If you work in a call center, would you like to bring your baby to work? No, not drop him off at an onsite daycare, but have Junior sit right alongside you, for all to see and interact with? According to a post on the Today Moms site, a company in the United Kingdom did just that – they invited their employees with babies under one year old to bring them to work. According the article, it’s working out pretty well.
I think it’s crazy.
Now, before you get all over my case, know this—when my second child was born, I initiated conversations and then partnered with my company’s HR department and Facilities group to build a Mothers’ Room so moms could pump breast milk in peace. I organized Back-to-Work Moms roundtables to gather feedback on how our company could better serve the need of moms newly returned from maternity leave. I love and support working moms and want them to raise their families in a way that works for them.
Bringing Baby to the office. . . and especially to a job that has direct customer contact?
It’s such a flawed premise:
- People stink at multitasking. It’s a fallacy.
- Children can instinctively tell when you’re not giving them quality attention.
- How many customers are going to coo, “Aw, I hear your baby crying. Why don’t you just go on ahead and take care of her? I’ll go back on hold.”
- What about the colleagues with no children? Should they bring their pets? Or, their aging parents with dementia?
- The parents in this experiment were assigned a “buddy” to distract Baby if Mommy/Daddy was in the middle of something. So . . .how does that factor into lost productivity?
My bottom line: You can’t do everything, have everything, be everything – all at the same time. It’s wishful thinking. Life is about choices. And focus. It’s not about “how-much–can-I-cram-into-my-day-and-pretend-that-I’m-doing-a-good-job-at-it?” As Mr. People Equation is fond of saying, “You can’t stuff five pounds of potatoes into a 3-lb sack.”
I personally think this is taking the “work-life integration” thing too far. Call centers are not the family farm, where kids and adults all worked together and schooling, work and home life all flowed together.
File this experiment under Ridiculous.