I love it when kids visit us at work because they bring a certain energy (and cuteness of course) that makes the team smile. There are some entertaining moments when kids are around, and the questions the older children ask can be very thought provoking.
As we all know, children distract us and we can lose focus and lack engagement in our work. On the flip side, there are some times when distraction is just what’s needed to re-energise and get on with the task at hand.
But how do you manage children visiting the workplace? Let’s face it; younger children want to go to work with their parents. It’s exciting for them. But it doesn’t work for every business. Some work places can be flexible when it comes to children while others, by their nature, can’t risk having children onsite because of the potential work hazards.
For me, there are definitely some situations where it’s not appropriate to have children at work – whether they belong to you, your team or a client. These include:
• when health & safety is a genuine concern.
• when you are meeting with clients or you are in an important meeting.
• when you’re working on a critical piece of work that requires focus.
• when the children would be exposed to a work environment that isn’t suitable for them, like a workplace where foul language is the norm.
How you manage this is important. You do want to strike a balance – our employees are human and it’s only natural that at times an employee will need or want to bring their children to work. Acknowledging that there’s a time and place for children to be in the workplace, and having ground rules with staff, on what is reasonable and when, ensures everyone is on the same page. Employees should check in with you first before bringing a child to work because it might just not be workable at the time.
And one last comment – employment law does protect the rights of parents and babies when it comes to feeding the little ones during work hours.
If you have a question or need a sounding board on this matter, give us a call on 07 823 3250.