I recently read an article that asked whether Bring Your Children to Work Day is relevant in today’s workplace. With unemployment levels still high, an uncertain economy, and a larger proportion of employees bringing their work home at night and on weekends, is there still value to this tradition?
When Cartus’ headquarters in Danbury welcomed 134 smiling faces last week, any question of relevancy was quickly answered. We’ve been holding this event, organized by the Human Resources staff and volunteers, for more than 10 years, and the reasons behind hosting this event are both simple and relatively unchanged over time: to expose children to what their parents do at work, to let them spend a little bit of quality time together in the workplace, and to have some fun.
Leading off the day’s events was a welcome from Tony Bosco, vice president in relocation accounting, that touched on Cartus’ culture and what it means to the work we do every day. The only statement not well received by the children? His suggestion that they go to school year-round! Following the requisite tour of Cartus’ facility, a wide range of activities kept the children busy and learning, including sessions on bullying led by a Danbury police officer; trying the Japanese art of origami with employees of our Intercultural and Language Solutions Department; gaining an idea of what’s involved in a relocation from a child’s perspective from members of the Learning & Development group; and playing a life-size version of Candy Land with Client Services that showed them how a relocation works. The youngsters even learned about public speaking, courtesy of the Cartus chapter of Toastmasters International. After lunch and ice cream with their parents, children played Wii games, sang karaoke, did arts and crafts, played bingo, tried their hands at putting golf balls, and created sand art.
Is there a lot of planning involved in Bring Your Children to Work Day at Cartus? Absolutely. But is it worth it? Is it still relevant? I know that my children look forward to it each year; they learn a lot, and I appreciate the time that I’m able to spend with them. And, well, 134 smiling faces (and that’s just the children) can’t be wrong.