Why every day is a don't bring kids to work day
Published 07/04/2008 | 00:00
They say that what happens in the United States inevitably happens over here sooner or later. If so, the latest trend is not too far away: bring your baby to work.
Some US firms have been allowing new mothers to bring their babies to the office rather than have their high-flying executives staying at home and doing nothing productive — other than looking after their new-born, that is.
As the US is a culture obsessed with careers, many mothers seem to welcome the opportunity to combine diapers and diagrams, flow charts and feeding.
Mothers take their children to the office and put them in carry-chairs during the day. Surprisingly, the current research seems to show that productivity goes up while the mothers and babies are together. The children only stay with their mums for a few months — once they start crawling the office love-in is over.
Personally, I think any parent who brings a young child to work is mad.
I can understand only too well the financial pressures that maternity leave puts on anyone.
But the pressure of having a baby a few months old in the office would be even worse.
Perhaps American babies are more placid than ours but I can't imagine I could have gotten any work done when my children were still in nappies.
I can guarantee that as soon as I started to ring someone or write something, the child would need attention.
I spend a couple of days working out of the house and most of the rest of the week working from home slaving over a hot keyboard.
My easiest work days are the ones when I leave the house for the office. The days when I work at home involve writing between school runs when the children are not at home.
Even then, the choices open to me as a journalist are limited. I can write opinion pieces and review books because I don't have to leave the house to do that.
I can't do news assignments or features because that involves extra travel and time spent on interviews — which would mean someone else dropping the children off to school and picking them up.
Indeed, I have help from in-laws in that regard and we are still kept very busy.
Bring the child to the office? That is one American trend I would not follow.