Freelancing, Remote Work, Technology and ... Childcare?

If you are interested and want to join the event comment here. Share your experience or a question regarding childcare for freelancers and remote workers:
Even if I was in a recording booth with a big red light on, they would still come in the room to tell me something pointless.

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I was on an important video call earlier, and they all burst in, and I gave the casual “wave” out, but they kept talking, so I gave a stronger wave, followed by a glare, then a mute and a “GET OUT!!”.

When I spoke to them after they were like “but we needed to tell you… Cato didn’t have a chocolate this morning”.


Thank you everyone for todays conversation!

there were some great and interesting point raised and lots of topics I would like to continue discussing here:

  1. Examples for how to set and communicate boundaries @Ine Wilems and @Ana_Catarina
  2. The positive shift of it becoming more acceptable to have a visible familylive as a professional. @Vann
  3. Technology for children and how it’s role is a different one for this new generation with low entry barrier apps. “why a developer decides against a tablet for his/her child”. And if there are other examples of positive applications or uses where you actually feel like your children are learning? And how much screen time do you consider appropriate? @Vann
  4. Examples of including childcare in coworking @Amparo Fuentes
  5. How technology can support new living and childcare models? What is beeing developed already? What are those models? What happens if you let your imagination run wild? @C.schmitz

will turn those soon in their own threads and ask some of you to comment on them :slight_smile:

A short summary of the discussion will follow in a few days

thank you for joining the conversation here. sadly it was too late to send you a link to the call. but please tell us more about your experiences with large red lights that are not accepted and I hope the summary will be interesting for you.

Our kid is on 75% of the calls I have when she’s home - at some point she just comes in, closed door or not (it doesn’t lock).

In some way, I’m glad to see people’s reaction to it. It’s a little bit like looking at how people treat the waiter or staff to understand whether this is a person I’d like to be working with.

Of course there’s also times I need to keep her out, e.g. when I’m giving a presentation or when I need to be super focused because I’m moderating. In those cases I actually block the door with something heavy… :slight_smile:


It’s a little bit like looking at how people treat the waiter or staff to understand whether this is a person I’d like to be working with.

(Side note: has anyone made a personnel decision based on this? I have. I was in New York meeting the new owners of my SF Gate site and at lunch the guy i would most work with was outright mean, though with a toothy grin, to the nice woman serving us and I made the decision to myself that I did not want to work with that guy. And I didn’t.)


Hey @MariaEuler - somebody has just asked me if they could view a recording of it. Is one available?

Hello @Vann, we can not share the whole recording, but we will soon publish a writeup.

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Handheld devices are a big no for me. It very seldom happens, and it’s never me giving it to him because I’d rather he does anything else but that. Our 2.5yo is allowed 30 minutes of cartoons, on the big TV, and even that stops if he stands too near the screen. I think being a luddite is, in this case, the right thing for small kids.

We are lucky that he is very active and stops caring about videos after a while anyway, and that he likes puzzles a lot so that’s a better alternative for self-entertainment.

It is tricky though, because of the examples we set: with remote work, and myself being possibly mildly addicted to the internet, we tend to spend a lot of time on screens, and he sees that.

And this is when I really miss living in a small village surrounded by hills, woods, and the Tuscan countryside… Outside we both are much more peaceful, and easy access to nature really makes me want to stay outside as much as possible. Yerevan doesn’t fit that bill I’m afraid.


That’s really a worry for me too… especially because she does not understand what we do but only that we are looking at a screen (Just thinking of things like setting a timer while I’m cooking or adding something to a calendar).

I try to think of it in a similar way to other aspects of life, that it’s more important to model a behavior (whether it’s how much tech to use, or what kind of food we eat, or how we treat others around us) than to police (seemingly arbitrary) “rules”.

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I have seen toddlers go into an iPhone, select the photo app, then scroll through the photos by correctly swiping - before they could even talk.

Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s the same scenario in my house.

A couple of weeks ago, I engaged with someone on twitter who raised the issue of employer’s perspective on parents as humans. The question was:
Do employers have now a different view of combining parenting and working? We were discussing if the exposure to the “parenting side” of an employee made companies (managers, HR etc) gain a deeper understanding of the struggles and therefore adopt a more parent-friendly approach.

What do you think?

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@Vann certainly brought up this point during the event. The existence of children around a professional existence seems to get more accepted. (I am still working on the event summary.)

The burden is of course all the greater for the working parent who still has to deliver the work, and on time.

During the lockdown i was questioning myself of a possible paradigm to analyse the smart working condition while parenting. I converted a whole room to a kind of Montessori lab with paper, glue, fabric, wood sticks, leaves, etc… for my daughter and put some limits to smartwork shift in order to combine the two situations. Hope this schema helps the discussion with this little game… Where would you set yourself and your child according to different age and kind of work?


My daughter would be dead center. Luckily for them the kids have outdoor space so they can run around some. Being in an apartment must be tough.

Our next AMA is quite relavnt to this topic:

On the 9th of December 18:30 to 19:30 psychologist Erik Bohjort joins for an AMA.

  • Would you wish you could change your own behaviour sometimes?
  • Are you wondering how much technology is actually ok for your children, and if and how they can learn with digital tools?
  • Are you developing an app, website, project to change and improve the world, and want to know how to best influence behaviour or how to nudge?
  • Do you have your own insights and/or issues (2020 has been hard on everyone…) you just really would like to discuss with a psychologist?

Then you are in luck!

Erik (@Bohjort) is a Psychologist at PBM working in the field of Behavioural Insights.
His background also includes experience as the Head of Research at Gimi AB (an educational FinTech application to teach financial literacy to children) and as a Psychologist at Akademiska Sjukhuset in the Neuropsychiatric Unit.

His research explores topics such as:

Behaviour change, Digital education, Behavioural insights, Nudging, Psychology

For one hour he will be available to answer all of your questions and engage in discussions, conversations and maybe even a bit of therapy with you.

Register here to get a reminder before the event and join the AMA chat.

The live chat will happen here, where Erik personally introduced himself:

To everyone who had joined this session last year:

Our ethnographer team has launched a question about how employers deal with applicants and the effects of that on our perception of time, work and self-worth.

Your insights and opinions on that would be very welcome!