By Princess Jones

You may think your business is no place for kids, but at least one day a year, it can be. Bring Your Kids to Work Day is an annual initiative that allows your workers to bring their children to work for a day. The children shadow the parents through a workday, learning about what it takes to work in their field. They’re great ways to integrate a company into a community. While it’s not right for every company, the ones that find a way to participate can reap the benefits of opening their office for a day.

Choose the Date Carefully

Although there are national pushes to have Bring Your Kids to Work Day on a certain date, you can have it any day you’d like. You want to choose a date where the kids can interact with your workers in a safe and non-distracting way.

You know your business best. If your business is in marketing, it’s not the day you’ve scheduled a big meeting with your most important client. If you run a welding plant, that day might never come at all due to the safety issues. As for which day of the week, Fridays tend to be best because it tends to be a light workday as well as an easy day for kids to be out of school.

Plan Accordingly

Bringing your kids to work can be a lot of fun, but you have to make sure that you’re planning the day around the fact that you’ll be surrounded with little ones. Take into account their short attention span. The best activities will teach the kid something about what you do but also be interesting to them. If you run a bakery, you can have the kids do some kid friendly projects, like forming bread loaves or decorating cupcakes. Maybe you have a retail business where you can show them how to use the register and how to stock the shelves. If you have an office, get them to help you do some filing, copying, or scanning. Just keep the activities short and age appropriate.

Bring Your Kids to Work Day doesn’t need to be an eight-hour affair. Some companies make it an official half day. They have the kids in the office in the morning, do a work lunch, and then send everyone home for the day. But it’s about finding what works for you and your business.

Get the Word Out

Bring Your Kids to Work Day is the most fun when you have a lot of participants. You want to avoid that moment when one of your employees says “Oh, was that today? I totally forgot about it.”

Send out email reminders, put up flyers, and even post it on the company calendar. Make sure everyone know that you’re having a kid-friendly day in the office and that they are welcome to bring age appropriate children to participate. And it’s a good idea to send one last email the day before to remind everyone about the rules and expectations.

Make It Part of Your Culture

Company culture can be such an important part of marketing your business. Your customers want to interact with happy employees and spend money with a company that has a personality. Don’t forget to share your kid-friendly workday with them. Be sure to including pictures and a recap on your company blog or in your employee newsletter. You can also post pics and video to your company’s social media accounts.

And for it to be a permanent part of your company culture, try to repeat Bring Your Kids to Work Day every year. Go ahead and start planning your next one right away.