The rush to get everyone ready and out of the house each day can be stressful when you’ve got little kids – not to mention the financial stress that comes with childcare costs.
One Melbourne business has found a way to address these problems head on – by setting up a corner of their office for children.
Vivienne Ryan, co-owner of Gravia Media, said the decision to bring the kids in was an easy one for her and her business partner Grant Allen.
“I was working from home for a little while, and since Grant and I both had young children, we thought, well why not have the best of both worlds? We can have the children play with us and sleep and what not and work at the same time, so we thought we would give it a go, and it’s been quite successful,” Ryan said.
The office has a cot set up at one end, where Ryan’s 9-month-old son Liam sleeps, while another part of the office has toys and drawing table for the older kids to sit at when they’re in the office.
Ryan said that having kids in the office has contributed to a fun office environment.
“Our colleagues have a good giggle when we arrive with our entourage. They are a younger team, yet are quite happy to accept that they are a part of the package when working with us. More often than not the kids actually help to keep the stress levels down. When you’ve had a difficult phone call, you can hang up and decompress with a sneaky cuddle with one of the bubs,” she said.
Clients too, like to see the kids in the office.
“I think it makes them see we’re all real people and understand that we’re not just what we do, we’re mothers and fathers and caretakers, so to be honest they laugh, and it really softens the meeting,” Ryan said.
She hopes that having children in the office becomes a trend that catches on.
“I would hope that it becomes a trend moving forward, because you see so many parents trying to juggle everything. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for parents to spend time with their children, given that we work such long hours. It makes you feel less guilty,” she said.