When Annie Yu leaves for work in the morning, she takes her briefcase, her keys … and her baby.
Yu is an attorney in the state Attorney General’s Office, where the Infant at Work Program was introduced this year. Approved employees are allowed to bring in babies, from 6 weeks to 6 months, for the full workday.
While Yu works, her 5-month-old baby, Hadley, plays on the floor, snuggles in a front carrier, or naps in a Rock ’n Play. Two co-workers are officially designated to trade off watching the baby when Yu attends a meeting, but many others are eager to volunteer.
“It was a really cool experience to be sitting at a professional table that I belonged at, doing important work, but to also know that my baby was only 100 yards away,” says Yu.
More than 2,100 babies in over 200 organizations have been successfully brought to work nationwide through the program, according to the Parenting in the Workplace Institute.
“I think it’s made me more productive because it’s really boosted my overall job satisfaction,” says attorney Natalie King, another parent who is utilizing the program.
Research shows that well-structured babies-at-work programs result in numerous organizational benefits, including higher morale, increased teamwork and lower employee turnover.