Babies in the Workplace. Yes, that is a baby you hear!

Desmond the FUN Baby Sam and Desmond 1 Drake Family

Every so often while I am on the phone, someone will ask, “Is that a baby I hear?” “Why yes, it is.” Of course, the next question is always, “Whose baby is it?”

Samantha Drake (Sam) had Desmond about 6 months ago. Following her maternity leave, when she returned to work so did he. For those that have been in our office, or as a few of our clients call it “World Headquarters”, it is not the sterile or pristine environment many would want for an infant. Yet, to steal something from the TV show, MASH, it is the best care anywhere.

When I am away from the office, and out of earshot of Sam, people often ask if Desmond in the office is a distraction. My response is always the same, “Of course he is a distraction.” Usually I get a puzzled look and the follow up question of, “Why do you allow it?” Allow it? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Desmond is absolutely a distraction, just like Facebook, computer games, SnapChats, and cell phones buzzing with personal messages, but he is a GREAT distraction.

“Why do you allow it?” Allow it? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you haven’t had a baby in your office, you don’t know what you are missing. We are lucky to have had 2, so far, and I believe they are lucky to have had us. Fewer things brighten up your day like the infectious laugh of an infant. Nothing makes everyone laugh more than the antics of an adult trying to get a rise out of a child by acting like a complete and total fool. Please, don’t get me wrong or think I am being mean spirited, I am not laughing at them but with them. Believe me, I’ve played the fool once or twice myself for a cute baby. The joy, expressed both by the adult and the baby, is pure and utterly delightful. People around Desmond can’t help but smile and feel a little better about their day.

Like everyone, myself included, Desmond has good days and bad days. Sometimes he is a little on the cranky side and screams more than he laughs. Fear not, there is an army of more than willing caregivers that take turns holding, feeding and entertaining our youngest staff member. As I mentioned, this is not our first trip down this road. Kim’s son, Anthony, spent a chunk of time with us in his first few years before heading to daycare. So, Desmond not only has the benefit of a larger staff, but also the advantage of being the second baby to come through “FUN World”.

There are times when Desmond is screaming and I am sure that my clients can hear him. A few will again ask about it while others are a little too shy. Go ahead and ask away, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. For example:

*Are there times when it is hard to hear a person on the phone? – No, not really.

*Isn’t it inappropriate for someone to bring their child into the workplace? – Absolutely not. Sam is much more comfortable having him in the office and she is a valuable member of our team. Times are changing and considering the high cost of daycare this is a great option for all of us. We get to not only keep Sam but we get to have Desmond as well. #bonus.

*Are there times when it is inconvenient to have him there? Of course, just as there are times when it is inconvenient to get a UPS shipment, unload a van or truck in a rainstorm, or have the internet go down.

Despite his fantastic smile and great laugh there are times I want to fire him. After all I just don’t think it’s very fair that he can get by on his looks and charm alone. Must be that I am just a tad jealous.

My advice to anyone that has this opportunity, and the right staff, is to grab it – you won’t be disappointed!

Ken Abrahams