Cindy Alvarez

The Minimum Viable Mother's Room

If you employ humans* of childbearing age, your office should have a mother's room.

This sounds fancy and possibly expensive. It isn't.

Here's all you need:

Bonus points for also including a sink (for washing out pump parts), a dish-drying rack, and a changing table. But honestly, those are nice-to-haves. A dedicated space with guaranteed privacy is all you really need to get by.

A room that other employees can nap in/book for meetings/pass out hung over in, is not okay. A cubicle is not okay. A bathroom stall is not okay.

Don't have a spare room? How about one of the smaller conference rooms? Glass walls can be covered with those giant wall sticky papers, in a pinch. How about a decent-sized storage closet? Definitely not optimal, but throw in a halogen lamp and a small fan and it's survive-able.

* In the past two years, a huge number of the guys I work with have gotten married and/or become fathers. This means that moms come into our office with babies, who sometimes need to eat. So even if you don't have any women working for you (really? let's stop and think about that one a bit), or even if everyone is single and not even close to having kids (that changes quickly), you should do this now. Hint: if you wait until someone gets pregnant, your employees may be assuming you're not going to be a parent-friendly workplace and brushing up their resumes as they/partner start thinking about parenting...