What’s the latest job trend? Bringing your baby to work!

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. But some companies are welcoming babies every day. Even providing new parents with private offices for breastfeeding, playtime and naptime.

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 9 months old.

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 who can bring their babies are also incredibly loyal to companies that let them put their family first which reduces employee turnover.

But productivity specialists are skeptical. They say that bringing babies to work raises legal concerns for employers.

It also 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 working parents because they don’t get the same flexible hours and extra time off.

So, what do you think of babies at work? Is it a great perk – or a big distraction?

Facebook dot com slash John Tesh.