Kids in the Office


Dear Jean,

The guy in the office down the hall invites his wife and kids to the office several times a week.  Now my assistant has started to allow her kid to pop in after school once in awhile.  I don’t think spouses and children belong in a working office.  How should I handle this problem, or is it a problem?  Am I simply behind the times?

Reply:

Probably not.  I wonder how we would feel if our dentist allowed his/her children to hang out in the office during a sensitive procedure, or any procedure?  I know this example is a bit dramatic, but it makes the point, doesn’t it?

Because you have no control over the guy down the hall, your best bet is to ignore his wife and children.  Where your assistant is concerned, ask her to stop allowing her child to hang around in the office.  Do it in a straightforward manner.

Please avoid the urge to be self-righteous.  Explain that this behavior is not in her best interest.  It is up to you to set the tone for your own office.  Explain that in most offices, you can go up the ladder a lot faster with the more traditional approach when it comes to visitors.

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