The world of business is typically adults-only. Even many mom-preneurs limit their calling hours to when the children are at school or taking a nap. There is a fear of looking unprofessional if little Bobby decides to ask for his snack in the middle of a conference call presentation. As telecommuting becomes a more attractive option for companies, it may be time to consider making your business a bit more kid-friendly for your employees. I am not suggesting you bend rules or change policies to only benefit parents, but there are a few simple things that could help any employee with outside obligations.
- Seek input before scheduling conference calls. Unless there is a strict client need to have a call at a certain time, ask the attendees what works for them. Throw out a few options, and go with the majority. This won’t accommodate everyone, but it does allow employees to feel like their voice is being heard. Workers who feel like their needs are being met are more likely to work harder for you than someone who feels their voice is stifled.
- If you have an office, host a bring your child to work day. Invite the children in for a day full of activities: company tours, games, experiments involving your products and services, chat with the company president, etc. Not only will the parent get to show off his or her workplace, but older children will have a better understanding of why mom or dad needs quiet when working from home. The company could end the day by giving out gift bags with treats, company products, and even a stuffed toy, like Cute JellyCat Bashful Bunny.
- Give work-from-home options. Examine the work you need your employees to do. Is it necessary to be face-to-face all the time? If not, it might make sense to send part of your workforce home a day or two a week or even permanently. This gives your workers more freedom to do work in a way that meets deadlines but works for their schedules. Someone may be able to make their son’s baseball practice and still get the report in on time from home. This also can save you money. Fewer people in the office means you can turn off lights, heat or air and computers. That electricity savings can be reinvested into the company.