How ExpressVPN supports working parents and families
How ExpressVPN supports working parents and families
No one knows more about the importance of getting things done quickly and efficiently than parents. If you don’t tie that shoe properly, or pack the right snack, or follow bedtime protocol…well, good luck to you.
ExpressVPN is a place with a similar emphasis: We like getting things done, and with speed, because we intuitively understand the needs of our customers and want them to experience these incremental benefits and process improvements in real time. (This is not to say we think of our customers as our children, although we certainly do care deeply about their welfare!)
“ExpressVPN really cares about our work-life balance; my manager consistently checks in to make sure I have enough time to spend with my family. This is a company that really takes our feedback seriously and makes necessary changes to accommodate our needs, including family time.”
– Lee (father of three), Cybersecurity
We have parents at all levels and in all offices across our company. From London to Singapore, and Tel Aviv to Toronto, our quarterly employee surveys paint a similar picture: ExpressVPN is a great place for working parents. Read on to find out how our company culture and policies support employees and their families.
Our cultural values
Throughout our rigorous hiring process, we seek out employees who are kind, curious, and collaborative. (Meanwhile, Wharton professor and leading organizational psychologist Adam Grant maintains that kindness and empathy are the most important values parents should instill in their children if they want them to be successful by any metric).
At ExpressVPN these values take many forms, from individual gestures to our emphasis on team-based collaboration. This is a company that’s refreshingly low on competition and petty resentments, where colleagues are instead supportive and recognize that life happens. Whether that means kids wandering into video calls (or taking over the office for a meeting with Santa), or upcycling baby bouncers and seeking advice in parent-specific Slack channels, kindness is king.
“Because the working environment is so supportive and collaborative, it has helped me feel more confident to try and test new things.”
– Sinead (mother of two), Affiliates
Another trend that’s found popularity in both business and parenting is Stanford professor Carol Dweck’s growth mindset, which encourages a focus on effort and tackling challenges even in the face of failure, in contrast to relying on innate abilities and a focus on achievement without context.
In Dweck’s estimation, people with a growth mindset enjoy challenges, love learning new things, and see failure as an opportunity to develop new skills. At ExpressVPN we look for a growth mindset in every candidate that we interview, because ours is very much a fail-forward culture, with a tremendous amount of emphasis on learning and development.
“As a parent I particularly identify with the company’s emphasis on open, honest feedback. The same skills I try to apply to parenting—listening to my kids and “sportscasting” what they’re telling me, helping them come up with their own solutions—are invaluable in our approach to management.”
– Kate (mother of two), Content Marketing
Our managers and leadership strive to create an environment where employees feel safe and supported. Where we can provide transparent, honest feedback, and speak up if we think something isn’t working or could be improved. Luckily for all of us, our employees are far more reasonable than your average toddler, so workplace challenges often provide a refreshing reprieve!
“As a parent I particularly identify with the company’s emphasis on providing open, honest feedback,” says Kate, a Content Manager in Singapore. The same skills I strive for in respectful parenting—listening to my kids and 'sportscasting' what they’re telling me, helping them come up with their own solutions (rather than just giving them the answers or barking orders)—are just as applicable in our approach to management. In fact I find that qualities like empathy, praising effort rather than just outcomes, being able to see the big picture, and of course always having a healthy dose of humor, serve me equally well in both roles.”
Part of our commitment to efficiency and getting things done quickly relates to our emphasis on work-life balance: the office is for focusing on work tasks, but most employees shut their laptops by 6pm and rarely sign back on to Slack until the next morning.
We also recognize that flexibility means different things to different people. Although employees are encouraged to be signed on during certain core hours, we don’t have a strict single set schedule. We recognize that some people are most productive early in the morning, while others like getting things done during quiet late-night hours.
“I like starting very early in the morning, which means I can take a break in the mid-afternoon to pick up my children from school. School schedules here in the UK are not great for working parents, but I can pick them up, finish any pending items from home, and still have some time to play with them before the day ends.”
– Eric (father of two), International Content
For parents at ExpressVPN this means being able to build our work schedules around school drop-offs, doctor appointments, dinner, and bedtime. No one is going to chain you to your desk from 9 to 6. If you get your work done, and hold yourself accountable to your teammates, it’s all good.
“Being able to shift my hours later so I can be present for my kids at dinner and bedtime is huge,” says Cybersecurity engineer Lee in Singapore. “I really appreciate how attentive my manager is to my needs, frequently checking to make sure I feel supported and like I can get my work done on a schedule that works.”
Heather, a Data Insights Manager in Hong Kong, loves having built-in work-from-home days: “Working from home means that I can pick my son up from the school bus once a week and hear about his day there and then when it’s fresh in his mind, as compared to the standard ‘It was ok’ response at 6pm!” she explains.
“When my kids were home-schooling for two years on and off during Covid in Hong Kong, I was super fortunate to be able to work from home,” says Affiliates Lead Sinead. “I joined the company when my girls were 2.5 and 1.5, now they’re 9 and 8. They love coming to the Christmas parties and seeing all my colleagues. When you’re able to meet your coworkers’ families, you understand them on another level.”
ExpressVPN offers employees extensive health insurance, with flexibility between individual or family plans to suit each employee's needs. Employees also receive a minimum of three months’ paid maternity leave, with additional paternity leave that varies in line with local government guidelines. Additional days are also granted throughout the year for childcare leave.
Vacation leave is essential to a healthy work-life balance, and all in-office ExpressVPN employees have a generous allowance for both leave time and public holidays. In addition the company also offers remote work-from-anywhere days along with the opportunity to temporarily work out of any of our global office locations. In a diverse company like ours where employees hail from over 30 countries, geographic flexibility is an understood must.
“In more recent times, I also appreciate that the company has increased our remote work days, and with ever-shifting quarantine requirements we’ve had the flexibility to keep working without having to burn vacation days,” says Lee, who was able to travel to his home country with his children.
“ExpressVPN treats people like the adults they are. There are clear policies which offer options, and beyond that it’s down to the individual to make them work for both their personal life and the job they were hired to do.”
– Heather (mother of one), Data Insights
We recognize that parenting is likely to be the hardest job you’ll ever do. Given that we love hiring people who thrive on tackling challenges, it’s no wonder so many parents seem to enjoy working here. ExpressVPN will always strive to foster an environment of flexibility, trust, and creativity for employees, and we hope that by extension that same positive experience extends to our employees’ families.
Ready to join us?
ExpressVPN employees—engineers, marketers, designers, data analysts, and more—are spread across the planet in cities including Toronto, London, Singapore, Perth, Hong Kong, Manila, and Tokyo. Our fast-growing team comprises nearly 1,000 employees drawn from over 30 nationalities. As diverse as we are, though, we are united by a strong sense of purpose to create a better digital world.
We can't wait for you to start your #LifeAtExpressVPN.