Kids on the job: ‘It’s work, not day care’

Jen Weigel

Most reader responses to the story on taking your kids to work were negative, but some of you agreed with the idea that bringing kids to work can enliven the office in a good way.

Our column about taking the kids to work generated a pretty exciting conversation on Facebook. Here are a few of the comments:

“Child care issues need to remain outside the office,” wrote Bill. “Seen that one blow up for colleagues before.”

“In general it is a lose-lose-lose proposition,” wrote Brian. “The kids lose, you lose, and clients/customers lose. However, as a special occasion, if the kids are well-behaved and you create some structure for them with buy-in from co-workers, it can strengthen relationships. I work at home and my kids are always begging to hang around and meet clients, but I restrict it and use it as a reward for good behavior.”

Diane wrote: “Sometimes it’s a necessity. The mother may be somewhat distracted but it may be better than her not being there at all. As long as they’re behaving and it’s not a regular occurrence, it can be OK.”

“Imagine a bunch of kids running around Wolf Blitzer in ‘The Situation Room,’ ” wrote John.

“Double-edged sword for all,” added Laura. “I get once in a while. However, it can be stressful, and for people without kids this causes an issue, as they are held to different standards. As a single parent — no, I did not do it.”

Christian wrote: “I was a single father for years and years and never did it, but personally I actually find it quite fun when someone has their kids around. It makes the office seem a less sterile and self-contained place to be.”

“Absolutely not!” wrote Michelle. “It’s totally inappropriate in a professional work environment. I hate it when co-workers do it and the kids run around like they are at Chuck E. Cheese’s. If I had wanted to be around other people’s kids all day, I would get a job at Chuck E. Cheese’s.”

“I have, in the past, brought a kid or two with me when I had to work on a day that most colleagues were not in the office,” wrote Jodi. “But only when absolutely necessary, and armed with plenty of stuff for them to do quietly. I have warm memories of my son curled up in a blanket under my desk at Crate & Barrel Corporate, watching a movie on a little DVD player with headphones while I checked code.”

“Children should know what their parents do all day while they are away from home — to a point — it’s different for everyone,” wrote Matt.

“Why?” Jim wrote in response to Matt. “It’s a place of business, not day care.”