April 28 is Bring Your Child to Work Day. You don’t work in a traditional office. Maybe you’re in sales — constantly on-the-go living by your mobile device — or you work from home where you telecommute. Your kids have talked about how their friends get to see what their mom or dad do for a living, traveling into their parent’s office.
Why not take your child to your remote office?
Just because you’re working remote doesn’t mean your child can’t join you, gaining valuable information from you about working. In fact, it’s important to spend time helping the next generation of workers by providing insight and guidance into how work is done. It prepares your child for what they do after high school or college.
If you report into a traditional office, talk with your manager about remote working opportunities for your child even for a half-day, following what HR is introducing for children in the office. Be prepared to discuss how your child will help and what work may be impacted for the day. Also discuss how your company benefits. After all, maybe your child can assist with productivity.
Be mindful of HR limitations. For example, your human resources department usually has provisions about how old the child coming to work is — typically over nine years old. Make sure you know that information before approaching your manager.
Mimic What’s Happening in the Office
Get the agenda for the day.
A typical Bring Your Child to Work Day includes a brief introduction to the company, including what makes it special. Even if your kiddo isn’t in the office, he or she can still participate. Many video conferencing solutions enable people to meet and see each other. And as it’s part of the everyday working world, it’s a great example of technology used in an office setting. After all, chances are older kiddos video-chat with friends and smaller ones video-chat with family members like grandparents.
After the introduction to the company, children break off to usually follow their parents around the office. Don’t forget to explain your title and what you do everyday. Many times, kids — who have no context about jobs — don’t know what a job means.
Let your child sit next to you and discuss what’s happening as you do it. Introduce your child in meetings and let them speak up. If you’re using video conferencing throughout the day, invite your child in.
Give Your Child Tasks Where He Can Shine
There are always exciting and mundane things to do. Invite your child into both and think about what he can do by himself.
It’s not all fun and games at work, so ask your child to do the boring stuff, too. Have some rows to sort in Excel? Need information filled out and repeated? Need a few things filed? These are tasks that require concentration and stamina; most likely you should limit them to about an hour at a time. Just ensure your child knows what to do and be ready to answer questions.
Also bring them into the stuff you like. Do you have a brainstorm meeting with your co-workers? Ask them to attend and even contribute ideas. If you don’t have something creative, think about the more exciting parts of your job. Do you have anything to share? Maybe your child gets to name a server or help plan a work party.
You know your child well! Figure out what parts of your job your child will like. You got a math whiz at home, give them equations to do that fit into your role. Your child a writer? How about asking them to do some writing, even a status report they interview you for?
Talk and Listen
At the end of the day, talk with your child about what happened. Encourage your kiddo to ask questions and discuss. It might be fun to hear what your child thought you did and how that changed. It also might be interesting to hear what your child liked … and didn’t like.
Ensure Teachers are Involved
Sometimes teachers have work plans that include Bring Your Child to Work Day — a report due or a presentation to make. See what you can do to incorporate that into the day or see how you can help. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you could help make the report or presentation extremely visual.
Future of Work
There’s no better way to encourage the future of work — with telecommuting — than being a remote worker with your child. In fact, data shows that more than half of all workers will be telecommuting by 2020.
Doing your part, showing your child how to work, even on-the-go or while you’re working from home, helps him or her enter the workforce.