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.

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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:

How do you feel about parents bringing kids to work?

View Results

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Anne Killian
Communications Associate at the International Foundation

Anne Patterson

Communications Associate at the International Foundation

Favorite Foundation service/product: The innovative member survey efforts and results from the research team.

Benefits-related topics that interest her most: Health care, nontraditional wellness initiatives, employee benefit communication.

Personal Insight: It’s all about balance with Anne. She loves to run and enjoys a good culinary adventure. She’ll jump at the chance to travel or to spend fun times with family and friends, but she’ll also take time to catch her breath with an occasional Netflix binge or diving into a classic novel.

2 thoughts on “Putting #FamilyFirst with Employee Benefits

  1. Heather Shaw

    I vote yes but there are exceptions. For instance, I work at a school board and there is the possibility kids coming here to work with their parents could hear confidential information about their own teacher.

    I know there would be many other work places where it would be inappropriate to have kids there. Safety concerns would be a barrier to bringing your kids to work.

  2. Julie

    I vote yes. Just not everyday. It would put too much of a distraction on the parent. They would be worried what is Billy doing?? Instead of preparing for the meeting or project they should be focused on. That and I think for a lot of parents work is their escape from parental duties.. Mixed emotions on this one. I am a mom of 2.

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