CHENNAI: Ever imagined dropping your 12-year-old off to learn magic tricks a few feet away from your office cabin? Summer camps for kids in corporate spaces are now an added employee benefit in forward-thinking firms in the city. Hoping to push up productivity by creating more convenient options for employees to engage their children — without actually spending time away from their desks — companies like Scope International, LG and Honda Motors offer everything from Thirukkural and hip hop to Zumba moves for your little one.
The workshops are coordinated by a committee of employees. “This group decides the number of days that a workshop will be held, find professionals to outsource classes to and also volunteer to manage the kids on rotation if they come in large numbers,” relates Priya (name changed), an HR professional with a reputed engineering firm.
Apart from providing a convenient option for employees to offer their kids recreation during the holidays, she adds, “It helps staff bond with other co-workers who have children, thanks to a performance we have on the last day.”
On getting this done at your own workplace, without the nitty-gritty of putting together an event yourself — just outsource it. Ezone India, a company that originally began with team building events has now expanded to summer camps as well. Says Hafiz Khan of Ezone, “This is a concept that had few takers five years ago. But it’s really taken off since then. Since schools were closed, we’ve already had several workshops for kids at various companies and more are on the way, so we have our hands full.”
For a culture of dropping the kids off at paati’s house or leaving work early to make dinner for the little ones, most parents see this as a refreshing change even if it’s only for a couple of days. “Beyond how convenient it is for a working parent, it’s a nice feeling to have my kids leave with me in the morning and come home with me,” smiles Judy Vinodhini, adding, “Now my daughter knows where her mommy goes to work!”
The Perks of Workshops
■ It is structured to start and finish at the same time employees need to swipe in and out
■ The camps have a dedicated in-house committee to organise everything from the venue to skilled teachers and food
■ Besides saving on fuel and time, these office-organised workshops for kids are often subsidised as an added employee benefit