Culture and Creativity

Babies in the Office

Duke McDonald just retired from GL group. He put in six great months with the company and he’ll be dearly missed. We celebrated with a retirement party to send Duke off to his next adventure – full time daycare!

Yes, you read that right. Duke is a baby.

You might think that the only workplaces where babies are a welcome part of everyday life is in a daycare or pediatrician’s office. But at GL group, it’s common to walk through the buildings and see babies napping while Dad is on a conference call or hanging out in their Pack-n-Play while Mom is working on a presentation. When new moms and dads return to work after parental leave, their newborns are a welcome addition here at GL group.

We’ve had the “Bring-Your-Baby-to-Work” policy in place for more than 20 years. In fact, the first baby to participate in this program is currently in college! GL group’s current policy allows employees to bring their babies to work until they are six months old. There is a nursing room and parents can have whatever equipment they might need, such as swings, bottles, and Pack-n-Plays, nearby.

GL group is one of only 200 companies and organizations in the U.S. that sponsors a "babies at work" policy. While not common, babies at work programs not only benefit the parents, but also the company as a whole. Employees can tell that leadership at GL group is dedicated to new parents and helping them transition back into the workforce with as little stress as possible.

Of course, having a baby in the workplace is a full-time job. While productivity of a parent may occasionally decrease to care for their baby, having their child in the office often eases the stress of worrying about how their child is doing during the day. It also provides a strong support network of co-workers who are more than willing to help out with a fussy baby if needed. Office babies can also relax surrounding employees by allowing them to take a quick baby break and recharge. Incidentally, baby breaks are also calorie free! ;)

This benefit allows parents to bond with their new babies and not miss out on their first smile or first laugh. “My daughter rolled over for the first time on my desk. I started clapping and screaming, completely forgetting I was at work for a minute! Others ran into my office to see what the commotion was, and helped celebrate this milestone with us,” said Lisa Whealon, Chief People Officer, GL group. Ryan Metz, Inventory Control, Booksource, recalls rocking his son at his desk and “singing songs like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘You’ve got that Loving Feeling’.”

We also support employees as their families grow, with newborn/adoption leave and a child-care program where parents are reimbursed for the baby’s first year of day care. Our CEO, Gary Jaffe, is passionate about providing these unique benefits and is a big proponent of the company’s family first culture. Gary emphasizes that at GL group, “We don’t just talk the talk. We listen to what the needs are of our staff and base our programs, benefits, and activities around their needs.”

This is not the only great benefit that we provide. While we offer traditional benefits and perks, we strive to offer our employees additional unique benefits. Every year, our HR team and Executive team release a new WOW! Benefit designed to make our employees say, WOW! Some of the most recent WOW benefits include the Marcia Jaffe Scholarship, Sandy Vacations, and Emergent Leader Program to name a few.  Although it isn’t new, our Bring-Your-Baby-to-Work Program continues to be a WOW! for many new moms and new dads. Having the Bring-Your-Baby-to-Work benefit shows GL group’s dedication to new parents and acknowledgement of their new role and shows our overall commitment to taking care of our employees.

If you’re interested in learning more about GL group’s culture and values and our available positions, check out our website.

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WRITER: Jen Patterson