For anyone who has followed my story from the beginning, I am a huge advocate for not letting my role as a mother discredit my role as a business woman, which often means having a tiny tag along at meetings and events.
Although not applicable for every workplace, I believe that in 2020 we should have an open dialogue about babies in the workplace, and start adopting formal office policies around babies in the workplace. This would benefit the profit margins of companies in a number of ways, including mothers (or the parent on leave) potentially returning to work sooner, and parents working harder to prove that their babies are not a distraction from their ability to get work done.
If you’ve ever thought about adopting a babies in the workplace policy, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1) You need a cut off age. I recommend 6 months, because past that babies start to move more, babble more, and want to be entertained , which does take away from productivity.
2) Everyone bringing a baby into the office needs a work wife (or work husband), someone who can keep an eye on the munchkin when you need to run to the washroom, or get called away for a short period of time.
3) Private or semi-private offices are easiest to accommodate a baby’s presence without disrupting the entire office. Whether the baby needs to be fed, changed or sleep. Or if he/she is fussy, it is easier for a parent to navigate the changes to their work day iif they do not need to worry about disrupting others while they parent.
4) Be transparent. People are more likely to accept the changes that come with a baby in the workplace if they know about it in advance and can address any questions and concerns. 5) Be flexible. As with any major changes, a baby in the workplace policy will need some tweaking as you put it into practice. Actively seek feedback and be flexible to any changes that need to be made. Whether it be changes to the new policies, or changes to ensure employees without children don’t feel segregated, be flexible.
If you want to adopt a baby in the workplace policy for your business, or approach your employer about babies in the workplace, I am happy to chat. I believe that in 2020 we shouldn’t have to choose between business and babies ( although an opportunity to pee alone or drink a hot coffee is nice too).