While Take Your Child to Work Day, which falls on April 27, may be popular in the United States (Forbes lists over 3.5 million workplaces participating each year), it has yet to take big steps in Asia. Nonetheless, companies like OCBC Singapore and Singapore Power Group have piloted child-friendly events.
If you're considering launching your organisation's commitment towards encouraging parents to bring their children to the workplace, here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.
- Do have a specific agenda for the day - Why are you hosting this event? If the purpose is to teach kids about your organisation and how their parents contribute to it, make a schedule of activities and the amount of time parents will invest with their kids.
- Do schedule it during school holidays - So that children will not have to skip school and your employees will not have to answer to angry teachers.
- Do ensure your workplace is safe for children - Workplace safety is no trivial matter. If you're concerned about office supplies and equipment, perhaps assign a safe area for the participating employees and their kids.
- Don't make a carnival out of it - You do not have to go all out and poke holes in your office budget to hire bouncy castles or magicians. Find ways to engage children with what actually happens during a normal day in the office, in addition to quality snacks and beverages.
- Don't make it compulsory - If some employees are not interested in participating, do not coerce them. Keep the effort voluntary.
- Don't neglect your unmarried employees - Encourage them to bring their nieces or nephews if they wish to.