loves interacting with them. She is like one of our team members.

Others at the Moby office have experienced the same joys of sharing their workday with their babies. It all began with Moby founders Gillian and David who brought their own babies to the office while they worked. They created a company culture where babies are welcomed in the office.  It’s pretty inspiring to get to see our real satisfied customers – the babies themselves – right here in our workspace so regularly. Becky’s little guy, Zac, came to the office with her from 2 weeks to 18 months old. He was so sweet – and peacefully slept while she was on the phone or answering emails. Many of our customers have had the pleasure of talking to Becky and often, little did they know, her baby son was asleep right on her, snuggled in a wrap. (That’s part of what makes her such an empathetic and helpful person to call with any Moby question you may have…).  Zac also got to model for us: that cute little guy on our Moby Knot Hat tags? That’s him! Margaret, staffer Mackey’s wife, stops by the office with their daughter, Gabriella, to take a nursing break and visit with the staff.

I spend so much of my day at work putting the feeling of connecting with one’s baby into words.  “Closeness” “cozy” “cuddles” “contentment” “comfort” “connection” – these C words are my professional lingo. Having my baby with me has magnified for me the meaning of my work and made me incredibly appreciative of how lucky baby Amelia and I both are!

Marisa, Moby Wrap

How can we make this type of work life work for everybody?

At gDiapers and Moby Wrap we see that this change can happen. That it, in fact, HAS to happen if we are to progress. So we’re telling our stories. Tell yours, too. Do you work for a family flexible business? Do you know of businesses that are adopting a family flexible model? Do you know of a business that is considering it? Then please share! The more we show what a “new normal” can look like, and hear from the employees that it truly works, the more likely we will see this become standard business practice.

about the Moby Wrap author Marisa Frantz Marisa has held several positions during her years on the Moby Wrap team, most recently as Director of Operations. A mom of 4, Marisa has a trio of elementary school aged kiddos in addition to baby Amelia. Outside of work she enjoys road trips with an absorbing audiobook, leisurely family dinners and hunting down deals in consignment stores.


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