Recently Intel announced they were enhancing their parental leave policy for new mothers, and fathers (including adoptions, not just newborns). Mothers already had generous paid leave, but fathers now also get something like 8 weeks, anytime in the first year, to help around the house and bond with the new child. Wow! That is great to work for a forward thinking company like that.
And would have been even greater if it had happened a generation earlier when I had my five kids. What a windfall that would have been. (Suzanne laughs about the “bonding” and helping part, knowing that I would just use the time for recreation or whatever.)
But I did experience other wonderful improvements in the workplace. For example, my father had big difficulties with heavy smokers in his workplace. Never an issue in mine. In fact, Intel “banishes” their smokers to a small, marked off area outside. Perhaps it is my profession, but it has been rare for me to hear profanity at work. There was a time early in my career, though, when it was tolerated for offices to have calendars with nude women pictured–and that was at HP, a very premier company. I can’t imagine anything like that being allowed today.
Perhaps it is a mixed blessing, but it has been very convenient to work from home sometimes. In my field I can login to my work, and even my test systems in the lab, all from home. Many meetings are conference calls and can be taken at home. The downside of this can be that you are never off work. Our current project has team members in China and Poland, so somebody is working somewhere around the clock. Many times I have been working with these folks late at night, or early in the morning. I used to have access to my work email on my smartphone, which meant I was never off work. I don’t do that anymore. This situation is quite different from a few years before my time at Intel, when the company took attendance at 8:00AM, and you got “demerits” for arriving at work late. Of course, nobody takes reverse attendance for everyone who routinely stays late.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my engineering career, and count my many blessings for the positive workplace experiences I have had.