If you lost the daily battle to make it to the school bus on time, bringing your kids with you to work is sometimes inevitable. But it’s completely acceptable to tote your kids to your 9-5…if you know how to work it right. Here are some tips on how to bring your child to work with you.
Let Your Boss Know
Even if management has a very family-first policy, you’ll still want to give your boss a heads up that you’re bringing your child with you. After all, you don’t want to show up with your kid in tow and your boss isn’t expecting to see your mini behind the desk. If possible, give them at least a week’s notice if you can, but if it’s an emergency (i.e. the babysitter is sick), call or text them to know that you’ll have a helper today.
Time It Right
Sure, sometimes there are emergencies, but if it’s possible, try to schedule bringing your child to work with you on a lighter workday. Generally, Fridays are the best day to bring your kids, since many companies are winding down the work week at that point. Avoid Mondays and Tuesdays as employees are just getting into the swing of their schedules and might not appreciate energetic kids running down the hallways at the office.
Keep It Short
If you brought your child into the office last week (and everyone oohed and aahed over your little princess), you might be tempted to bring her again. But experts avoid against having repeat performances of having your child come into work, since it can irritate workers and impede productivity. If possible, try to split the kid care between you and your husband and bring only one child per office visit, and space them far apart. After all, coworkers may find it stressful to have multiple kids mulling around their cubes.
Kids can get bored pretty quickly if they’re literally faced with staring at computers, calculators, and cubicle walls all day. So be sure to bring a bag of fun distractions for your child. Coloring books, your tablet or smartphone and plenty of healthy snacks (think ice cold grapes and strawberries) can keep her occupied while you’re meeting with your boss.
Set Realistic Expectations
Although it would be ideal if you could put in a full workday when you bring your child to work with you, it’s probably not practical. So plan to schedule a lighter workday if possible, giving yourself smaller tasks that are easier to accomplish. That way, you’ll feel like you accomplished something…with your little accomplice by your side.
No matter how hard you try, there are going to be times when you have to bring your child to work with you. And that’s okay. Life isn’t about having two separate lives — a professional life and a personal one. It’s about doing the best you can each day, and if that means you’re toting your tot to the office once in a while, just complete what you can and know that tomorrow you’ll probably have double to do…and it will still be okay.