What it’s like to return to the office during Covid after childbirth
This is part of the CNBC series Make It’s My First Day Back, where people share their stories of what it’s like to return to the office after working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Are you planning to return to the office soon? Share your stories with us here.
Last name: Katie lutz
Office: Salesloft Atlanta Office
Work from home since: March 12, 2020
Income: December 14, 2021
Return conditions: Evidence of the Covid-19 vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test result
When Katie Lutz packed her desk to work from home at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, she had one thing in mind: snacks.
“At this point, we thought the office would be closed for two weeks because of the virus,” she told CNBC Make It. “I remember having crisps in the kitchen – Fritos, Lay’s – and thinking, ‘How am I going to work without the snacks from the office?'”
The 29-year-old has been with Salesloft for four years, an online platform that helps clients find and improve commercial sales, in a variety of roles and is now Senior Director of Corporate Marketing within the organization. .
Lutz wouldn’t see his co-workers or his office for almost two years. Around this time, she and her husband Rhys moved into a new home, welcomed their first child, Hayes, in June 2021, and discovered the joys and challenges of being working parents during a pandemic.
Through it all, Lutz reveals that she missed her commute and couldn’t wait to get back to in-person meetings and lunches with coworkers.
“Some of the people I work with are my best friends, so I missed seeing them every day,” she says. “As much as I like not wearing jeans, having a reason to get up and get dressed is something I wanted to be part of my routine.”
While Lutz still adapts to daycare pickups and breastfeeding between meetings, her return to the office as a new mom was “easier and more fun” than she had expected.
CNBC Make It: What’s been the hardest part of getting back to work after giving birth?
Katie Lutz: Being on maternity leave, even during a pandemic, has been the best 16 weeks of my life. Salesloft’s maternity leave policies have also relieved my plate of a lot of stress. They provided us with 12 weeks of meal delivery, maid service and a one year supply of diapers.
The return to work was more difficult. We had been on a daycare waiting list since February and could not enter until October 2021. I started working again in September so for the first few weeks we both worked from home with Hayes there and quickly learned that it was a very difficult balance.
I was worried he would turn around for the first time when I was upstairs for a Zoom call. When he started daycare it was much easier for him to concentrate on work.
Why did you decide to return to the office?
I became very comfortable in my little home working bubble on the couch snuggled up against my cats. As much as I loved working remotely, however, there are a lot of downsides.
I feel like I take better care of myself when I work at the office – I drink more water, for example because it’s a nice break to fill your water bottle in the kitchen and chat with people. other colleagues there.
I was a little worried about how returning to the office would be, if I had time to pump up for Hayes and do it all while catching up with my coworkers. But I had no security concerns as Salesloft did a great job communicating their policies and protecting us in this ever-changing pandemic landscape.
How did the first day go?
Going back to the office was like coming back to a whole new experience: we moved to a new floor, had new offices, new teammates, and new designs on everything because we changed brands during the pandemic. It reminded me of the first day of school.
Salesloft grew a lot during the pandemic so I got to meet a lot of our new hires, and it was great hanging out with real life people that I only spoke with on Zoom.
I still breastfeed Hayes, so I have to take four 20-minute breaks during labor to express my milk. Our office has a great mom’s bedroom with a fridge, microwave, sink, and comfy chair to pump up. In fact, I feel more comfortable pumping in the office than at home – I don’t have any laundry looking at me!
A group of us went out for lunch around noon. It was such a great change of pace because I usually spend my lunch break at home alone scrolling through TikTok.
Then I had a few face-to-face meetings and had a drink with my team before I got home around 5:45 p.m. – just in time to feed Hayes and put him to bed.