Rachel Zoe is generally better known for her choice of shoes than her choice of workplace policies. But her addition of an office nursery is a big move that has us rethinking child care for working parents.
Opinions abound about how to make the world a better place for working mothers. Is it leaning in? Working remotely? Being supported by male peers?
For Rachel Zoe, it’s allowing employees to have their children nearby. When this celebrity designer and stylist found out that five of her 40-plus employees were pregnant last year, she decided to build a nursery next to her studio in West Hollywood.
A mother herself, Zoe “wanted to create an environment where these new mothers wouldn’t have to make a choice between career and motherhood,” she writes on her blog. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to grow my company… while having my kids (and my husband) by my side, and so I knew I had to do everything in my power to give my staff that same luxury.”
And she says building the office nursery was “one of the best business decisions” she’s ever made. (A bold statement for someone who’s no stranger to success!)
Though Zoe admits the nursery did require a significant investment, she calls the return “invaluable.” So invaluable, in fact, she encourages every company to think about providing child care.
How a nursery could help your company
If you’re a recruiter or business owner, you’re always thinking of ways to make your company more appealing to potential employees. Providing on-site childcare is a huge draw for working parents — not to mention it’s bound to make your employees happier (and thus more productive).
Zoe’s experience backs this up: “Seeing how motivated and committed the mothers on my team were after returning from maternity leave and being able to set up their babies in the nursery has only solidified my belief that every company should consider this option,” she writes.
If building a nursery is out of the question for your company, there are still other ways you can make life easier for your employees with kids — in the form of better benefits or flexible schedules, for example.
No matter where you work or what your position is, it’s worth considering how you can make the environment better for parents. If this story is any indication, we’re pretty sure you won’t regret it!
Do you think more companies should offer on-site childcare?
Susan Shain (@Susan_Shain) is a freelance writer and travel blogger who loves helping people discover adventure.