When Children Drop by the Office
With kids off of school for summer break, there may be times when it is necessary to bring them to the office for a bit. Any extended visit should be approved by your supervisor, but most places are OK with their occasional presence when you need to run in for a moment on a day off to grab some papers or your spouse drops them off shortly before quitting time so you can take them to soccer practice. (Besides, you’ve been dying to show colleagues how cute your daughter looks with her hair grown out.)
To make the meet-and-greet successful, prep your child ahead of time by reminding her to use an indoor voice and explaining that she cannot be running around because people are trying to work. Bring along a snack or something quiet for her to do while you’re tending to your work. (Skip noisy electronic games in favor of crayons and paper or a book of crossword puzzles.)
Some co-workers will be delighted to interact with your child, while others may be busy or not particularly fond of being around kids. A polite introduction suffices in the latter case. Likewise, strangers can make some kids uncomfortable. Read cues from both your child and from others and you'll likely know when to cut a visit short.
If you can choose your time to come in, consider first thing in the morning or right after lunch. This allows colleagues to socialize with you and your offspring before settling into work rather than be interrupted. Also, consider your child's schedule. A kid who is famished or excited about getting somewhere is not going to be amenable to stopping to talk to others or letting you get something done.