Is it OK to Bring Kids to the Office?

“When colleagues do bring their kids to the office, I find it incredibly distracting and disruptive,” she says, nonetheless. “It’s not like we have a child-care facility in our office building; when the kids get bored (who can blame them), they’re out making noise in the main work area with the rest of us. And to suggest that this noise is a problem is a tricky; I fear being seen as unkind or non understanding.”

She asked if anyone else has had to navigate this kind of issue — and it turns out, she’s not alone. Here’s what others have to say about whether or not kids should be allowed in offices.

1. Kids shouldn’t really be in the office unless it’s super necessary.

“Out of consideration for others, I work with my son to be a strong independent child who can entertain himself and not make much noise, and who is also aware that a workplace is not the same as a park,” says Crystal Rhineberger. “However I would never bring my son on a regular basis! It’s unfair to him to have to be behave like a small adult 24/7, it does not allow me to focus on what I need to get done and, for others around, no one needs to hear the arguments and discipline.”

Emergencies are different cases, of course.

“I have three kids and took the two older ones to work with me one day — I didn’t accomplish half of what I needed to do,” admits lkrystall. “To me, unless the kids are 10 or older, can distract themselves, and you have ur own office space, they shouldn’t be at your work unless it’s an emergency.”

2. Help out to make it a better environment for everyone.

“Utilize noise-cancelling headphones or book a conference room for yourself for those times,” adds Maggie S. “Alternatively, can you hook up some movies or games in a conference room and corral the kids in there?

3. Talk to human resources about options.

“If this is a recurring chid-care problem that more than one mom has to deal with at your job, perhaps management would consider an on site child care option or some remote work hours for mothers that need help,” adds Nia-Alyese Rae Boyd. “When women who don’t have children stand in solidarity with women who do, together, the workplace dynamic can be changed in ways that support all of us!”

Beyond child care options, flexible hours and the ability to work remote can also help parents.

“As a parent, there are times when [bringing the kids to work is] inevitable,” says KatieM45. “What we REALLY need is more flexible work schedules and the universal allowance to work from home (if you’re a parent or not) AND the understanding that sometimes people HAVE to work from home. My VP has a rule: no teleworking on Mondays or Fridays. So when my daughter has a half-day on a Friday (as she often does on holidays), what am I supposed to do?”

This article originally appeared on Fairygodboss. As the largest career community for women, Fairygodboss provides millions of women with career connections, community advice and hard-to-find intel about how companies treat women.

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