Why Parents Should be Allowed to Bring Their Kids to Work
I take my baby to work with me.
She lays on her blanket on the floor of my office and naps or plays. Sometimes, I wear her. Other times she hangs out with Grandpa in his office, sleeping in the same chairs I slept in as a baby.
Yes, I have to take breaks to feed her a bottle or to change her diaper. But my productivity doesn’t suffer. If anything, I’m more productive and efficient because I know I need to get the same amount of work done in less time.
I know—I’m very lucky to be able to bring her with me. I work at a job I adore, with my family, AND I get to bring my daughter? JACKPOT!
Let’s be honest…I’m not ready to entrust my daughter’s life to someone else just yet. At nine weeks postpartum, however, I was very ready to return to work. I’ve never been one to just sit around and with the lovely, six-inch, not healing quite right incision across my belly, sitting around is all I had been able to do. So bringing my baby to work was absolutely the right decision for me.
Here’s why this should be a more common practice, according to The Parenting in the Workplace Institute (PIWI):
Employees return to work earlier after birth
The average parental leave in the US is six weeks. Some parents take longer, some come back sooner. As an employer, wouldn’t it be beneficial to have employees feel like they can return as soon as they’re ready because, they get to bring baby with them?
Increase in employee retention
I am not in a situation where being a stay-at-home mom is a possibility, but I know for many parents, wanting to spend more time with their children is a motivating factor to not returning to work. Allowing parents to bring their child to their job creates an environment more conducive to bonding with them.
Higher workplace morale
In a study of the Nevada State Health Division’s Infant-at-Work Program, it was found that there have been zero complaints about parents bringing their children to work. It also showed that employees in child-friendly workplaces communicated more efficiently and clearly and, overall, had better morale. People are just happier when babies are around! Who could blame them?
Obviously, bringing a baby to work doesn’t fit every situation. But if it’s a safe environment and rules are set in place for the safety of everyone, why can’t every day be Bring Your Kid to Work Day?
Parenting in the Workplace Institute, 2008. https://www.babiesatwork.org/
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, 2012. http://www.astho.org/Maternal-and-Child-Health/Nevada-Infants-at-Work/