I ran across this article in The New York Times online version the other day and of course it gave me something to think about for most of the rest of the day!
Seems some companies are opening up the doors for children, who come to work with mom and dad everyday, sometimes all day, and remain either in the parent’s office or, in some cases, in an office right next door.
No, not in a child-filled daycare downstairs, but right beside mom and dad.
I have difficulty imagining this for my own life. Let me tell you how it is when I work from home.
Even though we have tons of toys available, the children end up on my lap, touching the computer, dashing around the table on which I work. If I’m on the phone they suddenly need something that they didn’t need before the call was made: yogurt, pretzels, go pee pee on the potty.
Bribery doesn’t even work, because, believe me, I have tried.
We are not a tv family so having them zone in front of the tube for a while so I can get things done does not work.
So I get up at 5 AM to get my workout and some work done. Otherwise, let me tell you, it just doesn’t happen.
Now, my children are 4 1/2 and 2, so they are at ages in which they are needy. They are not babies any longer, so popping a bottle or boob in their mouth is not going to quiet them long enough for me to make a call.
They are not older, so giving them books doesn’t work either.
Yes, they can entertain themselves if I get out the paints, but in all honesty this only lasts for so long. Then they need me.
I love the idea that offices are opening doors and making family friendly environments more available to moms. I think that some moms will return to work and feel less guilty doing so if they feel they are able to do so and take their children to the office.
But I guess I just don’t see how this really works.
One mother takes her 3 1/2 year old to work each day and the child plays in an adjacent playroom with a babysitter. Now, this I can see: The child has someone else to take care of her while mom is working but mom can stop and interact with her daughter as desired.
Yet critics are saying two things: first, you cannot be totally devoted to work OR child if you are trying to do both at the same time, and second, pay for these employees who are interrupted by children at the office should not be the same as pay for those who do not bring children to work.
One company mentioned has a policy tthat children are allowed but parents are given only 80% of their salary. The company has done studies and finds that when children are at the office, the parent is not working as much. This alleviates some of the stress on the parent, who may feel they have to constantly be working to make the full check, and it is fair for the other employees.
What about you? Could you take your children to the office for the whole day? Would they entertain themselves long enough for you to get things done, or would you have to make adjustments to your schedule if you did so?
If you were taking your child to work, do you believe you should continue to make full pay or should you take a cut in pay because you will have to stop and take care of the tot from time to time?
Also, comparing your salary to that of a single/childless person who is working without interruption, do you feel you should make the same as this person or less than this person?
Interesting thoughts to chew on during this very cold Thursday morning! Now mine are awake and work will end for a bit. Stay warm!