Here's a link to the segment from this morning's "Fox & Friends" on the Fox News Channel:
Video: Infants in the Workplace
The segment was a lot shorter than I'd been told it would be, probably because there really wasn't much to whip into a "Fair and Balanced" debate: Both Karel Ares, the executive director of Prevention First, and I agreed that after a certain point -- around 5 months of age, when the baby becomes more active -- bringing your baby to the office just doesn't work well. We also agreed that there are many different types of work environments; at her's, a non-profit that does a lot of work with teens, it would be far easier to work with your baby nearby than it would at mine (an active and busy newsroom).
The discussion is still going on at The 36-Hour Day! Go there (or stay here) and let us know: Do you think bringing baby to work is really as family friendly as companies think it can be? Would you rather bring your 3-month-old to the office or would you prefer to work, with your baby, from your home?
As a working mom of 2 young children (ages 5 and 1), I have to say that I can't imagine being able to get any actual work done in either scenario. I am a PR/ Marketing manager for a hospital, and can work from home when one of my kids is sick. On those days, I usually end up doing most of my work at night, after the kids are in bed. Babies just need constant attention...which makes it hard to focus when they're with you. I preferred knowing that my baby was getting the attention he needed from his babysitter while I worked, then getting my full attention when I returned home. And I think it would be even less productive to take the baby into the office and distract all my coworkers as well!
I work from home and have a nine month old daughter and couldn't even imagine having to work in an office with my daughter. I really don't think I would get ANYTHING done. However, I love working from home and having my daughter here with me, I have a very flexible work schedule so I take my little girl for walks during the day, trips to the park, store, etc. Plus, while I am working my daughter is able to be occupied with her toys and things in a safe and familiar area.
Personally I would not want to work in an office where people had their children with them. An on site day care center is one thing. Playpens in the office another entirely.
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