Partners of the Plan News:

Babies at Work Provide a Healthy Perspective

A decade ago, Sustainable Connections in Bellingham established a policy allowing employees to bring their children to work. Two key employees were expecting a baby together, and it was essential that they both keep coming to work. This was during the crucial start-up phase for this organization with the mission of helping businesses adopt sustainable practices. Since then, three other employees have taken advantage of the policy. 

Not a mom herself, communications director Michelle Grandy explains that the child-friendly workplace is not just a benefit to parents. “Our work involves sitting in front of the computer. It’s easy to have a baby in the office.” Breastfeeding mothers can nurse babies at their desks, and a private room is available for women to pump and store breast milk. “It is important to many people to have meaningful employment,” says Grandy. “Allowing children in the office models meaningful employment for some people.” The policy allows parents to have a more flexible schedule, and new parents can delay the expense of daycare. According to the Business Case for Breastfeeding, policies that support new families also help businesses keep valuable employees and saves the costs associated with hiring and training new staff.

At Sustainable Connections, prospective staff members learn about the child-friendly policy during their final group interview with all staff to make sure they are comfortable with it. Parents want assurance that their children are not distracting co-workers. Grandy says, “We want staff to know we are open to conversations about the practice, and recognize that sometimes people have to set boundaries.”

Even Sustainable Connections staff who are not parents see the value of the policy. “The overall benefit is that when you are flexible with staff, they do a great job,” says Grandy. “In the long run they are likely more productive.” Grandy encourages any workplace to allow people to bring children to work. “The level of reduced stress is worth it. Nobody minds having children here; it is a pleasure. It is a benefit to the rest of us to keep a good healthy perspective.”

 

Resources

Business Case for Breastfeeding
Federal Lactation Accommodation Law
Babies in the Workplace

Plan Objectives Addressed

Target Audience

Worksites

Region

Statewide

For More Information:
  • Michelle Grandy, Communications Director,
    Sustainable Connections, 360 647-7093, ext 110