One of the best, most underestimated resources a workplace can invest in is a nursing room, sometimes referred to as a mother’s room. Many employers overlook mother’s rooms because they can sound expensive and may seem like less of a necessity when compared to other potential office projects. However, incorporating a nursing room into your office layout can be rewarding for both you and your employees.
Why should my office have a nursing room?
Over the past few years, workplaces have started providing more and more benefits for pregnant employees and new mothers. According to The Washington Post, new statutes in a number of states are helping to protect women from having to choose between having a family and having a career.
Having a nursing room can help ease the transition period for new mothers who are returning to work after their maternity leave. In addition, having a mother’s room helps keep employees happy, which means they are more likely to stay at your company. It also helps boost retention and productivity, maintaining the quality workforce your office has assembled. Finally, creating a nursing room at work shows that your company is committed to supporting working families—a great message to send to both employees and competitors.
What are some examples of good nursing rooms at work?
Before examining what makes a good nursing room, it’s important to understand what a nursing room is not. A mother’s room at work is not a bathroom. Bathrooms are not sanitary and don’t have the same level of privacy that a nursing room should have.
Instead, it should be a separate room that is reserved only for pregnant employees and new mothers. The room shouldn’t be multipurpose, so be sure to find a space that isn’t currently being used for some other important function. It should be cozy and inviting, with some extra resources to help out working moms.
Looking for examples of some top-tier mother’s rooms? We’ve assembled a list of a few of the best below:
- Nordstrom’s mother’s rooms are praised for their comfortable furniture, top-notch amenities, and welcoming atmosphere.
- Google’s nursing rooms are booked in advance through an online system that is both helpful and convenient for working moms. The rooms are stocked with basic necessities and were designed with input from current nursing employees.
- Facebook’s rooms include curtains between chairs for added privacy and are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- General Mills’ rooms boast Wi-Fi services so mothers can work while they pump.
- IBM’s rooms are modern and luxurious. Each room features 6 outlets, a full kitchenette, cubbies that lock, hardwood floors, and armchairs that have built-in power outlets.
- At Yahoo’s headquarters, each floor has its own mother’s room. The rooms only hold one person at a time but are locked via a deadbolt lock and a security code.
- Ernst & Young provides hospital-grade breast pumps in its nursing rooms and also offers new mothers free access to lactation consultants, should they want or need one.
- Discovery Channel mother’s rooms have televisions, phones, and parenting books to help make new mothers feel more at home.
How can I create a mother’s room in my workplace?
Ready to start designing a nursing room in your office? Mother’s room requirements vary by state, so be sure to research yours first. Once you know what your room needs to include, you’re ready to start shopping for lactation chairs!
Gather some inspiration from these nursing room ideas below:
- Include a refrigerator so mothers can store their breast milk in the lounge
- Offer a lounge with multiple private spaces so multiple mothers can utilize the space at the same time (make sure there are enough power outlets!)
- Create a space where moms can store their pumps
- Or consider purchasing a hospital-grade pump to keep in the room
- Add a sink and a microwave so mothers can keep their equipment clean
- If you don’t have the space to create your own nursing room, purchase a lactation pod instead
- Add some little luxuries, like a vertical mirror, a white noise machine, or a phone charging station (or all three)
- Make the space feel warm by hanging pictures and prints on the walls or by purchasing a table or floor lamp
- Many nursing rooms have a corkboard so mothers can hang up photos of their families
- Add a tea or coffee machine for mothers to use
- Include reading material, such as parenting books or magazines
Even if your office has a small budget, creating a functional nursing room is an easy way to upgrade your workspace and keep your employees happy. Just adding one or two of these amenities will vastly improve the overall quality of the space. Work with the rest of your office to decide what will best suit your employees and you can’t go wrong.