There are lots of things to take into consideration when designing your workplace, and one of the most important is taking into account who’s going to be spending time there. If you, or your colleagues, are going to invite kids into the workplace, then you’ll find these tips useful in making the space as child-friendly as possible.
- Think of the practicalities
Before we get onto the fun stuff, let’s deal with the necessities first. Make sure the workplace is set up safely for the different ages of children who will be visiting, and that you have designated areas for certain activities.
This could be a child-friendly room or corner of the office with potties, beanbag chairs, throw pillows, rugs, snacks and books. You might also like to print off some helpful guides and activities, such as potty training tips for boys and girls, or colouring sheets for older children.
- Add child-size furniture
Chances are the kids visiting the workspace will be excited about all the work-related fittings, such as desks, computers and chairs. So add in some child-size tables, chairs and toy laptops, to help them feel included (and to prevent them from climbing onto adult-size chairs and tables that are too big for them).
You might want to place all of these child-size work stations in one area together, perhaps a quiet corner, if noise needs to be kept to a minimum, and more than one child will be visiting. Or you might prefer to place a child-size desk next to the parent’s workstation, for close supervision and more quality time together.
- Set up activities
If children are going to be in the workplace but work still needs to carry on around them, then having a range of quiet activities for them to enjoy will be invaluable. This will help to keep them occupied, and also feel like they’re part of the working culture.
Place colouring books and printouts, sticker books, puzzles and picture books on the child-size tables, along with plain paper and pots of pens and pencils. These quiet activities will help the kids occupy themselves. You can also give them folders where they can store their ‘work’ and file it away – they’ll feel just like the grownups!
- Make them feel welcome with personalisation
Kids love seeing photos of themselves on their grown-ups’ desks, and you can take that personal touch to the next level by personalising their own work area too. Put up photos of the family, add a fun little toy, or even place on their desk a sticker/badge with their name on. It’ll help them feel like they belong.
From child-size furniture with personalised touches to practical kid-friendly areas with snacks and printouts of potty training tips for boys and girls, there are lots of things you can do to design a child-friendly workplace. Ask for everyone’s ideas and then make them a reality.