Via a chain of blogs, I found this flash photo-essay of "a day in the life of moms working at Mothering." (For those of you with slow connections, it's a series of pictures of babies and children in the office, some being held on mommy's lap while she types or talks, some playing on the floor, etc.)
Demi at Pilgrim's Progress comments "There is no reason whatsoever to think that every office couldn't look something like that."
The pictures are awfully cute, but I wouldn't want to have to do my job while caring for small children at the same time. My experience with working from home, while caring for children at the same time, is that I always felt like I was doing an inadequate job at both parenting and my paid job, with neither getting my full attention. And I was totally frazzled, with never the opportunity to drink a cup of tea in peace -- if it was naptime, I had to jump to get down to work. Add to that a less than entirely childproofed office, and it sounds like a total nightmare.
I definitely could imagine this working with a tiny infant, especially one who slept a lot, or who was content hanging out in a sling. It's a lot harder for me to imagine bringing my toddler, whose favorite activities these days include: pulling things off shelves, taking things out of trash cans, putting things in trash cans, putting things in his mouth, and pulling on cords to see what happens. Or rather, it's far too easy for me to imagine what would result. I could probably bring my preschooler to work in an emergency, but I'd have to let him use my computer all day (or bring in the portable DVD player) if I wanted to keep him out of trouble.
The discussion of this in the comments at Alas, A Blog also raise the question of whether this would be fair to other workers, as well as pointing out that not everyone works in an office. They're worth reading.
Does anyone reading this get Mothering? The movie seems to go with the current issue, which features a cover story about bringing babies to the office, but it's not available online. I'd be interested in hearing whether the story is all about the positives (not forcing people to choose between work and time with their kids) or if it discusses the negatives as well.