The recent story of Chicago White Sox slugger Adam LaRoche walking away from a $13 million season contract after being told he had to limit the time his 14-year-old son, Drake, spent with the team (his father’s place of work), got us thinking . . . . What are typical workplace policies for bringing children to work?
According to the International Foundation’s 2014 Employee Benefits Survey report, less than 1% of workplaces allow employees to take their children to work, like Adam and Drake. However, 20% of organizations allow employees to take their children to work once per year in celebration of “Take Your Child To Work Day.”
I remember previewing the exciting world of environmental engineering as a kid by accompanying my dad to work on that day every April. Photocopying my handprint on the copy machine and the impressive selection of sodas in the lunchroom were the highlights. Looking back, it also boosted team synergy among my dad and his co-workers. In addition, it provided a unique introduction to work ethic and career building for myself and the other kids. More than 37 million Americans at over 3.5 million workplaces bring their children to work for the event each year.
An interesting NY Daily News article examined the pros and cons to bringing children to work—It’s either a refreshing change of pace or individuals are distracted by it. A facilities manager featured in the article said productivity increases when people are happy and can take care of their personal stuff (i.e., children). University of Warwick confirmed: Happy employees are 12% more productive, and unhappy workers are 10% less productive.
Allowing parents to spend more time with their children outside of work is gaining popularity. The same Employee Benefits Survey found that over 10% of workplaces offer paid leave for parents to attend a child’s activities.
Adam LaRoche’s tweet on the matter included the hashtag #FamilyFirst. His retirement reopened the case for children at work, no matter how untraditional the workplace may be. It’s a trend we’ll be keeping our eye on. Do you thinking bringing your children to work is appropriate? Participate in the poll below and see how other readers are reacting:
Communications Associate at the International Foundation