Bryan ClarkFormer Managing Editor, TNW
Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.
Let’s be real for a second; if you work online, chances are your parents have very little idea what you do. In fact, you can extend that to most tech jobs in general. If you’re not working a traditional job, chances are your parents have little insight into what it is you’re doing to afford ramen and beer.
A Santa Monica-based company looked at this as less of a problem and more of an opportunity. Cornerstone OnDemand, one of LA’s largest tech companies, welcomed the parents of each of their employees to an event that’s gaining credence with tech companies worldwide: bring your parents to work day.
As a kid, you may have been lucky enough to shadow a parent for a day while they stamped documents and talked to Ralph in accounting about those damn documents that were supposed to be on their desk by 11. As an adult, Cornerstone OnDemand wants to flip the script and bring parents into your tech-centric world. Maybe it creates a better understanding, or maybe it’s just a fun way to liven up an office job; either way it seems like a great idea.
The event isn’t a new one; employees at tech companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Amazon were pioneers of the event that’s now exploding in popularity with tech companies worldwide. I can’t lie, though, I hadn’t ever heard of it.
So what do the employees think? Well, Cornerstone’s COO Kirsten Maas Helvey saw her mom, Jackie, fly in from New Jersey for the event. Kirsten says:
Bringing my mom to Cornerstone’s ‘Bring Your Parents to Work Day’ has given her the opportunity to see a different side of me. My work life as the Chief Operating Officer for a large, public technology company is very different from my personal life, and I love getting to share that with her. It allows her to see me as I am today versus how I was growing up.
For me, that seems like the appeal. I think all of us want to give our parents the peace of mind that they raised well-rounded adults. What better way to do that then allowing them to shadow you for a day while you’re, well, adulting.
And Kirsten’s mom? She was equally stoked to see how tech companies have, for decades, been changing the perceived norm of an office job.
Cornerstone OnDemand and companies like it didn’t exist when I was growing up. It’s been interesting spending time at Cornerstone to see how much the workplace has changed over the years. There’s a sort of informality here, and it feels very comfortable and inviting, which I think leads to more genuine and meaningful interactions among the employees. It’s environments like this that turn work into a place where people want to be.
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