Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (TODASTW Day) 2017 is Thursday, April 27th. TODASTW Day is a nationally-recognized holiday that “encourages girls and boys across the country to dream without gender limitations and to think imaginatively about their family, work and community lives. This national, public education program connects what children learn at school with the actual working world.”
Some companies will plan and coordinate a program surrounding the day – especially if many employees have school-age children. Schools will often allow it, with children typically completing an assignment that demonstrates what they learned that day. If you’re thinking about sharing this experience with your child – or any child in your family or community – it could be a lot of fun for both of you; however, it’s important to be respectful to your employer and colleagues. Here are some “etiquette” rules to follow to prepare for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day:
Check with Management
Before you start planning, check with your management and/or HR to see if you even can participate. It’s much better to get a firm answer than to infer. You never know, maybe they already have a program or activities in place for the day; if not, maybe they’ll think about creating something. Even if they don’t have a program planned, it’s still important to get the green light before surprising everyone on the 27th.
Notify the School
Just as important as inquiring with your management is the importance of notifying the child’s school. Typically, schools are aware of the holiday, and as mentioned before, will have an assignment for participants. Contact the school to see if it’s alright for the child to participate, and inquire about potential assignments. It’s always better to be overly-communicative with teachers and the school administration.
Give Your Colleagues a Heads-Up
Once you have the green light from both your employer and the student’s school, be sure to give your coworkers – especially those you share a workspace or office with – a heads up. Having a child in the office can sometimes be distracting, so giving them advanced notice offers an opportunity to shift schedules or projects around as they need to. Though most coworkers will likely be comfortable with the idea, be prepared for the chance of a couple of less-than-enthusiastic responses (especially for those who don’t deal with change well) …but more on how to win these hesitant people over a little bit later.
Create the Day’s Schedule
Because this day is designed to be a learning opportunity for students, Forbes advises creating a schedule that offers plenty of learning opportunities for them! If you’re originally scheduled to be at a desk the entire day, see if it’s possible to shift a meeting around so the student can have that experience.
Think about how to offer a hands-on experience of your job for the child. If you’re a graphic designer, teach them a trick or two about color theory, complete with a color wheel exercise. Are you a receptionist? Let them help you set up the board room for a presentation or greet guests with you in the lobby. You want to keep them engaged, but not making any decisions that could greatly affect your job.
To kick off your day, make sure you’re introducing the child to coworkers you interact with on a day-to-day basis… and here’s a pro-tip: to win over some of those that may not be as enthusiastic about kids at work, bring in a box of donuts or homemade baked goods to pass around as you’re making introductions. Nothing says “nice to meet you!” like a fresh pastry or hand-crafted cupcake!
Set Expectations with the Child the Night Before
With a schedule in place for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, sit down with the child beforehand to go over your expectations. Establishing ground rules on what is acceptable and what isn’t will make your day go much smoother. During that time, review your schedule, and offer excitement about the day ahead.
Now, get out there and make Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day 2017 one to remember! Happy working!