Yoast Office Hosts “Bring Your Parents to Work Day”

If you’ve ever heard your parents say something like,”My son works for the internet,” or “My daughter owns some kind of computer company,” then you know the struggle. Many parents have a difficult time understanding the professions of their grown children, especially when they are in the tech industry. This can also be compounded by the novelty of remote work, which sometimes prompts questions like, “Just what is it that you do all day?” or “When are you going to get a real job?”

The team at Yoast decided to be proactive about the problem of families not understanding their work by hosting an event called “Bring Your Parents to Work Day.” Yoast employs a team of nearly 50 people, with 40 employees working in a central office located in Wijchen, Netherlands, and 10 working remotely. The family event brought 42 parents to the office.

“It’s just awesome to have everyone’s ‘home’ team understand what we do and relate to it,” CEO Joost de Valk said.

Yoast Community Manager Taco Verdonschot brought his father to work today. His photo below shows all of the parents attending a presentation from Joost and Marieke de Valk about WordPress, open source, and Yoast’s products.

“Most parents didn’t know too much about WordPress and/or open source,” Verdonschot said. “They told the parents about our mission to make the web a better place for everyone and to make SEO available for everyone.”

After the presentation Verdonschot said employees showed their parents around the office and Joost took them in small groups across the street to a second office the company will be opening soon.

“We ended the Bring Your Parents to Work Day with drinks and snacks (home-made by my colleague Chris),” Verdonschot said. “Personally, I really liked meeting my colleagues’ parents. Some of them just look so much like their mom/dad! I really think that the presentation gave our parents a better understanding of what we do at Yoast, and how much we’re loving what we do.”

The “Bring Your Parents to Work” event has been gaining popularity in the past two years. Many large companies participated in 2016, including LinkedIn, Dogfish Head Brewery, HubSpot, ASOS, and British Airways. Verdonschot hasn’t confirmed with the directors yet, but based on the success of today’s event, he expects Yoast will make this an annual event.

“For me personally, I really like that my parents have visited the office and met my colleagues, because the world I work in now feels less strange for them,” Verdonschot said.

21 Comments


  1. My Dad probably still wouldn’t get it after multiple bring your parents to work days… it’s a nice idea, though!

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  2. This is a great idea. That would go a long way in convincing my mum I am not an unemployed hobbo who stay inside all day staring at and typing strange things in his computer as I work remotely.

    Who am I kidding she would forget everything as soon as she walks out the door and use the opportunity to tell all those embarrassing stories I am trying to keep a lid on.

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    1. If I were your colleague, those would be the stories I’d be interested in!
      Best thing, you can return the favor ?

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    2. It took 3 years for my mother to finally get that you can make excellent $$$ “staring at and typing strange things on a computer” without having to drive somewhere to a “job”. In fact I make 4 times the best salary I ever made doing the standard/typical/conventional 9-5 job thing. Not to mention all the $$$ saved on gas, food, travel, etc. ;) I guess if someone only uses their computer to send/check emails, checkout YouTube videos and other typical fun computer tasks then it would seem very strange to that person that a computer can be used as a tool (instead of a toy) to generate Mega $$$.

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  3. Great initiative. Would love more company to adopt this even though i doubt it efficacy on parents because mine would still not understand what i do.

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  4. Ageist if not Condescending … I’m 70 and have been coding computers since I left school in 1965; with just the last few years not being paid to do it! Can I bring my grandchildren to work?

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    1. I kinda agree. Often, the younger generations tend to forget how this all started and who started it and that it was created for them and generations to come. Learning about a relative’s work is as easy as telling them exacting what you do for a living. If they don’t get it, explain it better. Never insult the intelligence of your elders. Or anyone for that matter ;-)

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    2. I don’t think this is a bad idea but you have a point. The Baby Boomer generation does not seem to be very computer illiterate to me. The web went mainstream before anybody would consider Baby Boomers to be “old”.

      And in any case, it’s worth speaking about our elders with respect. They might not all know as much as younger people when it comes to today’s technology but they certainly know and have experienced more in general.

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      1. The Baby Boomer generation does not seem to be very computer illiterate to me.

        Boomers are by far the most unique generation due to WW2, post-war capitalism, civil rights, peace and love. (I think late 40’s to mid/late 60’s?) But check this out: Tim Berners-Lee (1955), Bill Gates (1955), Steve Jobs (1955), etc. That’s all I know off the top of my head ;-)

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    3. I’m not sure what your point is, sorry. The goal of our ‘Bring your parents to work’ day wasn’t to teach them how to use a computer. We invited them to show what we do.

      Personally, I’m in customer support. I got to show what tools I use, how I communicate with my team and who my colleagues are. That’s the value this day added.

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      1. Re-read the first paragraph of this article then re-read Alan Brand’s great comment and the replies to his comment. You’ll get it. TL;DR: nobody said anything about teaching someone how to use a computer; parents are not idiots. You’re welcome.

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      2. I’m inferring here that he didn’t mean “take your parents to work” day itself was ageist… maybe he did, I don’t know. I suspect rather he the took offense to the statement “Many parents have a difficult time understanding the professions of their grown children, especially when they are in the tech industry”.

        That said, seems like a pretty factual statement to me. Many, not all.

        I think this is brilliant. My 73 mother is like this commenter, highly tech-literate since I was a child, but most of my older peers (50-70, I’m 44) don’t at all.

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    4. @Alan Brand Absolutely you can have a bring your grandchildren to work day if you wanted to. I don’t find this condescending at all. Just because someone is older and is tech savvy that doesn’t necessarily mean they are savvy about every aspect of the tech industry. There are a lot of facets within the tech industry. A lot of niches. I see nothing wrong with this.

      @Tada Burke How does having a get together to show employees parents the products, ecosystem, and platforms that their children work on in some way say that the parents are idiots?

      To both of you I say this…

      My Dad turns 71 years old tomorrow. He is tech savvy. He’s owned computers as long as I can remember and we always had one in our house when I was growing up. He’s had PC’s and he is now an Apple user. He has an iMac, an iPad and iPhone. My Mom is far less tech savvy but she’s become an avid iPad user and also uses the iPhone because once she learned how to use the iPad it made it a breeze to use the iPhone.

      But here is the thing… despite the fact my Dad is tech savvy they don’t necessarily fully understand the WordPress niche and ecosystem. They don’t build web sites. They don’t use WordPress, although they certainly visit WordPress powered web sites on a daily basis while browsing the web.

      They have a general idea of what Gravity Forms is and does. They know WordPress is a CMS and Gravity Forms is a solution for creating all kinds of forms/surveys/polls/quizzes/etc.

      BUT I haven’t given them an in-depth tour of WordPress and Gravity Forms. I haven’t sat them down, gotten hands on and walked them through exactly how WordPress and Gravity Forms work and the types of capabilities that they have and how they fit into the overall CMS and WordPress ecosystem.

      Just because someone is tech savvy doesn’t mean they understand every aspect of the tech industry and drilling down and giving them a guided tour of exactly what you do, how your product works, the various ways it is used by customers, etc. Providing them with that type of tour in no way makes the person an idiot or in some way out of touch simply because they are old.

      I guarantee you that the families at Yoast’s company probably absolutely loved the experience and enjoyed learning more about what exactly their children’s day to day job entails and all the ins and outs of the products they work on.

      The two of you need to lighten the hell up.

      I’m sick of people being offended on behalf of other people when the people involved aren’t offended at all!

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      1. @Carl Hancock Actually, you should probably “lighten the hell up…” as you so eloquently put it. I never dissed anyone or flamed on anything re: this topic (I actually enjoyed this post). I backed some statements/facts for clarity as @Taco (dismissively) “…didn’t get the point” from another comment. I wasn’t offended whatsoever. My first comment even said, that I *kinda* agreed with Alan.

        Staying in this post’s context: There are stereotypes and stigmas attached to parents (elders) + technology and the workplace. I feel it’s completely relevant to aside some of these stereotypes. Although this is WordPress related, certain topics stem much further. You may disagree, that’s perfectly fine ny me <3

        However, I don't argue online. And I don't take unwarrented jabs lightly–if you come at me the way you did, be prepared to back it up with some sense of sanity. Otherwise, peace out.

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  5. Why is this worthy of note? Major Silicon Valley companies, like Google and LinkedIn, have been doing this for years.

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    1. Sarah notes in the post that other companies have done something similar. Yoast is a large, successful, company in the WordPress space so it makes sense to publish about it on the Tavern.

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      1. I would rather hear about smaller or more innovative or more altruistic companies and efforts than more promotions from Yoast.

        This is the 3rd post about Yoast this month. There were 2 separate posts about the Yoast nags.

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      2. We wrote posts about the event and the PHP update nags because they were both newsworthy topics. We don’t write news based on a subjective judgment of whether a company is altruistic or not, and the size of a company doesn’t necessarily factor into whether its activities are newsworthy.

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  6. I don’t know, my Mom just migrated to Shopify because all your guys’ e-commerce stuff wasn’t making the cut.

    Get back to work, n00bs.

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  7. I understand, sometimes my Mum will ask me if this will feed me and my family lol.

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