Moms and dads at this Massachusetts company love their employer. Want to know why?
(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)
W.S. Badger Co, like any good company, is looking to find good employees and keep their existing employees happy. To accomplish these goals, the maker of organic and all-natural body and skin care products supports its new parents with a program it calls: Babies at Work. The program allows both mothers and fathers returning from their family leave to bring their children to the office with them – as long as the kids are at least six months old.
According to a report last week in the Boston Globe which featured their local area’s “Top Places to Work,” the company lets parents set up play mats near their desks, bring their children to meetings and also take time during the day for feedings. The company also has “designated helpers” who can lend a hand if an employee needs to do a task without the child being around. In return for this accommodation, the parents get paid for a six-hour day instead of the usual eight.
“I like the idea of getting rid of the idea of the split work/life balance and saying, ‘Hey, work should be fun and pleasant and kind and productive.’” the company’s chief executive told the Globe. In his opinion, there shouldn’t be a difference between life and work.
The company contends that having babies around the office helps workers bond with each other and reminds everyone about the need for balance. It’s also had a big impact on staff retention. “For us, it’s all about making it work for employees, which in turn works for us,” Badger’s marketing and public relations manager said in the article. “Productivity is through the roof, and people feel that sense of ‘Ah, I don’t have to have two minds when I’m dropping my baby off at a day care.’”
Badger isn’t the only company offering this unique kind of benefit. A consulting firm cited in the article says there are more than 200 similar programs in place around the country and that the pace of these programs “has taken off in the last three to five years.”