Bring Your Child to Work Day: Swap Your Briefcase for a Backpack

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Bring Your Child to Work Day: Swap Your Briefcase for a Backpack

Thursday, April 23, 2015 is National Bring Your Child to Work Day. More than 37 million employees at over 3.5 million U.S. workplaces will participate in this holiday.

Bring Your Child to Work Day has been a staple in the workplace since 1993, and has been a great opportunity for children to be exposed to what it's like in the working world and receive hands-on experiences.

As an HR professional, there are pros and cons when it comes to letting children in the office. Let's explore what they are.

Pros

  • You are allowing children to be exposed to your office work environment and culture. It's a great way to give children an awesome experience and get an idea of what kind of career they would like to pursue in the future.
  • It can also be great for your employees' moral. It can get your employees to look at their everyday responsibilities from a different perspective, thus refreshing a sense of purpose.
  • It can promote your company's visibility and demonstrate a nice work/life balance.

Letting your employees bring their children to work with them can really boost employee morale and give your employees a sense of purpose and appreciation. However, allowing them to do so can also raise a number of concerns in the office.

Cons

If this program is poorly organized, it can actually become a disservice to the employee and child.

  • Since children are so versed with technology, it's smart to monitor their activity while using the company computer. You may not want them to find confidential or sensitive issues.
  • If certain children are physical in nature, the office may be a hazardous place. Consider limiting concerning areas in the office, such as a coffee bar area, where there is hot liquids and breakable mugs and cups.

One thought to consider is to have the parent or guardian sign a consent form beforehand. That way, your company is not responsible for anything, including if the child fell and broke their arm.  Also, most likely the child will have class, so parents will have to sign their child out for the day. Decide if you want to provide a resource for parents to use as the excuse.

Some other things to consider:

  • Provide lunch for the guardians and children
  • Maybe plan an activity for all the children to attend just to break up the day
  • Maybe speak to the children about working and what their career aspirations are- even if it's being a rock star or an astronaut

Weigh the pros and cons and decide if Bringing Your Child to Work Day is something your company wants to partake in.

View ERC's Parental Leave Policies and Practices Survey Results

This report summarizes the results of ERC’s survey of organizations in Northeast Ohio on practices related to parental leave policies & practices.

View the Results