How to Give 100% Inside and Outside the Office — From One Working Mom Who Does

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Jyoti Sachdeva

Photo courtesy of Dropbox.

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“I think one misconception around work-life balance, from what I have witnessed with my friends, is that if you talk about it openly, you are less ambitious or you are not looking for career growth,” says Jyoti Sachdeva, QA engineer at Dropbox, a role that she has served for the last three years. “I feel these are completely wrong notions. Having a work-life balance is the key to greater and better productivity and should not be considered an obstacle to work.”

Sachdeva has been part of various organizations within Dropbox and has learned a lot from each position. Now, she works closely with EMs, PMs and devs to ship high-quality products. She creates quality strategies, including automation strategies, to streamline the bug life cycle, helps maintain the tech debt, provides visibility into the health of the product and reports the quality metrics to the leadership team.

To her, balance means being able to give 100% to whatever it is she is focused on. Be it work or be it with her family, she makes sure that she’s all-in with mental peace to fully concentrate on the present.

“Dropbox does a spectacular job of providing tools such as Core Collaboration Hours, the flexibility to work from almost anywhere and leadership setting the tone for taking time off to unplug and rejuvenate, which truly encourages everyone to maintain a good work-life balance,” she says of her support at work.

We caught up with Sachdeva to talk more about how she manages a healthy work-life balance, why Dropbox is a great company for parents and the keys to her company’s culture that cultivate it. Here’s what she had to say.

Let’s talk about Dropbox’s company culture. What’s your favorite aspect of it, and how does your employer aid you in achieving balance?

Culture is the culmination of the history of the company and what behaviors are awarded and what behaviors are punished. I would say the Dropbox culture is a culture of team building and bringing everyone together. Dropbox rewards team building, and the people here are exceptionally helpful and ready to fill in gaps for each other. This leads to positive energy at the workplace and helps in increasing our overall efficiency and team velocity.

What’s your go-to stress-relief activity or routine?

My go-to stress relief activity is doing sky breath meditation daily in the morning. It truly helps me start my day with a lot of energy and a calm state of mind. I also like to go for afternoon walks after my lunch. I utilize this as my “me time” to enjoy the product podcasts on my phone. Virtual First has truly enabled this routine for me by saving so much time in my commute. 

Another stress buster is spending quality time with my kids — taking them to the park and enjoying endless discussions with my six-year-old and cuddles with my one-year-old.

How long were you on maternity leave and what was it like to return to work?

I split my maternity leave into two sections. Initially, I took four months of parental leave, and then, after working for six months, I took my last two months of parental leave. I did not want to be away from work for a long time because I was worried this would have a negative impact. 

However, my experience with Dropbox was incredibly different. My manager was fully supportive of me, and I was given enough time to ramp back up. I felt the initial four months were super helpful to bond and recover physically. However, the last two months of my parental leave truly helped me get back on track mentally. The amount of exhaustion and sleepless nights does take a toll, and having six months of parental leave is truly a blessing.

Returning to work after parental leave is always difficult. However, thanks to Virtual First, I did not have to leave my kid alone at home with a nanny. I could just step out of my room and be with my kid anytime. It was a huge mental relief. This security helped me concentrate on my work too.

Why do you think Dropbox is a particularly great place to be a working mom? (Parental leave, flexibility, remote work options, healthcare/childcare, employee resource groups, etc.)

Dropbox provides six months of parental leave uniformly to all employees. This helps remove gender bias and is greatly beneficial in mother/father-child bonding and for recovering fully, including physically, mentally and emotionally. Core Collaboration Hours and remote work options have further helped remove the stress and anxiety parents face during the first year of a child's life. 

The mother and parent communities at Dropbox have been super helpful and supportive in answering all kinds of mommy questions.

What’s your #1 tip for new moms who are navigating the delicate balance of working and mothering?

My #1 tip is to take it a bit easy on yourself. You just delivered the biggest and the best product of your life. It is super important to make time for yourself and be mentally, physically and emotionally sturdy to give your best at work and home.

I try to do this by taking 20 minutes every day and doing the daily meditation practices that provide me with bouts of energy and calmness at the same time.

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