The office. A child-free zone?

Sep 22 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Ever since John McCain named Sarah Palin to his ticket, there has been endless controversy surrounding almost everything about her. However, one discussion that I've found interesting (along with many others judging by the number of blog posts on it), is her revelation that she sometimes brings her youngest child into the office.

So is this the sort of thing that we should see more or less of in the workplace?

At the end of the day, the workplace exists for a reason Ė to get work done. This is the work that you are paid to do in exchange for a check of varying amounts once or twice, or even four times per month.

In the blog piece I linked to above, the author mentions how allowing his paralegal to bring her child into the office has worked out well for everyone. That's great, and it sounds like he's a great boss. Unfortunately, the situation within which they find themselves is one that doesn't ring true for a good number of us in the workplace!

For starters, his paralegal is a part-time employee, which means she isn't always around. Secondly, the workplace consists of the attorney and his paralegal. If her son is acting up, it likely only affects the two of them (or perhaps a third, more important party - a client).

Imagine trying this on the scale of a company like Microsoft or Telefonica. Could you imagine the number of young children who aren't yet in school who would be in the office? In addition to having to add pint-sized urinals (that's a joke), would we have to be quiet after lunch for nap time?

Being a family man myself, I understand how hard it is to raise children and to hold down a job (along with one's spouse). However, I'm not convinced that this arrangement could work in many places.

After all, I spend enough time dealing with adults who act like children during the day; do I really need to add real ones to the mix too?