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5 things to do before mum and dad visit your office

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Tomorrow marks LinkedIn’s Bring In Your Parents Day, with 14 of the company’s offices around the world, including Singapore, participating in the inaugural event.

While we’re all probably more familiar with companies encouraging employees to bring their children to work, this twist may be a good idea considering one third of parents globally do not fully understand what their kids do for a living.

Another aim of the initiative is also for parents, who “have a vast amount of experience and insight to share”, to add value and be more supportive of their child’s career, LinkedIn’s event website said.

However, this programme is not just limited to LinkedIn staff, as the company is encouraging employees from other organisations to take part.

In order to make the day as enjoyable (and minimally awkward) as possible, we’ve put together a list of five things you should do today to prepare for mum and dad’s visit to your office.

1. Plan your day

LinkedIn suggests parents’ office visits tomorrow should last only between one and two hours so that it is not too disruptive to your day. Therefore, make sure you are not scheduled to be in a meeting or expecting an external call during the time your folks are visiting.

You could also make arrangements with other colleagues or teams to allow parents to visit facilities and areas of interest, or meet those in other departments you work closely with, which brings us to the next point:

2. Prepare your colleagues

No one likes a surprise, especially if that surprise involves a team member’s mum or dad hanging out by their desk for a couple of hours. If you entire team or office is not participating in the event, make sure they are at least aware you are.

You should also warn colleagues you’re planning to introduce your parents to, so they won’t be caught off guard.

3. Tidy up

Just because you’re a working adult doesn’t mean your mother isn’t going to nag at you about having a messy desk or office. Toss out the empty coffee cups, tidy up your papers and it won’t hurt to have a family photo or two on your desk – even if just for the day.

4. Share as much as possible

Spending one or two hours with your parents may not be a long time, so try and fit in as much as possible without overwhelming them. Remember, chances are your parents aren’t interested in the nitty-gritty details about your work.

Rather, they are probably keener to find out about the working culture, the people you interact with most, and what it is about your job that keeps you coming back every morning.

5. Introduce the boss

This could very well be the highlight of your parents’ visit, so try and schedule time for them to make a quick visit to the corner office to say hello. However, make sure your boss is available and willing to take the meeting, and keep the introductions short and sweet.

(You might also want to remind your parents this isn’t the time to bombard the boss with questions or inquiries about the office/job/your pay/food that’s being served in the cafeteria.)

If you’re still on the fence about inviting your parents to work tomorrow, LinkedIn rounded up a few notable names in business to find out how their parents have help shaped their successes today:

Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief at The Huffington Post Media Group, said her mother was influential in how she learned to manage her finances, while Martha Stewart said her father told her “that with my personal characteristics, I could, if I set my mind to it, do anything I chose”.

To find out what other advice successful business figures have gained from their parents, click here:

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Sabrina Zolkifi
Deputy editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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