Bringing your baby to work! According to USA Today, 80 major companies in North America – and numerous small companies - now allow babies in the workplace – at least on an occasional basis. That includes law offices, retail companies, insurance firms, and credit unions. Some companies are welcoming babies every day. For example, an advertising agency in Austin, Texas lets new moms and dads bring their baby to work until the kid is old enough to crawl. Which is about nine months old. Parents can set up makeshift nurseries, keep their kids at their desk, and even take their infants to meetings in strap-on slings. Some companies even give new parents private offices and toys are often passed from departing babies, to new arrivals.
Parents love the “baby at work” movement, because they can spend time bonding with their baby. They also don’t have to worry about day-care and don’t have to run off to feed the baby, or miss work to take care of them when they’re sick. Parents with tots in tow are also incredibly loyal to companies that let them put their family first. Which reduces employee turnover. However, productivity specialists are skeptical. They say that bringing babies to work raises legal concerns for employers, and creates a distraction that can undermine productivity – for parents and their co-workers. Critics also say that allowing parents to bring babies to work amounts to favoritism. Employees without children already resent the perception of coddled working parents because “kidless” workers don’t get the same flexible hours and extra time off that working parents do. Having a baby at work could also upset co-workers who don’t want to put up with baby music and toy noises - as well as gurgling, crying, and baby talk in the next cubicle. Some parents who’ve brought babies to work admit it doesn’t always go smoothly. If the baby won’t sleep, or is fussy, cranky and colicky, co-workers are not so supportive – and sometimes parents have to resort to regular day-care.