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  • #2176494

    Children in the workplace


    by banzilla ·

    Our company has been a kid frendly enviroment for a long time. The problem is now it is time to put into place a real computer use policy. I have kids that I like to bring into the office on weekends and even sometimes during working hours as do several other employees and principals.

    So the question is, Should children be allowed to play on company computers?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3249569


      by roger99a ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      But if you have an old spare you could setup in your free time for them with some kid games on it, that would be good. This would protect the kid friendly policy and the company network.

      • #3235168


        by bhamm ·

        In reply to No

        I agree with Roger99a. Set up separate
        computer(s) for the youngsters.

        • #3235092


          by prana7 ·

          In reply to No

          I agree with Roger99a and Bhamm@

          best way to set up separate computer for kids so they can mess around with that computer. your work computer will not lose data

        • #3235490

          Totally agree.

          by rudeboy ·

          In reply to agree

          I already set up an old workstation and its connected directly on to the office PIX.

        • #3235286

          same here

          by prana7 ·

          In reply to Totally agree.

          I set up old workstation so kid can mess around with it. i wont care if it s crash or so. let kid learn a b c’s program to learn how to spell or cute program. so it wont affect important data.

      • #3175125


        by mgordon ·

        In reply to No

        Just wanted to be different 🙂

        Really, the way to do it, if you are going to do it, is pretty simple. Give ’em Firefox and a restricted or least-privilege account. The kids will pretty quick abandon the computer anyway in such a mode; no games! But it is good for kids doing homework, they can still “Google” and print.

    • #3249566

      Of course not

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      If your company has a child friendly policy, it should also provide child friendly PC’s.

      Fill up an old PII with some kids learning games and educational software, then the kids can actually learn something instead of playing with the network.

      I used to go to work with my dad on weekends when I was little too, it was a great learning experience. He was a machinist and marine engineer though, so I was allowed to use CERTAIN machines (I could use a lathe by age 11) and play with CERTAIN stuff in the boat dry docks and it gave me goo dhands on skills early on. But he would always give me something to occupy myself while he was working. When I was really little, 6-10 say, I would be given things to measure with micrometers or things to clean up (very important shop skill to learn!) etc. WHen I was older, he’d give me little welding and machining projects that he could easily redo in minutes if needed but they’d keep me busy and taught me valuable skills while I was at it.

      Hanging out and just playing around all day is not productive though.

      • #3235199

        I couldn’t agree more!

        by mad*max ·

        In reply to Of course not

        I couldn’t agree more!

        If you give your kid a chance to learn or to get better at something, and some guidance while he does it, he or she will benefit – and will appreciate you more.

        Simply parking the kid at a computer, letting him play some jump-and-run games, and doing your own thing in the meantime will likely prove detrimental to the child, especially if there is no social interaction.

        And another thing – what if the company were to provide, say, a basketball hoop in a corner of the parking lot? It would give your kid a chance to have some fun while getting a nice workout, and a chance to interact with other kids.

      • #3235108

        Reply To: Children in the workplace

        by percyking ·

        In reply to Of course not

        Exactly as I see it. Hey, it’s great to encourage kids into whatever area you work in, but when at work, as others have sid, there are limits

    • #3250586

      I would say no unless…

      by hockeyist ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      …there was a kidsafe room like at Ikea and it was well utilized. I have been working on weekends and after hours (these time slots seem to attract a lot of kids to the office) and have came close to injuring a kid and almost losing data at my open terminal (which I have religiously locked from that time on). On one occasion I didn’t see a kid come out of an office from the side when I was carrying a monitor and stumbled over him. The other time I came back to my desk to find that a kid had homed in on my laptop and was happily hammering away at my keyboard. Luckily for me I had nwadmin minimized.
      It also comes down to the social maturity of parents and “their” supervision of “their” offspring. I don’t know how many times I wanted to have a go at parents at shopping centres for the actions of their kids (It’s not in any way the kids fault).

    • #3250547

      Can’t do both

      by skidoggeruk ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I don’t think you can allow both to happen simultaneous. You can’t enforce the policy if people are allowing their kids to login into the network with their login. Suppose you could make it clear that they are still responsible for what occurs through their login.

      Configure up some old PCs, maybe even setup an old server and a seperate LAN.

      • #3235053


        by aferdina ·

        In reply to Can’t do both

        I let my son surf (no installed games). I log into the local machine rather than the domain account. My company data is where it belongs. On servers. Since i’m the network admin, I can do this. Unfortunately, most people don’t contact IT to tell them what is going on, or they do it on weekends. I’ve rectified this for people if I saw them on weekends, but most people aren’t smart enough to keep company data where it is safe, which is on the servers and unavailable without domain login.

    • #3250530


      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Haven’t you seen the ads on TV? Where the tech guys are discussing a virus infection with the boss, and how it was stopped at the firewall. They were discussing how it got in in the first place when the bosses daughter comes in excited about the new game she downloded on her fathers computer.

      • #3235137

        NO kids at work

        by dtownsend ·

        In reply to TV

        I do not believe work is a place for kids. When I was younger I did have to bring my kids in once in a while because of babysitting problems,(I am sympathetic to parents getting put in a bind by daycare centers etc) but unless the company provides a seperate and monitored environment for the children I don’t believe they belong there.

        • #3234916

          Parents are the key

          by zentross ·

          In reply to NO kids at work

          With the amount of time we working parents are required to be at work and the minimal interaction with our kids. I have found it to be both a boon and a great experience for my daughter to bring her in occasionally. The problem lies with parents who do not monitor their children, do not have a firm grasp of protecting company data, or have no access to let alone knowledge of a written kids at work policy.

          While there is no written policy here at my office, it is commonly understood that children have a protected login account that they may use. We provide them with educational games and supervised internet access. They are given small projects that they can learn from and help out the group at the same time.

          Because of this environment, I’ve been able to spend some quality time with my daughter and help her to boost her problem solving skills. Considering that we are also discussing the future generations of workers, early exposure equals a more rounded skill set in my opinion.

        • #3233852

          Great Plan

          by cnorthrop ·

          In reply to Parents are the key

          I wish I could do that with my son. He is great with PCs but he can’t use them here. As a result, I have had to refuse to work late or weekend. This places a hardship on others and denies me the overtime(or comp time).

          Congratulation on having an employeer with brains and a heart!!

        • #3233832


          by zentross ·

          In reply to Great Plan

          I don’t think we could find a better CIO. I got lucky.

      • #3234389

        Kids vs. Employees

        by deltoid ·

        In reply to TV

        I saw that ad and was wondering to myselfy why the virus got as far as the firewall in the first place? In the context of the workplace, it is just as likely that “Marge down in accounting” (a print ad) will download a malicios program inadvertantly as my 7-year old.
        The onus is on company administrators to provide a safe computing environment, and protect sensitive information regardless of the users. Whether its my daughter in with me on weekends, or a malicious employee trying to steal or destroy sensitive information, if you don’t have end-to-end protection, then something isn’t quite right.
        To accomodate kids who do come into our office with their parents, we have a limited-rights account set up with a roaming profile and strict ECL policy, and have a variety of games and activities the company purchased and made available on the server for them. All of the employees know that if they bring their child into the office, they can give them their own account to log in with and use. It makes the child feel special, we know they can’t harm or access anything sensitive, and we have complete control and visibilty of their activities.


    • #3250509

      hex no

      by advancedgeek ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I dont think kids belong in the workplace, and ESPECIALLY not on MY network. *puts on grouchy face* The workplace should not be used for a daycare. With this being said…I am not a parent…so maybe things will change once I become one. However, I will try to remember how much I hate having to deal with other peoples kids while I am trying to work. *removes grouchy face*

      • #3250473

        The distinction between home and workplace is blurring

        by dc_guy ·

        In reply to hex no

        Life has to normalize. Parents and children need to spend more time together, or at least in proximity. For that matter, children need to become more familiar with the world their parents spend most of their time in. As hard as that may be on us childless curmudgeons, it will advance civilization and we should roll with it.

        If this forces companies to get serious about IT security, then it’s about frelling time.

        Same goes for pets. Having a few dogs in the office will lower almost everyone’s blood pressure. Take down the names of the people who complain, they’ve already become distanced from some important components of real life.

        • #3250443

          …and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

          by salamander ·

          In reply to The distinction between home and workplace is blurring

          ..that’s not necessarily a good thing. I hear what you’re saying, and I’m not saying that it isn’t valid to seek a work-life balance, but consider the reverse.

          There is a troubling trend for people hauling their personal business to work, and business forcing itself into peoples’ personal lives.

          The other edge of the sword: more intrusiveness of one’s employer into one’s personal life. It’s increasingly common for folks to be on page 24/7, 365 days a year, to face travel restrictions, to work massive amounts of paid or unpaid overtime, are required to check e-mail and voice mail from home, etc. If you allow your personal life into your work, you’d better anticipate your employer having more say in your personal life. Witness the number of increasing policies regulating employees’ legal behavior outside of work: prohibitions against smoking; anti-obesity policies; etc.

          Personally, I’d ideally much rather work an honest eight hours and then go home to an uninterrupted personal life of my choosing, rather than be expected to babysit somebody else’s kid at work, work out at the gym the company has built to keep employees within easy paging range, play on the company softball team, or get called in to work overtime at 2 a.m.

          Just my $.02. I think that the work-life balance can be accomplished, not by increasing expectations for work/personal life blurring, but by decreasing them.

        • #3250366

          I can’t disagree with you

          by dc_guy ·

          In reply to …and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

          But I think civilization is simply moving in a different direction. Businesses operate 24/7. The increasing portion of the population that is self-employed is already living this life. People in the consulting profession and many others have already made the choice to not have sharp dividing lines between work and real life.

          I’m with you. At my age I remember the days when Pop came home from work every night at 5:30 and we sat around listening to the radio (we lived in Arizona) or playing canasta. But the Post-Industrial Era is not going to work that way. We have to be realists.

        • #3250343

          It can still be done

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to I can’t disagree with you

          I’d have to certainly agree with Salamanders post (As you do), but I still believe you can shut the doors a 4 or 5.

          Allthough businesses do run more & more 24 X 7 there seems to be (albeit a slow) realisation that people need quality of life as well.

          Yes there are (fools?) that will work like crazy for the full garage & empty life. I did it for about 12 years only to realise that I missed some more ‘valuable’ experiences in my life.

          Now there’s a line, well a wall really, between my business & personal life.

          I really feel for the men and women that put in twelve and fourteen hour days an DON’t get paid properly for it (or) are encouraged to put it asside & take the time off – I believe if more people would simply push to be paid the overtime or refuse the work, businesses would have to hire more staff.

          A ‘simple’ argument but (I) believe that as long as businesses get away with using existing ressources unfairly, they don’t really know the true human ressource needs, in effect getting cheap labor.

        • #3250306


          by salamander ·

          In reply to It can still be done

          As one of those people who worked like a machine, and who is still trying to reform, I agree with your statments regarding quality of life. You have to partition it off; otherwise, you’ll find yourself in the office at 3 a.m. brushing your teeth and preparing to sleep on a couch. When you develop a preference for which couch/chair at work you prefer to sleep on, it’s time to enforce some boundaries.

          Other signs: keeping a change of sweatclothes at work for when your bosses go home; keeping slippers at work; the take-out joint across from your office fills up your frequent-buyer punch card more than twice a month; sunlight stings your eyes when you finally do walk outside; and you find that it’s often cheaper to tear up your parking ticket and pay the loss fee to the parking garage than pay the daily fee for the actual time your car’s been parked in the same spot.

        • #3251401


          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Agreed

          You got it………I especially liked:

          “Sunlight stings your eyes” LOL

        • #3235118

          right on

          by longennamer ·

          In reply to Agreed

          I like hearing you guys talk about keeping a distinction b/w work and home. I think its crazy that employers anymore expect to have everyone on call all the time and work like a dog. Its not physically healthy, its not relationship healthy. How can you have a good relationship with your wife and kids if your never around to talk to them and hug them?

        • #3235030

          The new religion

          by anthem ·

          In reply to Agreed

          I’ve read that work has become the new religion of the west, and that we take our identity and even find our purpose in life from our work. This whole trend that I’ve been seeing over the last 20 years of people spending more and more time at work, doing stuff (sorry folks, it’s true) that nobody will know or care about a year or two from now, seems more like religious devotion to me than anything else. The bosses are like the priests of the middle ages, demanding certain acts of penance and contrition… Wasn’t the whole purpose of the industrial revolution and technolog supposed to be to give us MORE leisure time? Looks like the new religion thinks that slavery is ok again…

        • #3235100

          I agree entirely but I have a question….

          by unclerob ·

          In reply to …and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

          You make an excellent point and I totally agree with you but I have a question concerning a portion of your post.
          You mentioned policies regulating employee’s legal behavior outside of work: prohibitions against smoking, anti-obesity policies, etc. Do you have any real world examples of these policies? These policies seem for the most part blatantly illegal. Granted smoking and obesity are health risks, no one will argue that point, but I’ve never heard of any company policies that prohibit you from being a smoker or overweight/fat/obese. We’ve all heard of or experienced no smoking at the workplace or on company property which is fine (walk across the street on lunch & coffee breaks) but for a company to tell someone that they’re not allowed to smoke at all even when that employee has left the workplace and gone home or somewhere else after work seems ludicrous – if something like this existed, more media attention would have definitely been created on this issue. And the obesity issue, some people are genetically pre-disposed to carrying more weight regardless of what they do, diet, exercise. Obese people (mildly chubby to dangerously obese) probably make up the largest portion of the population in North America, I find it hard to believe that any company would have anti-obesity policies, discrimination against someone who is obese would clearly be against the law. If you have links to news sites documenting these types of human rights violations, please reply and post them, I’d definitely like to read up on it.

        • #3235056

          Michigan Insurance company

          by jsmith ·

          In reply to I agree entirely but I have a question….

          There is a michigan Insurance company that is indeed banning smokers. I haven’t found the news link yet, but is real and has been a number of policy changes that effect personal life of employees. The reasoning is that smokers have increased health care costs effecting benefits of all employees and as it is a controlable(self inflicted) situation he felt he had a right to make the policy. Let me just say I abhor smoking, my father died at 54 from, in part, smoking since he was ten. That said, what a person does in his/her home and private life should not be effected by work policy. If you are late because of contant hang overs…grounds for dismisal, but simply drinking should not be.

        • #3235043

          I’ve seen the same thing…

          by mavv ·

          In reply to Michigan Insurance company

          at an insurance company where I live. A friend of mine went to apply for a job there and they told him that they could not hire him due, in part, to the fact that he is a smoker. Part of the reasoning they gave him was that it “didn’t look good for the company” to have smokers working for them and selling insurance and that it increased the cost of benefits as jsmith mentioned. Crazy as far as I am concened as I also agree that what someone does in their personal life should not have any bearing on their work life, unless it starts affecting their work life…late from hangover, etc.

        • #3235052
        • #3235051


          by salamander ·

          In reply to I agree entirely but I have a question….

          Did a quick search. Here are a couple of well-publicized recent cites:

          Per the attorney quoted in the first article, employers can institute these policies, unless state law specifically prohibits them from doing so.

          There was also this discussion on TR, which may contain some info you might find interesting:

        • #3234917

          Company Policies

          by cyclepro ·

          In reply to I agree entirely but I have a question….

          You are stating that descrimination is clearly against the law. Well you are right.

          However what some companies are going to do is exactly that. What they are going to use are the fact that their health insurance is going to be more because of employees who do smoke. What they will do is charge you more on your insurance deductions and very simply not hire anyone who does smoke or have some other health issues. This practice is starting now (read it in information week).

          Problem will be is to prove it. Health insurance companies are offering discounts to companies who do not have employees with health issues.

        • #3233849

          Not even close to ethical

          by cnorthrop ·

          In reply to Company Policies

          I am a good, realiable employee. I work unless I can’t. The fact that I have sever asthma and am overweight due to the predisone I live on too often is not my fault and should not keep me from getting an IT job.

          Policies like these should only be applied when they actaully affect a person’s ability to work or the safety of others. Many of these policies are prohibited by the ADA legistation. If you have had a problem in areas like this, contact your local EEOC/ADA office and see if they can help.

        • #3234419

          So what do we do with people that. . .

          by a.techno.geek ·

          In reply to Company Policies

          So what do we do with people that are born with a illness, self inflicted illnesses, drug addiction, alcoholism? Dig a pit and machine gun them down, make sure they are dead, then take a front loader and bury them? That was tried, it was NAZISM and as I recall the United Sates got pissed over it!!!!!!! D?rer fuhrer the great insurance companies. Know what insurance is, it is a gamble, insurance are betting that you will never use the service, you are betting that you will use, hence a premium. They win they keep the premium, they lose they have to pay out. That is why it called insurance.

        • #3234420

          I live in Michigan and it has happened

          by a.techno.geek ·

          In reply to I agree entirely but I have a question….

          I live in Michigan, Detroit Metro area. There was a recent news article about seven or eight people being canned because they smoked at home. One of the employees was not even on the companies health and medical insurer. The state tells them, “sorry nothing we can do because this state is an “AT WILL” state.” In other words once you are hired you are the “WILL” of the employer. There have been cases nationwide were it did not have anything to do smoking or obesity (evidently it is okay to be a drug addict or alcoholic), but hobbies after work (like sky diving, what companies called “DANGEROUS” hobbies, including scuba diving). Some states have clamped down on companies regulating what an employee can do after work, after they punch out. These states now have an employee bill rights, which state that after work, after an employee punches out the is the employees basically free to do with their life as they want, not the companies.


          Do a search to find the article.

        • #3235202

          Kids and pets in the workplace

          by dammit96 ·

          In reply to The distinction between home and workplace is blurring

          Sure kids and parents need to spend time together, but ‘work’ is for ‘work’ and I need to be uninterrupted. Sure set up a room with spare PCs but don’t have them on the LAN. And supervise them don’t let them run riot. Dogs? Don’t be daft – I am allergic to most animals, I also love them but I want to WORK not get sick!

        • #3235194

          My, aren’t YOU the tolerant one?

          by gawiman ·

          In reply to The distinction between home and workplace is blurring

          “Same goes for pets. Having a few dogs in the office will lower almost everyone’s blood pressure. Take down the names of the people who complain, they’ve already become distanced from some important components of real life.”

          So I don’t like dogs jumping up on me and slobbering all over me. I prefer cats, but (aware that some people don’t like cats) I would not even think of bringing my cats to work. It’s just called basic consideration.

        • #3235083

          Tolerant is smart!

          by wallowamichael ·

          In reply to My, aren’t YOU the tolerant one?

          In all of the kid and/or pet friendly places that I’ve seen, the kids and pets are as well behaved as the employees. I think everyone is trying to think of bringing their children into the existing environment at their workplace, which in most cases is NOT kid/pet friendly.
          We don’t have a policy here about bringing in children, but I have my kids around for a few hours each week while my wife goes to yoga or some other activity. They like to see me work on the network stuff and they get to hear me on the phone dealing with all kinds of day to day stuff. This kind of education doesn’t happen until you’re out of college and perhaps an intern somewhere.
          We have to bring our kids into the modern life! As others have said, the industrial model of workers coming in, working, and going home, is bursting at the seams (for better or worse).
          All of the old professions (miller, blacksmith, farmer, tinkerer) used to educate their kids (sons, of course, but we’re past that) by having them around all the time! They learned math, language skills, history, writing, all by doing the family work.
          Bring your kids to work and set them up with drawing projects or basketball or even computers with software. Show them what you’re doing, and if they’re interseted it’s a great education for them. You don’t have to teach them how to subnet a class B IP space, just tell them you want some computers to talk to each other and not others.
          I have never had any regrets working for kid friendly places nor having my kids come to work with me.

        • #3235471

          re: Tolerant is smart

          by warnerit ·

          In reply to Tolerant is smart!

          I agree with what you said. It sounds like the discussion opener already has a kid friendly environment going. If they want to let kids on computers, have some set up just for that, locked down. if you want to let them on the web, restrict the sites they can visit. I don’t see a problem with that as long as the kids no they have to behave themselves and not disrupt their parents or the other employees.

        • #3233733

          Kids and Dogs

          by banzilla ·

          In reply to re: Tolerant is smart

          We do have a few kids that come in, I was just looking for some ideas as to how to keep things kid friendly and secure.

          We also have one employee that brings her dogs in on the weekends. She probably would do the same during the week, however, her little pug is blind and that might more stressfull on the dog and non-dog-lovers in the office.

          Anyway, again thanks for the input.

        • #3235498

          Not everyone likes kids either

          by squirrelgirl ·

          In reply to My, aren’t YOU the tolerant one?

          **So I don’t like dogs jumping up on me and slobbering all over me. I prefer cats, but (aware that some people don’t like cats) I would not even think of bringing my cats to work. It’s just called basic consideration.**

          And be aware that there are those of us who would rather not be in the presence of children at all.There are more childfree people than you might imagine and they usually do not like to advertise this at work for fear of being called in on holidays and asked to stay late so Mrs.Mommie can see little Suzie’s ballet practice.In my experience, and the experiences of others in my childfree community, this is a truth. In the child-centric society we live in today, this is a complaint that is rarely, or made anonymously, made to avoid rifling the feathers of the parents and bosses who promote “family-friendly” policies.
          In addition. the workplace is for *working* and a parent cannot expect to give 100% of his/her attention to the job for which they are being *paid* when they have the responsibility of keeping tabs on their kid.
          If there is a day designated for “bring your child to-work-day” or such then that would be acceptable. People who would rather not deal with kids at least know what they are in for and when.

        • #3235476

          Excellent point

          by salamander ·

          In reply to Not everyone likes kids either

          Excellent point. I’ve got zip to add to that post, except perhaps applause.

        • #3235453

          I, for one, don’t like kids

          by nochids ·

          In reply to Excellent point

          I don’t like to hear them laugh, cry, whine, scream, yell, talk, run, shout, etc. People need to understand that having kids is their choice, but when it comes to the workplace, children just don’t belong. If you want to teach your kids about computers, or blacksmithing, do it at home. If the company has a “bring your kid to work day”, I call in sick. I don’t want to be around them. Or, if people are allowed to bring their kids to work, then I should be allowed to bring my dog to work. After all, she is more well-behaved than most of the kids that have blessed our workplace with their noise. I am working and don’t want to be disturbed by the sounds of Satan in sheep’s clothing.

        • #3235269

          Good Point

          by njack2004 ·

          In reply to I, for one, don’t like kids

          That is one of the things I love about my company, in fact almost every company I have worked for in Colorado. In addition to being kid friendly, they are also very dog friendly. In fact my dog is with me today.

        • #3234234

          distinction between Home & Workplace 20th century innovation

          by wet&webbed ·

          In reply to The distinction between home and workplace is blurring

          Before the 20th century most kids worked alongside their parents in shops, farms, whatever. When I went to college I was very often the ONLY kid among my peers who knew exactly what my Dad did when he went to work because as a farm kid I very often pitched in and helped. Everyone else watched their fathers leave the house and come home and hide behind the newspaper. Most young people I knew were really disaffected by the corporate workplace because they had no knowledge of it.

          Being able to work at home and at times having my kid come to work has been really helpful at breaking down this wall between work and home for my family and I’ve always appreciated it. As an IT professional, I too have come across situations where staff children have caused problems. Glad to hear IT folks have come up with supportive solutions for family integration with work. It’s a positive move!

      • #3247368

        Might change…might not

        by kathy ·

        In reply to hex no

        I am a parent of two older children and never brought them into the workplace other than for very brief visits. Some workplaces may permit a liberal approach to the ongoing presence of children but most don’t and won’t for reasons of security, liability, professionalism, etc. A parent who expects co-workers to deal cheerfully with their children should not only keep them away from corporate pc’s, but should also not insinuate them into others’ work-space. If an on-site daycare is provided, that’s fine, otherwise, they should get a babysitter like other grownups. Hang on to that grouchy face, advancedgeek. It might come in handy if YOUR workplace is ever “invaded”.

    • #3250459

      If you choose…

      by jessie ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      …to allow children to play on the company computers, setup a generic roaming profile for kids that is SEVERELY locked down. Block all but a very few specific websites and block ALL downloads. Put a couple of kid game cd’s on a server and put shortcuts to those games in the roaming profile.

      Or setup a completely seperate kid-space with it’s own network that is completely seperate from the rest of the work network.

    • #3250347

      Get a baseball glove

      by dafe2 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Take the kids to the park……WTF are you doing working on the weekends (LOL)

      Been down that road, all your teaching the kids is that you (and later them) are expected to work at all times.

      If you must, (as others have mentioned) setup a generic box and let them play on it.

      Really though, it’s great to have a kid friendly office ……………….but only from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday.

      Like I said I’ve down the live to work road. Today I choose to work to live.

      • #3235106

        Reply To: Children in the workplace

        by percyking ·

        In reply to Get a baseball glove

        Being from WA (Australia for non aussies) baeball bats don’ abound here.
        Pretty simple.
        Can’t handle the consequences – NO KIDS

        • #3235601

          How about Cricket…

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to Reply To: Children in the workplace

          …or Aussie Rules Football? Or Rugby? Could have your Aussie kids play those sports, instead of baseball. Or they could ride sheep or kangaroos, play fetch with dingoes, swim with crocodiles, or drink Fosters, or whatever you all do there for fun 🙂

          But I agree, Kids should stay away from the workplace, since they disturb the other employees, and can get their hands on things they should not be touching. Plus the parent who brings the kids to work is not being productive if he/she needs to look after the children.

        • #3233664

          That Dingo got my Baby!!

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to How about Cricket…

          Wasn’t that a movie or something???

        • #3232816

          Elaine Benes on Seinfeld

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to That Dingo got my Baby!!

          There was an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine Benes went to a party and was totally bored, so she started talking with an Australian accent about how “maybe the Dingo ate your baby.”

        • #3234380

          And she was making fun of

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Elaine Benes on Seinfeld

          A movie in which Meryl Streep tried somewhat unsuccessfully to do an Australian accent.

          The movie was about a real life incident where an Australian woman was charged with murder of her child, and her defense was that the dingos did it.

          I didn’t see the movie, so I can’t comment on the accent.


        • #3234778

          Yes….. that’s right

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to And she was making fun of

          You didn’t miss much….Elaine did a better accent.

    • #3250267

      On Condition…

      by pparsons0913 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      If truly a “kid friendly” workplace, designate a computer for the kids – doesn’t have to be new, or connected to the net. Put some educational games on for the kids to play and let them go. I assume these are kids under 12, or they would be able to stay home when mom/dad must go in on the weekend.
      Better yet, connect and work from home on the weekend.

      • #3251639

        Why computers?

        by cuteelf ·

        In reply to On Condition…

        there were times when I as a kid went to my dad’s office or my mom’s office.

        This was back when Thicknet was da bomb :).

        I had no business at a terminal, and my parents told me so!
        They would sit me down at an empty desk, and tell me to do my homework until they were done, or let me draw on paper.
        No computer stuff.

        I think if kids are allowed into a workplace, there should be a child-proofed supervised area for it. Without computers. Kids need to socialize, get off their tushies and play! Why are so many CHILDREN obese? HMMM???

        Use imagination, stretch minds, read, draw, doodle, fiddle, tinker, just dont type and sit at a desk.


        • #3251610

          Too much technology

          by mcs-1 ·

          In reply to Why computers?

          You’re right (IMO). If evolution is as it is, I can see a world in the next 200 years where people are just hairless, pasty-white blobs with two little arms and legs sticking out of them, and jacked into about 50 different wires and cables. Yeh, that’s extreme 🙂
          But, I know what you mean about playing, running and horse-assing around. This is something that has been lost on the latest generation of kids. I harp to my kids all the time about how I never sat around doing ‘nothing’ when I was a kid, in fact it was rare if I was in the house just doing ‘nothing’. Quite often I force my kids off their arses and send them outside, or just somewhere to do something besides MSN … my kids are probably pissed at me now for it, but hopefully will see my point someday?

        • #3251540

          I too Agree

          by banzilla ·

          In reply to Too much technology

          I have 4 Yes, 4 children (part of why I have to work on weekends)3 of them girls and one boy 13. Guess which one would rather play on the computer (duh). Anyway, when I do bring my youngest daughter in, she spends equal time drawing, playing with other kids, watching movies and on the computer and resting. I believe her lack of interest in computers and my other daughters for that matter have to do with their mother being a stay at home mom for the last 16 years. As for my son, why does he want to spend so much time playing video games, Probably because 1) his friends. 2)He has watched me at that computer for so many hours (working – I started hating online games shortly after spending weeks mastering DOOM)

          Being a small office without much room, I like the idea of setup 1 or 2 machines on a Vlan with the locked down profile.

          But before I start that project, I am out of here, I am going to get a baseball mit.


        • #3251519


          by advancedgeek ·

          In reply to I too Agree

          /me initiates cheezy slow clap.

          My parents did that for me, and I will do that for my children. Outside activities are good for both parent/child…it’s healthy to unplug, even if you start to get the shakes (like me).


        • #3251495

          Why unplug?

          by dwdino ·

          In reply to yes…

          With Centrino you too can work from dawn till dusk with minimal interferance. Sure go to the ballpark with the kiddos, there is an access point at the concession stand.

          Actually the more I have become involved with IT the more dust has collected on my home computer. 🙂

          I never even touched a PC/Computer until I was 14ish and it hasn’t hurt me any.

          I have 3 children, and there are no cell phones, pdas, gameboys, mp3 players, or laptops. The brain is there for a reason, engage it.

          Interestingly enough, so far, I have been able to form compromises that say, if I am here on a weekend, I am not here next Thurs. or Fri.

        • #3235119

          Inappropriate Entertainment & dangerous

          by leiaj24u ·

          In reply to yes…

          Hey! I love children and can find many ways to entertain them. On a business network of computers with which many people are already having to be constantly monitored, I think it is risky business. Children in the past have accidentally taken down entire networks and cracked codes we had no clue about. Never under estimate the power of a child! I say No way. The risk out weighs the benfits here. Bring them their own little lap top or something! This is your job.

        • #3251424

          Kids need to be amused

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Why computers?

          So parents won’t be bothered by them is why so many watch so much TV and play all the video games.

          If the kids are getting bored and making noise it makes THEM look bad.

          Now on the other hand, if you have a good policy and your systems are locked down, how can going to hurt the systems?

          If this is standard that kids come to work, then why isn’t an area setup just for them? Throw in a few computers that reimage themselves everytime they boot.

          Hard to expect them to sit quietly.

          When I was young and we went into my stepdads work on the weekend, my brother and I would play the old star trek on the terminals, or the character based football. That was coooool.

        • #3235586

          Agree entirely

          by g.e.wood ·

          In reply to Why computers?

          It would actually be a bonus if the majority of them could type anyway! (they tend to hunt and pick) – why not give them a PC with no office network access and a typing tutor installed to embellish their skills. ICT teachers might think that this is a good idea.

    • #3251391

      A Very Good Question!

      by comp1systems ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      The answer is a hearty, “NO!”

      I have been in the same situation as you. I didn’t think it at
      the time, when I had taken my daughter to work on the last
      day of school back in June 2003 at my old job. She had
      gotten into the internet and was browsing and play games
      in various sites, however, the problem came when she
      attempted to download a trial program (or something like
      that) from an unknown site.

      What happened later was that the system had gotten hit
      with a ton of spyware and adware files, not to mention
      some of them being viruses. Children should not be
      allowed on company computers because when something
      goes wrong, the company will hold the parent liable and be
      made to fix the problem and/or pay for the cost of fixing
      the problem.

      Fortunately, I was able to straighten the problem out using
      the antivirus protection program which deleted the majority
      of the files that were detected as threats and viruses. I had
      to take time out of my work schedule to manually delete
      the rest. It’s too time consuming to undo damages caused
      by a child playing around on a computer. Something can
      get accidently deleted, files can accidentally be deleted,
      who knows. It’s too much of a high risk for businesses to
      have to take.

      If a policy is currently in the process of being written with
      regard to keeping children off of company computers, then
      it is a policy worth writing, and employees should have no
      problems with it. I think child-friendly businesses who
      welcome parents bringing their children to work should
      have such policies in place.

      SIDE NOTE: At home my daughter has a computer in her
      room. There’s a front computer and there’s a back
      computer. I do not allow her to use the back computer
      solely because I use that for business-related functions.
      And I have a policy stating that fact.

    • #3251389

      A Very Good Question!

      by comp1systems ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      The answer is a hearty, “NO!” However, your company
      should not be totally against the idea of having at least two
      computers set up somewhere where the kids can engage
      themselves in fun educational programs that will keep them

      I have been in the same situation as you. I didn’t think it at
      the time, when I had taken my daughter to work on the last
      day of school back in June 2003 at my old job. She had
      gotten into the internet and was browsing and play games
      in various sites, however, the problem came when she
      attempted to download a trial program (or something like
      that) from an unknown site.

      What happened later was that the system had gotten hit
      with a ton of spyware and adware files, not to mention
      some of them being viruses. Children should not be
      allowed on company computers because when something
      goes wrong, the company will hold the parent liable and be
      made to fix the problem and/or pay for the cost of fixing
      the problem.

      Fortunately, I was able to straighten the problem out using
      the antivirus protection program which deleted the majority
      of the files that were detected as threats and viruses. I had
      to take time out of my work schedule to manually delete
      the rest. It’s too time consuming to undo damages caused
      by a child playing around on a computer. Something can
      get accidently deleted, files can accidentally be deleted,
      who knows. It’s too much of a high risk for businesses to
      have to take. And at that time, my boss was not agreeable
      to setting up the old spare computer with educationa
      games feeling this was not that much of a child-friendly
      envrionment, and that it was a place of business to “get the
      work done” as she put it.

      If a policy is currently in the process of being written with
      regard to keeping children off of company computers, then
      it is a policy worth writing, and employees should have no
      problems with it. I think child-friendly businesses who
      welcome parents bringing their children to work should
      have such policies in place.

      SIDE NOTE: At home my daughter has a computer in her
      room. There’s a front computer and there’s a back
      computer. I do not allow her to use the back computer
      solely because I use that for business-related functions.
      And I have a policy stating that fact. Her computer is
      equipped with all of her games so is the front computer.

    • #3251362


      by skywalker_al ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      If you are an IT Manager, you have to set the course. By not allowing your children on the pc’s, you are the role-model for you policy to follow. What are you going to do when someone else’s child inadvertantly deletes an important file? You can’t point the finger at anyone, if you, the IT Manager has his children on the company pc’s as well.

      By doing this, you are protecting yourself.

    • #3251331

      Depends… (not saying no… yet)

      by pr0x1 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      With all the other replies, I would also support a >>stand-alone<< pc, not connected to the network, that you can put kids games on, etc.. An older, sunsetted, recycled, non-business system that can be put to good use and you don't care if it gets destroyed. I would NOT hook it up to the network unless it was locked down so tight that only certain internet sites were available (Noggin, Disney, etc.) and even then, I'd be cautious. Best bet is to provide some alternate form of entertainment. And regardless of what you do, never leave them unsupervised.

    • #3251325


      by black panther ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      NO … NO Simple as that!!!

    • #3235216

      I’m a lumberjack . . .

      by martin_ternouth ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      . . . and it would amuse my eight-year-old to have a go with my

      My friend is a physician and wonders if he should let his kids
      have the run of the pharmacy cabinet . . .

      My brother’s a trucker, and hell it allows him to have a bit of
      sleep when his toddler takes the wheel . . .

      • #3235179

        I agree 110%

        by jsdutcher69 ·

        In reply to I’m a lumberjack . . .

        There are times I do bring my son into work with me but I do have a laptop just for him and his games so there is no issue of and work data being compromised at all. Plus, I do watch him to make sure he’s always next to me at all times. All it takes is 5 seconds for a child to wander off, even less to damage a computer or worse.

        • #3235099

          No toddlers but older kids YES

          by scifiman ·

          In reply to I agree 110%

          If a child has to be constantly watched so he/she doesn’t turn off servers, spill hot coffe on themselves, eat the kitty litter- then hey, leave them at home. But an older child can benefit when there is no danger. My son used to help me strip down old junk PC’s for parts and learned alot. Kids can see what dad and mom do to put food on the table, and if they’re older it exposes them to careers they might like to investigate. Or jobs they want to avoid!

      • #3235070

        Me, too, and I’m OK….

        by wallowamichael ·

        In reply to I’m a lumberjack . . .

        Of course the kids can’t DO what you’re DOING. The experience of learning something they can’t get in school is invaluable.
        If you think that child friendly places mean that they are unsupervised and running wild, you are mistaken.
        I don’t know of any lumberjacks that bring their kids to work, but it could be done. I do know of doctors that bring thier kids to work (never all day, however) and we correspond with a trucker family who are homeschooling their children while on the road! (They know geography REALLY well).
        If modern businesses (logging included) are going to survive and compete, they are going to have to consider bringing kids back into the workplace.

      • #3235599

        That’s Silly

        by mikefromco ·

        In reply to I’m a lumberjack . . .

        That’s the same as saying would I let you, as an IT consultant, perform surgery on me, um, no.
        On the other hand, I’d let you drive me to work even though you’re not a taxi driver.
        It’s a matter of skill, and my 14yr old has more computer sense/skill than the 40 or so “adults” using computers I’m responsible for.

    • #3235214

      Determine the policy first

      by numbat ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      You need to determine what is the appropriate policy in regards to network logons, passwords, and third party use of a logon.

      For example, our policy is logons are issued to the individual. Passwords cannot be given to anyone else. Third party users may only use network resources under strict supervision. Abuse of a logon is the responsibility of the person to whom it has been issued – and they wear the consequences if it’s been shared.

      Your company has to determine what is the level of information and IT security required. Most security analysts believe the greatest danger to information security is posed by authorised users, not by external parties.

    • #3235211

      Children on computers in the work place

      by oddish ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I say they can get on the computer if the parents will be responsible for their clean up. Children on the internet at my work is horrible. They play games on the computer, change the background, download games, music etc… Leave the area a mess. Eating candy, food, drinking juice. I work for a school system, so my coworker really don’t care because it is a baby sitting tool. I am the who has to fight virus coming in. It is a nightmare.

    • #3235208

      Not half as thick

      by cgresley ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I rather have children as users. Not as thick as a lot of grown-up users.

      Treat them like adults.

      Give them their own log on details and tell them the don’ts. Don’t download. Don’t install. And use Mozilla.

      Most of the times they will listen.

      • #3234438

        Provided you take responsibility…

        by denis.trickett ·

        In reply to Not half as thick

        My view is that kids at work can be very beneficial but I would suggest that 12 years + is the correct target for this. I cant believe the comments here about kids seeming to run wild and do anything… in some establishments. You need very firm guidleines & most importantly to take responsibility for the kids & their actions. It can work and is an excellant opportunity to give kids a taste of the real world and employees the feeling that they are working for a company thats caring. ‘Work Experience’ is great provided its handled correctly.

    • #3235207

      Reply To: Children in the workplace

      by mmerchant ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Statistics show that about 64% of spy ware/mal ware/virus/worms etc..come from children websites. it could be the new “pok-e-mon” online trading website or online game that brings it in.

      personally, i would take an old computer (which already restricts how elaborate of a game the kid can play) and set it up outside your network letting the child play whatever they want. create an unattended cd that you can just pop in once a month or so that way it doesn’t get filled up with too much crud too often.

      this would be my suggestion.

      • #3235497

        Where are those statistics?

        by tutor ·

        In reply to Reply To: Children in the workplace

        Having just spent the better part of a morning clearing spyware from a work computer (no kids in sight!) and having NEVER cleared spyware from a computer used only on ‘kid sites’ (pbskids, tv show – including pokemon – sites, etc) I wonder about that!

        As far as the “kids at work” debate:

        Parents are responsible for the behavior. Period. It is not my job to maintain a separate computer, much less a network for children coming into work. No, I’m not anti-child. I bring my daughter (11) to work occasionally, especially if I get called in on the weekend. While here, she is on MY computer playing WINDOWS games or writing stories in WORD. She also knows how to click “NEXT” to keep an update going if she is following me around. (More importantly, she knows to read messages and ask if they aren’t the one she has been shown!) Other parents have had kids in occasionally and I have never had a problem with the CHILD messing up a computer.

        Maybe there haven’t been that many kids around my workplace, but I have a great deal more problem with the people that work here everyday than the occasional kid!

    • #3235206


      by jlockh9122 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace


      • #3233750

        Better idea? Deep Freeze!

        by rgreenlee ·


        Set up a computer with the kid programs and use a program like “Deep Freeze” so when the kid is done with it a simple reboot restores it back to the original configuration. No worrying about crashing or deleting anything?

        What ya think?


    • #3235205

      Children should have a place…

      by pcsupportuk ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I used to have to do the odd weekend and regularaly took my children with me, maybe there just good kids, but I didn’t let them roam free.
      Give them as much freedom as is safe but rememer they are children and aren’t expected to understand health and safty at work.
      Surely you could create a user account with a strongly locked down profile, controlled Internet access.

    • #3235203

      Can be done, but costs a bit…

      by papaike ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      You have to isolate the net, or set the systems to re-set on re-boot. A re-set on re-boot basically returns the system to it’s approved configuration. Thus correcting all posssible mess-ups. This only works with all data being saved to removable media. Not an easy thing in a normal workplace.

      • #3235201

        350 kids in the workplace!

        by doctordisk ·

        In reply to Can be done, but costs a bit…

        My network is a primary (US = Elementary) school with 350 kids from grades 1 to 5 all with their own login accounts. Every PC accessible by a student is returned to a fresh new disk image on every re-boot. Unfortunately there are a few adult users (principals, etc.) who insist on having their PCs set not to re-image on re-boot.
        I have ten times as much problem with a small handful of adult users as I have with all the kids put together.
        If kids are taught to understand networking, login names, passwords, etc., they are no problem on a network providing their login profile is set up appropriately. I don’t know what age you can start to teach this sort of stuff, but my classes of five-year-old grade one kids virtually never forget their passwords or have any other problems after the first two weeks of each school year.
        The firewall system blocks all sites whose url contains a couple of hundred specific strings such as “virgin”, “sex”, etc., blocks a further few hundred specific sites, and specifically allows a bunch of sites that would otherwise be blocked by the other rules (such as the Virgin Blue airlines site).

        Now I thoroughly agree with the comments that kids need out-of-doors activities rather than extra hours on PCs, but if for some reason they MUST be in the office with Dad, then providing you set up their own appropriately restricted login accounts, spend some good quality time teaching them about the network, and limit them to computers whose hard disks will re-image on re-boot, they are neither a danger nor a problem to your network.
        By the way, every employee on our network knows that their computer may be replaced or their hard disk re-imaged at any time without reference to them, and that people caught attempting to save work-related stuff to a local hard disk instead of the appropriate area on the server get severely disciplined.

    • #3235200

      Demonstrable Cost

      by graeme ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      We support plenty of small businesses that are “kid friendly” where parents have the kids in at work for the last couple of hours of every day – cheaper than day care and the business gets to keep skilled employees. It is a win – win situation EXCEPT when it comes to computing. Most have learned (to their cost) that they also need to provide sandboxed computers for the kids and they need Interent access for homework and IM’ing their friends – or parents soon hear about it and don’t get any work done! We are happy to assist. 🙂

      For the home worker – it becomes quickly apparent that the family computer must EITHER become the worker’s computer exclusively or they get a second one for themselves.

      Young kids cannot discriminate and older kids take part in riskier computing behaviour – especially when it is not their own computer they are screwing up.

    • #3235196

      Absouletly Not…!

      by jags_mcp ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Until n unless u dont care of your companys’ secrets n documents, than you can bring the kids.

    • #3235195

      Only Using a Restricted Visitor Log ON

      by pwalton99us ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Children might be accomidated using a restricted visitor log on, Microsoft does have a problem of not being able to implement passwords at the catalog file level with in the file management system. I am not talking about password built into applications.

      The problem of telecommuting from away from the office creats more problems and an organization. Users in that catageory have to have positive controll of access to their computer when working from home.

      I used to head a Computer Science Explorer Post and we would bring in our Explorers in for tours of our Force Control WWMCCCS vault but no terminal access, but we would demo of it on a development main frame.

      Our Visitor age policy was the same as the SAC Command Post no children under age 12 on the computer floor or terminal areas.

      The age 12 up is still a good policy for most environments. Children at that age have a better degree of accountability.

    • #3235192

      Of course, with some rules — be proactive!

      by bearwhiz ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Considering that you and other staff (including principals)already do bring children in and allow it, precedent has been set. It’s not all bad.

      1. establish a children’s user account, block all server access except for one common area with privileges to save only there. allow access to some games, standard software, and the internet. log all activity for the account
      2. your internet access should have pornography blocked as it is
      3. prepare a contract between the parent and the company relieving the company of liability should the child see material inappropriate, accepting the parent’s responsibility for damages to equipment (normally keyboards, etc.) and for maintaining complete network security from the child.
      4. prepare a contract between the child and the company emphasizing that if the attached rules are broken, the child will not be allowed computer use (or even on the premises, if needed)

      • #3235112

        Great idea — I’m going to do that right now

        by mary.hoerr ·

        In reply to Of course, with some rules — be proactive!

        Thanks, bearwhiz!
        We’re child-friendly too. Maybe kids have no place in banks, but we’re a small non-profit. Some of our people work here instead of other places where they could make more money in part BECAUSE the place is child-friendly.
        Ideas like a separate place set up for kids are both too expensive (sometimes we’re pressed for space as it is) or don’t allow the parent to be able to supervise their child (because it wouldn’t be near their work space).
        The kid’s account and the contracts are perfect solutions.

    • #3235189

      Legal liability

      by gawiman ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Better get your legal department’s opinion. A child visiting workplace visits a porn site, reads an off-color joke, exposes another child to inappropriate material (Are they segregated by age? How extensive is the adult supervision?), violates illegal downloading restrictions, goes to a chat room and hooks up with a predator… the liability possibilities are endless.

      Yes, it’s OK for kids to visit the workplace occasionally (though the company must accept a ding on productivity) but unless the company is willing to accept the expense of maintaining an offline network, a protected network, standalones configured for children (and answering for the thousandth time, “How come I can’t get to the Internet?) then, NO.

    • #3235176

      Offer Alternative

      by mdm ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Face it, children are a part of our society. Sometimes it is necessary for them to accompany adults to the workplace. It would be better if the children did not use workplace computers because they invariably will try to make the workplace computer into a familiar PC that has IM’s, and other applications which they use and enjoy. As with any workplace environment, without specific PC useage policies, there is little that can be done. (If the boss can have PORN, why can’t the children have IM and games?) A suggestion that could easily provide the needed distraction for the children whilst the adult works is simply to setup a workstation designated for the children’s use and make it off limits to adults. Why not?

    • #3235172

      The solution to that is really, really easy.

      by cheetahspeedz ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      To accomodate the no group and the yes group….all you need to do is set a corner that’s for visitors!

      This way, when the kids visit – there are 2-3 PCS (available in a carousel in a small library area with books, games and headphones that employees can let their kids use without getting on the working computers or potentially disrupting things on your network.

      All they need is internet access and music and some learning tools or something – why inihibit their curiosity? Further, why squelch kids interest in what their parents do? For far too long we have isolate kids from the workplace and therefore they have no idea of what work is like and flounder in school and when they older trying to “visualize” what they themselves might like to do as productive members of society.

      One added bonus – by setting up an access corner, you create a positive acceptance AND help keep those who don’t want kids on the computers protected from theirs being “played on”. A second bonus – by making that access corner, if you ever have other visitors, customers or whatnot that need to “hop on” a computer to check email or get on the web, you already have it in place !! They can use the resource corner as well (phone, web, email, etc…) !!

      The solution to the children in the workplace is very easy as long as there is a bigger picture and a larger context for it than just can the kids bang on the work PCS or not.

      • #3235164

        Work = Daycare Center???

        by kattoon ·

        In reply to The solution to that is really, really easy.

        Are you working in an office or a daycare center?

        Who’s watching the kids while the parents are working? This is not my idea of a productive work environment.

        Either stay home with your children (isn’t that why you had them in the first place?) or get a babysitter.

        Sorry to be so harsh, but there needs to be a line drawn between WORK and HOME.

        • #3235454

          kattoon is right

          by mek804 ·

          In reply to Work = Daycare Center???

          The question about whether or not kids should be on the
          computers is moot: they shouldn’t be in the workplace at all.

          It is not only unproductive, but rude.

      • #3235162

        Solution Easy

        by j.lupo ·

        In reply to The solution to that is really, really easy.

        This is the exact thing a former company of mine did. We set up an area for the kids where they had a few computers (which were not connected to the office network or the internet). It also had books, games, and other items they could use to keep them busy.

        We found that it increased employee moral in unexpected ways. First, there are employees who (for what ever reason) do not like kids and feel they should NEVER be in an office setting.

        I can think of a few reasons, like
        interrupting work from getting done, being too
        loud when others are on the phone with

        At any rate, by designating an area for them, the employees who didn’t want the kids in the office were ok with it now. So, that section didn’t complain anymore and the parents were able to do what they had to as well without worrying about their kids. It worked great.

        The important thing is to make sure the area is not in a busy spot in the office that gets a lot of customer traffic.

        Good Luck

    • #3235169

      Whose computers are these kids using???

      by kattoon ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      In most offices, each person has a computer at their desk. If you only have one PC, (yes, I know some have more than 1)who’s computer is your kid using? Are you letting them sit at your co-workers’ desks?

      Yeah, my favorite thing in the whole world is to come to work on Monday morning — my keyboard all sticky with some unknown goo, grubby fingerprints on my monitor, and items from my desk strewn about.

      The workplace is not for children. How can you actually get work done AND supervise your child properly? One or the other suffers. It is not fair to your child or to your employer.

      However, if the child is older (early teens), that can be a different story. Why not buy them a cheapo laptop so they can bring that to the office. This way they are familiar with it, and can play games etc. Better yet, why not actually have them STUDY for school. Even if they don’t have homework, I’m sure there is something they can improve on.

      I like another person’s answer to let the child do some actual work…clean up etc. But this puts the company in an awkward position. If the child gets hurt while they are “helping” who pays? Hmmmm child labor laws??? Lawsuits are a sad but true fact in our current “legalistic” society.

      I could go on and on…but I should stop here….

    • #3235161

      If the owners think its ok

      by wwall ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      If the owners think its ok it’s their computers

      • #3235153

        I concur

        by gsharpe ·

        In reply to If the owners think its ok

        I agree, and I am the Network Administrator here. If we’re doing our jobs adequately, then there is no need to worry.

    • #3235156

      A simple solution

      by jim asbille ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I don’t think kids should be on the work network or in the office during working hours. There have been some good thoughts on seperation of work and home and some good comments on keeping families together. What I have always felt is that companies should contract with a daycare provider and have them onsite but not in the work area. Employees using this service could be required to share the cost like they would with health insurance. A cafeteria plan would help pay for this in pre-tax dollars. Lunches and breaks could be taken with the child. Older computers could be setup for the kids that would not hinder the working network. The reality of life today is that BOTH parents need to work and sick children can lead to increased absenteeism not to mention stressed workers.

    • #3235149

      The decision is up to the company

      by mike_chappell ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I bring my daughter in four days a week (only for about 30 minutes until Mom can pick her up). I put a child gate up on the entrance to my cube so she doesn’t roam freely and from time to time she likes to play games on one of the computers in my office or watch DVDs while she’s here.

      I have the advantage of haveing several machines in my office and I regularly capture images of each, so if one gets screwed up I can re-image it and not really lose anything.

      I realize that I have a pretty good setup as far as being “kid-friendly” but it was the company that has allowed me to do this.

    • #3235148

      Asbestos, Kevlar and Lawyers

      by xamdam ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I’ll echo a couple of sentiments…

      Unless you can offer expendable boxes that are off-
      line, don’t even think about this. And whatever you do,
      don’t offer a child a computer that work of the business
      is actually performed on.

      The legal problems are capable of completely wiping
      out the company and possibly whole careers.
      (including yours)

      If a child accesses the worst aspects of the internet/
      chat – You’re in trouble, and possibly the child’s life is at

      If a child accesses files related to clients and throws
      them away, corrupts or in any way disrupts the
      commerce within the organization… do I need say

      If a child accesses sensitive personal information about
      any employee… again, someone’s gonna be sued.

      The only viable solution would be computers that are
      totally expendable that have no access to the outside

      Standard user level accounts would be prudent, with
      appropriate age/grade level educational games/
      software installed.

      Be sure to follow standards for software installation.

      Create a computer usage policy for these computers
      and be sure to have the parents read & sign it! For
      those children say age 12 and above, get them to sign
      an additional “child’s portion” usage policy.

      This will help instill a sense of responsibility and

      Good luck… you ARE gonna’ need it… along with
      asbestos underwear, kevlar body armor and REALLY
      good attorney.

    • #3235145

      It would be OK if…

      by mgruber ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      You mention principals and other employees in your question. Principals are usually associated with schools. There would be no harm in letting kids use the computers if you are employed at a school. I am a computer support technician for a public school, and that is one of the things that I would like to see more of is school employees bringing their kids in to use the computers. That is what we have provided the computers in the classroom for so that the kids can play while learning at the same time.

    • #3235143


      by gtrfgtrf ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      The discussion has been centered around “Is this a good idea for the children and/or the parents.” I pose this question. If a child accesses the Internet and is solicited by a child predator or manages to get past the blocking software and accesses an inappropriate site, is the company liable? This is not a risk I’d want my company to take. Be safe. Keep the kids off the Internet while on company property. Old stand alone PC? Maybe. Take the modem out.

    • #3235142

      Bigger Policy Issue

      by drumchik ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I was a working mom for many years, as well as a supervisor of working parents, and I think it’s great when employers are sensitive to the needs of their employees. But “kid friendly environment” can mean many things – from having an established day care on site, all the way to what basically amounts to having kids unsupervised and underfoot at any given time because there is no structured accommodations for kids or general guidelines for parent-employees.

      Bringing the kids to work should not REPLACE day care; it’s not good for the kids, the parent, co-workers or productivity! In one job I held, my supervisor’s 6-year old snuck up behind me and nearly cut off my hair before I caught him. He also cut the phone line in our office and on many occasions I would come in to find my desk and my work-in-progress in complete disarray.

      A truly kid-friendly environment will have some sort of structured accommodations that will give parenting employees some flexibility, provide the kids some sort of interesting diversions, and will respect the needs of other employees to conduct their work undisturbed. With that overall policy in place, it’s a relatively simple process to set other specific policies such as computer use.

      In my experience, kids should never be allowed to use company computers that are in use for company work.

    • #3235139

      Sure, Why not?

      by mikefromco ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      First, you have to define kids and playing. There’s a difference between a 10yr old and a 16yr old hacker-cracker.
      Second, if you’re system is as secure as it should be, nothing a child could do should be able to cause any more damage than any other user. It’s not like adults just use the computer for work, they’re playing games, downloading, etc. in many places.
      Third, the policy is tough to enforce. Most people don’t bring their kids to work during normal hours. It’s those sometimes needed trips in the evening or weekends, maybe on short notice where there is no babysitter available and when there may not be anyone there to notice anyway.
      If your security policy only covers “responsible users”, then you don’t have one…

    • #3235138

      Why not allow children?

      by hgordon ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      By all means allow the children to play on the computers. Perhaps someone will observe them and become the first adult to discover how to put a computer to good use. Unlikely perhaps, but there is a first time for everything.

    • #3235130

      ridiculous question

      by mgskins ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      it’s unprofessional to have children in the workplace at all, but letting kids on the company network is ridiculous. Would you want to do business with a bank that let kids surf the internet on the computers that contain your private data? Spyware/Adware, etc. I wouldn’t do business with a company that had kids running around in the offices – making paper airplanes out of my critical faxes.

      • #3235093

        Use of common sense needed

        by scifiman ·

        In reply to ridiculous question

        You must not have kids, or else you let them run wild. My 7 yr old is responsible and knows what not to touch and always asks for help when needed or she isn’t sure. It depends on the child, so yes, there has to be a open policy in the workplace, but a pure ban isn’t necessarily a good idea either. It depends on the workplace; banks, metal fab, welding, explosives = bad. But many workplaces are just plain old offices. Everyone here will need to evaluate and decide.

        • #3235054


          by mgskins ·

          In reply to Use of common sense needed

          true, i don’t have kids. i do work in a ‘kid friendly’ office environment. i’ve had kids bust into my office during meetings. in addition, i have had a virus sweep through my department that some conscientious mother exposed us to by dragging her sick kid to work. 5-5 people home sick, just because the mother didn’t want to use one of her personal days – very nice. it’s also unreasonable, and frankly bad parenting, to expect a seven year old kid to sit quietly for an 8 hour day, and not be disruptive. Clearly, it is also rude as the devil to your coworkers trying to do their jobs.
          isn’t it enough that childless people pay all these taxes to educate your kids, and build parks, and zoos, and kid museums, etc? do we have to deal with them at our jobs too?

        • #3234384

          I agree, but…

          by scifiman ·

          In reply to true

          I’ll agree with that. The adults still have to maintain order and if parents make a habit of using the office as day care they need a good talking to by their supervisor. Maybe once or twice a year, at a small company. And my daughter would also be hard pressed to handle my long days, but I do often bring her during weekend maint. work of up to 6 hours. But I’ve had enough of my software developers bring in a virus from home or stupidly open an obviously dangerous email that I can’t make the broad statement that a kid involved is always bad.

      • #3233838

        I work for a bank…

        by ·

        In reply to ridiculous question

        …and a few people bring their kids in. It scares the hell out of me.

    • #3235121

      Does a machinist let kids play with work equipment??!!

      by brownhill11 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      NO way! It’s a security and work safety hazard. I thought this was a joke – hopefully it is. This is NOT the norm for any workplace I’ve ever been in. In fact, I’ve never heard of such a practice – until now!

      • #3235089

        Kids are fairly common

        by scifiman ·

        In reply to Does a machinist let kids play with work equipment??!!

        You have to get out more. Most businesses are very small (less than 20 employees). When I consulted I’ve seen kids, dogs, cats, and a company ferret. Now a big multinational will only have the annual kids at work day with a tightly controlled tour and a couple events. But plenty of small companies have somebody’s kid there almost everyday, due to day care issues or whatever. The kids are visiting, just like at a friends house; they can’t run wild, have to sit and be quiet, don’t touch equipment, etc. It’s not that hard to control, and easy to set up a seldom used conference room or spare cube with a tightly manged PC, headphones, small TV, playstation- all brought in and donated by the parents for anyone to use. It works out very well when the rules are followed, and makes for much more productive and unworried parent employees.

    • #3235109

      Are the kids on the payroll?

      by anarchocapitalist ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      If the kids aren’t on the payroll, they aren’t working for the company. If they aren’t working for the company, they have no business using company equipment and resources–especially since kids don’t understand a lot of the dangers, liabilities and security issues associated with Internet use.

    • #3235107

      Not all the time, but sometimes its ok

      by tomsal ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Flat out I don’t like the idea of kids in the workplace on a daily basis, week in and week out. First why would you WANT to – as a parent? I mean I know we all love our kids (though I’m not a parent yet — I’ve been an uncle since 12 years old and am very close to most (but not all) of my nieces and nephews), wouldn’t it drive you crazy to be around your child all the time particularly when you are trying to be professional and get work done at the office?

      If its purely a matter of you have zero options in regards to nobody can watch your child and you can’t afford a sitter or whatever that’s different (though I’d really try hard to find a solution even then — ask your parents, a close aunt or uncle etc.).

      Secondly, don’t “kid” yourselves this isn’t really fun if you are a child to hange out with your mom or pop at work.

      Even if you give them stuff to do that’ll only last for so long. Kids are kids they WANT to play video games, they WANT to run around and play in the parks, playgrounds, etc. That’s what being a kid is about.

      I’m not saying the educational games aren’t a good idea, my thing is — yeah..but not every day, all day. Wanting our kids to be the best they can be and pretty much not be stupid kids without feelings or ethics — that’s good stuff and every parent should aim for that with their child..BUT…don’t be a tight wad with your kids either, if all they are allowed / told to do all the time is “No you must always do something with a life lesson in it or that brings educational development to you”…you know what that kid things (or eventually will) “Damn my life sucks, its so boring.”.

    • #3235103

      Only IT kids

      by scifiman ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      It depends. In general I say no way, because the typical user and children will always cause some level of damage. However, I work at a tiny software shop (7 people) and I frequently have to work a weekend or two a month and I’ll bring in my 7 yr old. While I’m working she can surf to or watch movie trailers, etc. since my firewall rules won’t let people go anywhere dangerous. Any damage would stay contained on my office PC, which I can easily fix, although it hasn’t been a problem yet. But I sure wouldn’t want any other kids on my network. Even our software developers (web based applications) aren’t all that aware of the inner workings of Windows and PC’s.

    • #3235102

      Strong emotional Responses

      by whitehare ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I couldn’t help but notice what strong emotional responses this has elicited. Personally, I don?t think having children at work is conducive to a productive work environment. However, apparently your workplace has an open environment that encourages family to enjoy this part of your life.

      If that is the case, then I recommend that computers be setup in open-area pods where adults can monitor the children?s activities. Put the computers on dial-up or broadband connections outside the company network to eliminate the accidental or intentional misconduct.

    • #3235096

      HELL NO

      by jmiles ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Kids have NO business using corporate resources. The companies didn’t invest the thousands or millions of dollars in equipment for kids to play with. If you have to work, hire a babysitter to look after the kids…

    • #3235088

      Operative word here is “Play”

      by dblaylock ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Sorry . . . when you are at the office you work – when you are at home you play.

      Children learn by example. If they are allowed to “play” while mom or dad are working, what kind of message are you sending to the next generation?

      That being said, your company also going to have to deal with the ramifications of their playing. Experience as a parent has taught me children lack the maturity associated with making wise decisions and have a tendancy to think that whatever they can do at home can be done at mom or dad’s work. Office systems will quickly be consumed with spyware, adware & related problems. Case in point: Last year one of our attorneys had his son “work” during the summer. The next thing I knew he was on the PC of his dad’s secretary and had installed several music peer-to-peer software packages. What a nightmare to clean up!

    • #3235087


      by darendjunker ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Making sure your network is resilient enough to withstand children will make it strong enough to survive regular users with fewer help desk calls.

      I have run widely varied networks and consulted on even more. The best ones, with the fewest headaches for support staff, were the ones that were configured so well that kids could be left unattended at the computer.

    • #3235085

      laptops computers as well

      by scottyc2005 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      It is also a good idea to keep kids off company laptops when employees take them home. I have had employees bring their computers in because their kid was playing with it at home

    • #3235069

      That’s why they call it work!

      by bcdrguy ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I think the answer to your question is obvious, NO. The work place is not a play ground. If the company has a day care or makes special arrangements for children in the work place, that would make life easier. I love children, but I am hired to do a job, not baby sit or possibly listen to other parents trying to keep them from disturbing co-workers.

    • #3235068

      Children in the Workplace

      by jenniferlott ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I think it is great to have a kid friendly environment at the workplace. If security is setup in the office as it should be then there should not be a threat of having children play on the computers.

    • #3235067

      That’s why they call it work!

      by bcdrguy ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I think the answer to your question is obvious, NO. The work place is not a play ground. If the company has a day care or makes special arrangements for children in the work place, that would make life easier. I love children, but I am hired to do a job, not baby sit or possibly listen to other parents trying to keep them from disturbing co-workers.

    • #3235063

      Computer Systems Manager

      by bajarip ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Bringing in children must be locally decided, based on individual specific environments. My children come in to the university, occasionally, and do help in some very constructive ways (and gain imvaluable exposure and experience, for future IT leadership). And, believe it or not, sometimes provide useful incites & suggestions, form their youthful perspectives. But certain strong restrictions must also be applied.

    • #3235038

      NO NO NO!

      by aaardal ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

    • #3235036

      Yes if supervised.

      by teana36 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      There is nothing wrong with letting your children play on the computer when you are working. The children should know what is okay to do and what is not. When a child is on the computer whether it is playing or working, the child is learning computer skills. It would be up to the boss and parent on whether or not the child should be on the internet.

      • #3235266

        Work is not school

        by njack2004 ·

        In reply to Yes if supervised.

        Sure they are learning computer skill when they are on computers, but their parents place of employment is not the right place or time for them to be building these skills. I have no issue with people bringing their kids to work, but they should absolutely not be allowed on company PCs unless the company has dedicated PCs for their use that are locked down and completely segmented from the corporate network.

        • #3179633

          Yeah, that’s the ticket

          by tantor ·

          In reply to Work is not school

          At my company, our Help Desk has a DSL line for testing. If any kid wanted to come in and play online, they’d be handed a junker laptop and told to plug in there.

          The question is, would you let your kids go play in the executive’s office or the accounting files? No? Then keep them off company PCs.

    • #3235035

      There’s an alternative

      by mkalinovich ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Surely your children have friends their own age, who more than likely have parents of their own. Trade babysitting weekends, you work they watch, then switch it up one night (not even necessarily a weekend).

      Kids should be playing with other kids, the obvious social and psychological benefits of having peers and friends.

      Besides, to have a child sit on their toosh for 8 hours playing on a computer, or watching TV is hardly conductive to their health. This has been mentioned, go let them play sports or something a bit more active than click click clacking on a keyboard or remote.

    • #3235032


      by g.m.bakker (cne, self employed) ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I have situations where the wife is working, there is an issue, and i’m taking care of the kids. And then it’s either shit creek or accept the kids. However office computers, only if there is a user + profile they can use that does no harm to the company, but allows them to play a web game, or just browse. I work part-time for dutch government, and we have these all arranged and up and running. It is after all usually after hours that such instances occur…like my Sunday morning!

    • #3235018

      Lots of opinions

      by mavv ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I don’t have kids so I don’t know “what it’s like” but I do run a network and I would not, not ever, let any kids onto my network. They can come to the office all they want but they will not touch any PC’s on the network. That is just asking for trouble. We admins spend enough time protecting the network from grown adults and the dumb things they can do. Just imagine what a child could do, albeit innocently, but no less dangerous. I like the idea of seperate, non-connected, computers for the kids. That would be fine but absolutely no access to any company devices.

      As for the side topic of working so much these days…I try my best to leave when I am supposed to but there are times when you just can’t and yoou need to stay to finish something off. That is fine. When it comes to coming in on weekends or after hours, it will need to be an emergency otherwise it ain’t happening and my employer knows it. She has called me at home with a question or problem in the past but has never asked me to come in to fix it. Like I said, if it is an emergency and the server has crashed or something then I will come in, and get paid I might add, and fix the problem.

      I have only worked 2 weekends in almost three years and that was due to the fact that I rolled out a new server to replace our old one and needed to do it after hours.

      Just my 2 cents.

    • #3235014

      Children in the workplace

      by johnydii ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Would you want kids on computers that contain your information at your bank? Would you let your kid play with your car? How about a chain saw? It is time for children to know their place. Let them read a book, do their home work, bring a toy.

    • #3235012

      Children are our Future, treat them as such!

      by alchemia ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Policy and regulation are essentially ‘guidelines’ which are put in place to defend against intentional and unintentional property and safety violations.

      Kid friendly means safety and balance. Balance means physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual conditions towards their evolution…

      Does your office environment provide that for even you?

      Better to take them to a lake or park or travel a bit and show them reality safely and with Love!

      They are our Future, it is why we work…

    • #3235009

      Work Is Not Play

      by ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      The trend is clear. The workplace is a distinct environment where the company comes first. Workers also expect their resources to be protected from molestation, accidental harm, or use by others (non company business). Think of it like a tool used in the business – like a truck..should the children of employees use the company truck to go to the prom?

    • #3235005

      Why not? (but…)

      by sonotsky ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Your company sounds like the kind of place that really is relaxed and comfortable, one of those diamond-in-the-rough kind of places. Don’t give it up!

      As for the kids using computers…. Yes, but within limits. If bringing kids to the office is an accepted practice that shows no signs of being struck down, embrace it.

      Find a small corner of the workplace, and set up a few PCs with some (legally-purchased) games or other software to keep them busy. Conect the workstations with a switch, but KEEP IT SEPARATE from the rest of the network at all costs! You don’t want malware infecting your network, nor do you want older kids going out onto questionable sites on your ‘net connection.

      In other words, make a PC lab for the kids. As an added bonus, it can also be used as a training lab for your company’s workers. Everyone wins!


    • #3234992

      absolute answer

      by jck ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      No. And, that is for 2 reasons:

      1) Unless you have a machine and network policy implemented, there is a risk yours or anyone else’s children could compromise company resources and affect tens, if not hundreds, of people both internal and external to your enterprise.

      2) If they did something and did compromise or break something, not only could it affect your job standing but also others who are responsible for keeping such things from happening (network/system admins and techs). You could not only lose your job, but negatively impact someone else’s career.

      I’d say…if you’re gonna have the kids there, it’s great. They get to see what mom and/or dad does and how to get along with people in a professional environment. But if it were me, I’d get a laptop of my own (perhaps the old one your upgraded from?) and load it with games and what not for them to play with off of company hardware and networks.

      • #3234963

        Childen and work(places)

        by fgzz ·

        In reply to absolute answer

        Why does a toy have to be driven by a processor or have batteries included???

        Childeren could play with other toys. Work computers are no toys for childeren, or do they logg on with there own ID’s?


    • #3234959

      Company Computers are for work!

      by cweb ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      NO! A business is not a place for kids, unless you run a day-care. As for letting kids play on company computers, I find it hard to believe this is even a question! Would you let anyone that walked in off the street use your company computers? Then why let non-employees use them?

      • #3234923

        I agree, but if you must…

        by blueknight ·

        In reply to Company Computers are for work!

        I agree with cvanhorn2000, company computers are for work. I think you’d be better off providing VPN access to those employees who MUST work weekends.

        If you decide that bringing kids into the office is a must then you need to put a number of things in place:
        1) Policy and rules regulating the kid friendly atmosphere and computer access. This would include rules for the kids as well as the parents. If rules are broken more than once by a parent or kid, the kid stays home – period!
        2) DO NOT use computers that are normally used by employees for real work. Use some of your surplus machines or buy some.
        3) If you put the kids’ computers on the network for internet access, then put them on a restricted subnet and install software to regulate which web sites they can visit.

        There are probably many more I haven’t listed, but you get the idea. In general, I would not recommend it, but if you must, everyone plays by well established rules and violators will lose the privilege permanently.

    • #3234952

      Biblical Example

      by bsroufek ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      At the risk of stretching a biblical example too far, the child born by the prophet staying in the roof house died while going to work with his father in the field.

      While this biblical example could be a means of boosting the prophet’s stature, it could also be a lesson that workplaces are really battle grounds between those in the faith, those seeking faith and those against the faith: children deserve shelter from it.

      Brian Sroufek

      • #3235596

        And what can we learn from this?

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to Biblical Example

        This incident is recorded in 2 Kings 4:8-37 The child went out with his father to work and got a bad headache and died. So exposure of children to the workplace can result in headaches, although from my experience, it is the other coworkers who get the headaches from the little brats running around and screaming.

    • #3234950


      by pam.cunningham ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      When I come to work, I do not want to be distracted by someone’s child running around and being bored. I also don’t think people’s children should be allowed to play with the tools that people need to do their work. Children are the parents responsibility, not your workplace responsbility. YOu wanted them, you pay for someone to care for them if you are working. In my experience, parents DONT take responsibility for their children at the workplace, they expect everyone else to watch them.

    • #3234937


      by ntguru ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      It would depend on the environment that you are working in. If your organization has a training lab setup then it should be ok for the kids to use those machines (if they are not being used). If not, then it would only be wise to let the kids use machines in the production environment unless they know how to use one.

    • #3234921

      Oh my!

      by realgem ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      It’s hard enough maintaining the integrity of networked systems when adults are using them.

      Do what you like. A kid friendly workplace is a wonderful, modern thing. But, make sure the kids have their own logins and are highly restricted. If you don’t do at least this much, then this whole thing is a very bad idea.

      If they want to play solitaire, fine. Surf the web? Sure. But, make sure you block inappropriate sites. You don’t want the kids mom’s to find out that her kids were surfing porn at your work site.

      BTW, issues with kids in the workplace goes beyond their access. What if they break something, or steal something. Who is responsible?

      A former employer of mine had cleaning staff that would bring their kids in (to “help” I guess). But the kids were helping themselves to snack stashes, headphones, loose change, etc. Just in case you thought that “my little Johnny” would never do that…

      Good luck.

    • #3234913

      Kid-Friendly Depends on Environment

      by lseidman ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Having worked in a variety of different locations, there are organizations where “kid-friendly” is possible because of the type of environment allows it to be such (e.g., a physically smaller office environment, not that isolated but not crowded either, etc). For that environment, I think it is acceptable to provide the occasional assistance to the parent who has trouble acquiring child care in a pinch by having a “secure” workstation available (so long as it is an exceptional solution as opposed to the norm).

      On the flip-side, the current place I work for has offices all over the place with limited computer access (some are networked, some are not). The offices tend to be cramped and lack the resources to make the professionals’ lives easier, let alone cater to their children. If a parent were to bring a child to the office, there’s no way anyone in the IT department (my area) would necessarily have knowledge about it nor would we be able to provide any secure form of computerized entertainment/distraction for the child. So, for my current environment, I would argue that children are not permitted because of the liability and the genuine lack of a controlled resource to dedicate to such an endeavor.

      As an afterthought, if a business was genuinely “child friendly” or “family-oriented,” it would not have a 24/7 type of existence. Most people now tend to arrange their schedules around their professional lives rather than around their family/personal lives. But that’s a whole ‘nother discussion…

    • #3235605

      What are they going to do with the computer?

      by john ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      When you say “play with the computers,” what exactly does that mean? Depends on how old they are, how knowlegable, etc. We had an employee bring in her teenage son over the weekend. He downloaded music, played games, chatted, and infected the computer with a virus (true story). I can’t see any serious company with a computer use policy that allows this behavior. Sure, set them up with a spare junk workstation, but you better set it up on a different network too! And when you set up this play computer, try and put some links to things that could do them so good, educational stuff, etc. Maybe you could put them to work on a research task of some kind that might help them learn something in the process?

    • #3235576

      Consider Other Options

      by logos-systems ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Why not set up a secure connection capability, so your users can log into the network remotely. That way they can do their work from home, and not bring the kids to the work area.

      Just an idea.

    • #3235565

      Bring mine to work during the summer

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      and they help me do my job.

      How many 12 year olds do you know that can make cat5 patch cables up to code?

      How many 12 year olds do you know that have built their own computer?

      When I have to go to the remote locations to work on the network I take them so they can learn the logic involved in tracking down a problem.

      Do the boys get a chance to get bored and want to play on company computers? Only the company computer work bought for me in my house. If I don’t have enought to keep them occupied I don’t bring them.

      Little bit different than the sit down and shut up approach that some people try.

      Is there anything wrong with them playing solitare or watching a movie? Not if they are allowed in the office in the first place.

      • #3235486

        Solitaire with a deck of cards.

        by njack2004 ·

        In reply to Bring mine to work during the summer

        Nothing wrong with them play solitaire with a deck of cards or watching a movie on a television, but the corporate computers are off limits and should be.

        • #3235319

          Computers are time savers

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Solitaire with a deck of cards.

          Think of all the time saved shuffling the deck?

          This question really depends on a few things.

          One, how tight and anal are the computer usage rules for the company?

          two, how well behaved are the kids?

          three, do the computers they are on contain confidential information?

          four, are the computers close to where you are working to keep an eye on them?

          Some places don’t even let you get personal e-mail or phone calls while others don’t care if you check your stocks or ebay provided your work gets done as it makes a happier worker. The happy worker will give more effort than the one under lock and key with the whip across their backs.

          People need to grow up and lighten up.

          Do I do personal business on company time? Yes.
          Do I have an hour lunch I NEVER take? Yes.
          Is my boss happy with the results I achive? Yes.

    • #3235562

      Children and Corporate networks do not mix!

      by jley ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      As employees and users of a company we are entrusted and sheperds of our networks. Children do not fall under that purview as they can not comprehend that the cool screen saver on daddy’s PC is a fast attack worm. Most networks are still being defended heavily on the perimeter while the core remains soft. If your kid takes down the network – who will face the music? YOU!!!

    • #3235489

      NO WAY!

      by softwaremanager8222 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Letting children of any age play on company computers is a major risk, to the computers and to the network! Also, if the children are using the company computers, the employees are not being productive either. It is a lose-lose situation.

      A much safer option would be to provide an area with a couple of computers (NOT connected to the network) with age-appropriate software for the children.

    • #3235487

      Simply NO!

      by njack2004 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I used to work at a company that was very kid friendly and now work for a company that is equally as kid friendly. The big difference here is this company is more technical.

      In my last company kids using company computers caused nothing but problems…from stupid programs that were installed that caused performance issues to viruses and lost files.

      My current company, while it does not yet have an officially adopted computer usage policy, those issues are non-existent because the users realize and respect the issues that can be caused by even letting their kids surf the net. That being said…a computer policy is being drafted as we speak.

    • #3235469

      Not sure why everyone is saying no

      by jackmeat ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I have no kids, but i think the answer is, that’s what the guest account is for. so lazy ass IT people, setup that account with bare bone access (i’m one of those lazy asses btw, before you all get pissed at me)

      • #3235433

        umm, *what* guest account?

        by hmx ·

        In reply to Not sure why everyone is saying no

        anywhere I’ve worked there have been *NO* guest accounts.
        folks who use the firm’s networks and computers have typically
        signed an employment agreement or other nondisclosure.

        here’s the real answer to the question: if the young visitors have
        the potential to cost the firm money by their use of company
        resources (and this includes cleanup from viruses and worms,
        …) then they shouldn’t have access.

        it is not the responsibility of the firm’s IT department to provide
        network virtual television to your children when they’re in the
        office. bringing your children to the office shouldn’t create
        problems for others.

        • #3235407

          Teach kids how to be safe on the computer

          by jharcarik ·

          In reply to umm, *what* guest account?

          I have taken my kids to work, and let them go to a few web sites that we know are safe. The policy at the office is the same as at home. Check with Dad before down loading anything and installing. Some of it is ok and some isn’t. My 6 year can handle better than some managers I’ve worked for.

    • #3235402

      They can’t be any worse

      by poomba1 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      They can’t be any worse than the users themselves…

    • #3235399

      Reply To: Children in the workplace

      by msenoelo ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      No, I don’t think kids should be brought to work at all. They distruct some people who want to work quitely. As far as i understand, when you are getting employed, there is no where they say you can allow the 2nd party to use your desk and computer.

    • #3235347

      Yes, I have one of my 12 year olds in now.

      by mapstr ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Kids are no different than adults when it comes to the internet. Both need to be properly supervised. Go for it.


    • #3235318

      What do you do about adult visitors?

      by mary.hoerr ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      To all of you who say that NO non-employee should have access to a company computer, child or not, what do you do when an adult needs access to a computer? Don’t you ever have meetings at work with non-company people? Don’t they ever ask for access to a computer to check e-mail, etc?

    • #3235314

      Use Logic

      by lildave ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      It’s easy to allow a select few individuals to bring their kids in for a day at the office. But what happens if everyone in the office requests or demands the same. Could an office function with 100+ kids during business hours? Would you do business with that company?

      • #3233732


        by banzilla ·

        In reply to Use Logic

        100 plus kids would never happen here, We only have 35 – 40 employees less than half have kids and the majority of those kids are in school. On a good/bad day the most we have ever had was 6 kids, and that was for my daughters birthday. The kids were in the office or 10 minutes than Mom took them to the zoo and lunch. Now, what about a place like Intel, that in and of it’s self would be a zoo. :0

    • #3235290

      If you Value your Job You wont….

      by stevelandron ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I was terminated for simply forwarding personnal emails to home over a company computer system from Cingular Wireless. I have had friends who have been terminated because of internet use. If us as employees, “Who Know Company Policy” on company computer use, are at high risk for termination, why even take a risk on a child using corporate systems. Save your job and only use corporate systems for work related business. Todays competitive corporate environment is too sensitive for even one mistake. Don’t take the chance.. But then, again maybe your child will help out the unemployment. Get them a laptop.

    • #3235281

      One proposed solution

      by montgomery gator ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Jonathan Swift had an excellent solution to the problem of children in his essay entitled “A Modest Proposal”. He wrote it as a solution to the economic problems in Ireland in the 18th century, but it seems it would be valid today to solve the issue at hand.

    • #3233831

      Everyone around me is a “kid” anymore

      by nottheusual1 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      OK – I’m not getting any younger, so the relative age of the people I’m responsible for drops every year.

      These kids work 29 hours a day 9 days a week. Some do have their own kids. I don’t mind having runts around – my office was in my house for years and mine were always under foot.

      My logic about the whole thing is what my dad/g-fathers/uncles, all who spent their lives breaking their backs in whatever the better paying b-c jobs were “in the day”:

      Tools are tools – you don’t play with them, you use them to help you do your job, and you respect them. Apply accordingly – there are many parallels.

      Computers in the office environment aren’t toys anymore than a blast furnace at a steel mill. Children need to be taught boundaries and respect for “tools”, and relying on the “tools” of your trade (or even worse, a PC belonging to a co-worker) to entertain your kids while you work is self-centered.

      I learned a lesson the first time I left a screwdriver laying in the yard for Dad to run over with a mower. Punishment then wasn’t so politically correct.

      Teach your kids to come to work with you. And learn what that means, first.

      • #3233803

        learn from kids

        by rob_serve ·

        In reply to Everyone around me is a “kid” anymore

        I tend to have to teach my parents everything about computers now, probably because they are effectively as fast moving as the latest “toy”. Also, is it just me or do old people like to be naive?
        “I said click on my computer dad. No its not funny to tap your hands on the unit”
        see, maybe in some fields of computing, (not the programming obv. but in a small office, a kid is like a free engineer for the comp. dummy- i know somebody who is 14 and he already programmes his software and everything and is clearly more able on computers than many adults.
        What I am trying to say that there isn’t really a boundary between the older kids and adults anymore in the tech world.

    • #3233781

      From sad experience, No Way

      by rockman of the east bay area ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      A former employer required a lot of seasonal overtime from mostly female employees, I was the tech support dept. Management allowed them to bring in the kids in evenings, the kids played with the workstations and I ended up putting in countless hours of overtime eradicating viruses, malware and spyware that our corporate filters would have normally prevented. These kids were going to the most virulent possible websites and in many cases knew how to actively disable virus and spyware protection in order to visit otherwise denied websites. Needless to say, the kid visits were soon stopped.

    • #3233760

      You could go both ways!

      by qixx ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      In our area we have test machines, some standalone, a dead one here and there and production machines (including servers). From time to time different staff member?s children are here. They know which machines they can touch and which ones that they will lose an arm over and they stay away from.

      I think the work place should be clear of children due to the reason that you can’t keep your eye’s on them at all times. It only takes a second and … If you are keeping your eye’s on them the entire time you are not getting the required amount of work done or quality of work requested by your employer. One the other hand, what about your fellow employees that are trying to work, is it fair to them?

      HOWEVER there are times that I to have to bring mine in and I don’t like it. They mind and don’t touch but I am dreading that one day…

      My overall thought on the matter – if you are going to allow children in the work environment give them a place that they can play and keep busy and that you the parent don’t have to worry about them or any machines.

    • #3233634

      As a former destructive child, I would say no

      by skyshoe ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I used to get on the computers at my ma’s various jobs when she, say, couldn’t get a babysitter or whatever, and I messed those things up. I crashed them, I infected them with viruses, made them unusable, and the like. Granted, this was way, WAY back in the days when 300 baud was warp speed, but the same concept applies. And that goes squared for networked environments. Imagine some young hacker-in-training doing his/her thing on your network and not covering their tracks, and I believe you have your (admittedly paranoid) answer. Heck, anyone doing any C/C++ can wreck your machine lickity-shickity. Beware.

    • #3232786

      Only on none networked

      by wcosales9 ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Yes the children can play on the computers as long as they are the older ones and not on the network so they cannot get into company files and mess up the company network. It would be a network admins nightmare to keep it going and working to keep the business up and running.

    • #3232774

      To summarize

      by mary.hoerr ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      1. You must protect company data. If it is all on the network, then you simply need to prevent access to the network. This can be done using “guest” or locked down accounts, non-networked computers, or keeping kids off any company computers.
      2. You must protect the computers. If all important data is on the network, this means returning the computer to a clean condition after use. If you have a policy that computers are subject to re-imaging without notice, then the worst you have to do is reimage the computer. Other options are to set aside a computer that auto-reimages on reboot.
      3. You must protect the children from inappropriate sites. You know how to do that.
      4. You must protect the company from liability for the children, and enforce accountability of the parents. That can be done with signed agreements. If a parent’s child downloads malware, that child is not allowed access to company equipment again.
      5. Obviously, no child, non-employee, or even most employees come near the actual server(s). They ARE in a locked room, or even offsite, right?

      Within these guidelines and your own set-up, you decide what you have the time and resources to do. The more secure your system already is, the less problem you’ll have with kids, whether you let them on the company computers or not. And by the way, the less problem you’ll have with any inadvertent OR malicious actions.

    • #3232770

      Company computer playground

      by itdetective ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I don’t believe that children should play on company computers. If their family cannot afford a computer, they could go to the public library and use those computers.

      Company computers are company property. They may contain sensitive information that could be copied or changed. Computer configurations, Windows registry, and the like could be altered to change the way the computer functions or make it disfunctional.

      If children are injured while on company property, the company could be sued.

      Is this permitted by company policy? Who provides them the vapability to logon? Are they provided the password?

    • #3232750


      by sgt_shultz ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      It is great you bring the kids. They can play on my network computers all they want. I haven’t read your other replys, but have pretty good idea what they say. Your kids can play on my computer anyday and hack if they think they can. I can handle it and I would tease my network admin that they couldn’t if they were intimidated by idea of my kids at large on their network. Me, I designs stuff for kids. My grown up kids, my users.
      I think it is great you bring kids to work and sorry if you are getting a hassle over it.
      Any decently setup system should be able to handle whatever is dished out and if it can’t, should be able to recover pretty painlessly from a problem. Me, I welcome such problems to help me learn to improve my network.
      I would be very flattered, however, if you asked me first. and I would try to learn what your kids are doing (with YOUR permission) so i can get hip to what is cool…

    • #3232699

      Security Breach

      by dmiles ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      No,children should not be alllowed to play on company computers,anything could happen in a instant,that may cause computer to crash which results in lost data
      Security is a major issue here

      Ask yourself,Would I allow co-workers kids play on my computer if setup for business use

    • #3232659

      I solved this problem by bringing in

      by myths ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I solved this problem by bringing in my laptop and allowing her to use it at the office. Since my laptop is running WinXPHome and is configured for my workgroup at home, I can plug her into the Internet connection and there is no way she could access the LAN or company data.

    • #3233087

      Why Not?

      by mkblack ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      As a network engineer and network security administrator, I do not see a problem with the kids using CERTAIN computers that have been put in for that purpose. This is also a good way to recycle your old equipment. If you take a couple of old PII or PIII computers and as someone else said here, put EDUCATIONAL programs on them, Such as typeing tutors, math, reading games etc. Then I feel this will benefit all persons involved.

      On the other hand should they be allowed to use Networked Office computers that connect to the company LAN or WAN, ABSOLUTELY NOT. This would have the potential to bring in Viruses, Worms, Spyware, or just even open up a hole in security that would create a vunerability in your infrastructure.

      Michael Black

    • #3233019

      Never ever please!

      by rsears ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      That’s a big NO!

    • #3233013


      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      For those reasons:
      1) It initiates them into the real world of what is the purpose of this technology
      2) Help parents to supervise the kid in it learning curve (Web surveillance – parental …)
      3) Expose the kid to what is a daily agenda, day of work, things to be done and not to be done …)
      4) Help the manager to see the issues an employee have with its children and how it address it
      5) Help the kid to recognise its parent’s contribution to the enterprise and value its own to the community
      6) It is easy to manage trough special profile
      7) Help the communication between the Techies and the client because of this situation to establish a framework

      Benefits are in for both sides, employee and employer and also help to build more responsible citizens by teaching by example.

      Of course the framework must be defined by including every level of the enterprise but also will alleviate the ‘ownership’ of responsibility to everyone.

      Well we do it sometime (special day) and it work very well. But again prior to that we sat down and discuss how we will make it.
      One of the main things is no email on a personal account server allowed (Hotmail, MSN, Netscape, Yahoo …)

      Because English is only my second language, forgive me for some mistake I might have done. Good luck

    • #3234435


      by aaron a baker ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      No child or anybody else for that matter who isn’t directly affiliated with the firm or is not somehow invoved in the computing end of th firm,should be allowed to go anywhere near “any” of the Firm’s computers.Period.
      These are for Company use, they are not, Repeat not toys and shoudn’t be used as such.No matter who’s kids thet are,they SHOULD NOT be allowed to touch any Compnay Computer.If it is that important to yourself and your staff that kids have computers to play with while they are visiting the firm Fine.In that case,may I suggest that a special area of Computers be set aside strictly for kids.That way there is no Company Info to be destroyed, on them and there is no chance that some child will inadvertantly cause a meltdown. I would strongly suggest that you set up up a few Computers with games on them and set them completely apart from those of the Firm, that way everybody is happy, the kids have thier fun and the Company remains secure and the information undamaged or worse yet, unchanged.
      Aaron A Baker

    • #3234426

      Kids in the workplace

      by chuck.stoner ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      It’s great when the work environment is kid friendly. To make it so requires that every parent instill in their children respect of other people and their space. Part of that is respect of ownership. The company’s computers are there for a purpose. Unless that purpose specifically includes personal use the kids should not be using them. Personal use of company property has been held in the past by the courts as theft.

      • #3234409

        NO WAY – I don’t want your kids messing with my computers!

        by davidpmartin ·

        In reply to Kids in the workplace

        The most important thing about the workplace is it’s professionalism. My kids are grown and they never had to be at my workplace in the many years they lived with me. I don’t want your’s there either.

        The same people who bring their kids to the workplace are the same people who tell their kids to “sit still in Daddy’s (or Mommy’s) chair while Daddy has to go somewhere. And DON’T MOVE (yeah right)!”. Then they have the audacity to ask a co-worker to watch their kid for 10 minutes (which turns into 1 hour). I have seen it happen in my work place, and it chaps my a–. Why does the office have to play babysitter to YOUR kids? Especially when you make a six-figure income and can afford GOOD child care. Fortunately no one has ever asked me to look after ‘junior’ or I would go to the boss about it.

        Except for exceptional emergencies, kids have NO business in the workplace – unless it is part of an orgainzed tour or a once a year ‘take your kids to work’ thing. Otherwise, IMNSHO, the workplace should be strictly off-limits to kids.

        And allowing them to play on computers? Don’t even get me started on that one….

    • #3234373

      Children in the Workplace

      by smiddlebrooks ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Never. I can’t begin to list all the
      problems and headaches I’ve seen arise
      from this over the years from computers
      corrupted to serious injuries from
      being unsupervised and running and falling.

      Stan Middlebrooks/MMCC

    • #3234369

      Children & Company Computers

      by gervas.douglas ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      In answer to the question, “Should children be allowed to play on company computers?”, that depends on whether you want them downloading malware, deliberately or otherwise, not to mention visiting sites which could compromise your career.


    • #3233307

      Make a special room

      by cxy ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I think the best way to accomodate all parties is to provide a special room in which the children can play.

      I disagree to allow kids playing with ANY company computer. If your environment is really kids friendly, then there is no reason your company can not provide a special room for kids.

      That is the safest way, both for the kids and for the parents. (and also for the companies assets)

    • #3248536


      by jclulow ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Children in a work place allow a parent to do that “extra” work the companies often require, however, a company should not be expected to leave its back door open by allowing kids to play on the network. There are enough hand held games, music devices etc to keep kids happy while you work away…

    • #3246957

      This can be a perk..

      by codegene ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      Allowing children to work place may affect their safety as well as safety of company assets plus affect the concentration of employees due to distractions.

      If any company wants to have a kid friendly policy where they are allowed to come to office with their parents, they should have a separate kids area which is supervised by professional child care people, and should include amenities for children’s entertainment and care.

    • #3244857

      NO! NO! NO!

      by marylou ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      The computer system belongs to the employer, and there is a lot of damage that can be done by un-knowing persons, children or adults. Only staff members should be allowed on work computers!

    • #3244830

      Children In the Workplace

      by jesse johnston ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      The concept behind children in the workplace is a fine idea, and after reading a couple opinions, it seems pretty clear to me; so long as they are designated certain rights that they may not break, such as malicious websites and such, so long as they abide by them then they’re entirely permitted to use the machines. Institute a leave it how you got it policy.

    • #3187963

      Old PC and No Internet

      by bearyann ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      I agree with many of the posts stating set up an old PC. Don’t put it on the network and I don’t believe it should have internet access. You are too busy working to monitor their web activity.

      • #3187925


        by kawarimi ·

        In reply to Old PC and No Internet

        And in first place, kids should not be in work place, I believe alot company’s policy has significantly clarify no private activities involved in working hours and do not use company’s asset and premises or resources for private use.

        • #3187915

          THanks to kids being ALOWED in teh workplace

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to NO.

          Many single parents are able to work an extra shift on a Saturday.

          People would lose jobs if they couldn’t work the extra off hours time and drag the kids to work with them for a few hours.

          A little counter productive to keeping an equal society if you ask me.

          Maybe we should go for a complete reversion, women stay at home with children and the men go to work?

    • #3057180

      Seems to me some have lost the point along the way

      by andy ·

      In reply to Children in the workplace

      NO children should not be allowed on company computers UNLESS….

      Presumably your company benefits from having people that come into work on the weekends. After all your giving up some of your very important family time to come into the office and do some extra work. Getting caugt up on stuff you didnt have time for in the week or getting a jump on the week ahead. Either way the company is getting huge benefits at your expense. So why dont they just set aside an old PC, an ex-leaser or something thats not on the network or the internet and let the young’uns have at ‘er.

      Your company computers are as safe as if the kids werent even there and little Johnny gets to rot his brain in front of a pc a little longer… “well it keeps him quiet and lets me get on with what i have to do”… when he should out in the park with his dad tossing a ball around and having some real time together with his dad rather than just being an inconvenience when daddy’s trying to work.

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