Matt Hein sits at the kitchen table with his 3-month-old son on his lap. He emails a customer about brushless motors – technology at the heart of medical ventilators in high demand around the world – as Anderson wiggles against his arm.
“In ventilators, brushless motors blow air in and out of the lungs,” said Matt, who manages a small team of applications engineers who help design semiconductor circuits for the motors. “We’ve got customers who need our devices right away, so questions are flooding in. Many days, I’m on the phone from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.”
Until a few weeks ago, he would have handled those calls at his Dallas office. Today – like members of his team, our customers and many others around the world – he’s embraced the new reality of a digital workplace. And like thousands of other TI employees, he’s found a way to adapt and succeed in a world that’s ever-changing.
All the while, he’s helping his wife meet the needs of their newborn.
“We have a baby, so everything is a matter of priorities for me,” he said. “If my wife needs me to comfort the baby, I will do that. After that, I handle the next most-important thing. There is enough time in the day to deal with everything.”
And having a strong team is critical to this balance.
“Our team is made up of problem-solvers,” he said. “Working virtually is a hurdle. How do we overcome it? How do we get done what needs to get done? We have a problem-solving attitude.”
Caring for a relative
While TIers like Matt are unexpectedly caring for children at home during the COVID-19 crisis, others, like Thomas Lewis, are taking care of a parent.
When Thomas learned earlier this year that his father, Oliver, had only a few months to live, he and his sister planned to take long weekends off work so they could travel to his home in West Virginia and share his care. But they faced another unexpected challenge: A third-party company that had agreed to provide care when they couldn’t be there drastically reduced its services when the virus hit.
Thomas Lewis, right, with his father, Oliver.
Today – thanks to a benefit that gives employees four weeks of paid time off to manage personal situations they are facing because of COVID-19 – Thomas is able to work partial days remotely and spend time caring for his father.
“Because of TI, my dad is able to stay home for the last six months of his life,” said Thomas, who is an applications and marketing manager in New Hampshire. “That’s invaluable. And he’s at peace. Every night, he thanks me for being there with him. He’s not in a nursing home or a hospice center where no one can see him, and I’m very grateful.”
Virtual, but not alone
Andrew Kling, a field applications engineering manager, talks to customers all day from a makeshift desk in the small Seattle high-rise apartment he shares with his fiancé. Because of COVID-19, they have rescheduled their destination wedding in Greece, which was originally set for late May.
His customers – companies that manufacture data center servers and personal electronics devices – are experiencing more demand as people now working from home need more Internet bandwidth.
Andrew Kling in his home office.
“People are using more Internet and needing monitors, laptops and other equipment to get home offices set up,” he said.
Since Andrew and his team no longer can spend time face-to-face, they have taken time to relax together during a virtual happy hour.
“Everyone showed up with their favorite drinks and expressed what they were feeling,” he said. “That helped people feel like they’re not going through this alone. Some of our team members are single. Others had kids running around in the background. Some are learning how to homeschool their children. It was nice to see everybody’s face again on our video call.”
Learning, evolving and improving
The daily schedule for Whitney Jodry’s three children is prominently placed on a kitchen counter in her Dallas home. Managing “mom school” – as she calls her unexpected foray into teaching her third-grade, first-grade and pre-kindergarten children – has required some creativity as she also juggles the demands of leading a global team.
Mom school is what Whitney Jodry calls her unexpected foray into teaching her three children at home.
“When life presents challenges like this, how we learn, evolve and get better as individuals, as employees and as a business is important,” said Whitney, who leads our company’s corporate communications team. “We’re learning that people can be highly productive, resilient and adaptive. As a working mother, I’m grateful to work for a company that values my professional and personal roles.”