A fun day with colourful balloons and streamers everywhere. Excited children being welcomed by a stumbling, bumbling clown. Jugglers and tattoo artists adding to the merrymaking. You could be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into a circus. It’s not every day that Coca-Cola’s Gurugram office wears this festive look, but May 24th was different, because this was the day when children got more than a glimpse of their parents’ workplace. With summer vacations already going on for most of the children, it was an ideal time to plan a day out with their parents and their work friends in a grown-ups’ place they’re always curious about—the office. There was a lot more fun and frolic than one would expect of a typical workday, but who’s complaining.

After kicking off their day with a sumptuous breakfast, the kids tried their hand at something they can’t get enough of—art and craft. This creative engagement tickled their fancy and unleashed their creative genius. With hands smeared in paint, the tiny munchkins made a beeline for print sheets, sometimes requesting uncles, aunties, and the cooler “pals” to fetch them a few from the printer. Who won’t give in to such cuteness?

The play zone, with its array of child-friendly equipment, from a bouncy castle to a ball pit, was perhaps the biggest attraction of the day for the younger children.

The magic show which came next had everyone wonderstruck by the astounding tricks performed by the masterly magician. The science lab, set up in the training room, piqued the curiosity of kids and stimulated their mental faculties. 

A much-needed change in routine

 The children had a blast. So did their parents—crunching candies in place of numbers and enjoying the chance to hold meetings with their little ones in a bouncy castle, instead of conference rooms. The customary “How old is she/he?” questions gave way to deeper conversations on thoughtful parenting and meaningful topics like instilling responsibility and moral values among kids allowing co-workers to bond beyond work.

As these mini-me’s high-fived their “pals” and regaled uncles and aunties with their great wit and charm, the pleased parents felt a sense of pride and contentment. It was a joy to behold.

Shweta Chakravorty who has been actively involved in organizing such fun events at Coca-Cola India mentioned, “Kids to Work is amongst a series of celebrations that help us break monotony of daily routine at work. From time to time, we have fun at work celebrations such as festivals, founder’s day, chaat days and many such activities to perk up the mood. It’s encouraging to watch employees so enthusiastically participate in such endeavours.”

As the day progressed, painted sheets and personalized cards began to slowly adorn the otherwise professional cubicles, with proud parents happily replacing the existing notices and displays to showcase the artwork by their junior Picassos.

Kids made their parents proud

“It was a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with my daughter, and I’ll treasure the piece of art she gifted me made with so much affection and effort, even if it was a bit of a challenge convincing her that this is not how I actually spend my day in the office, said a beaming Anaam Sharma, a Coca-Cola India employee. 

The cuteness overload somehow lured even hardened workaholics to join in the general merriment. Children loved the chance to sit at grown-up computers and play ‘pretend boss’ while issuing mock orders.

Creating an inclusive culture

Behind the fun and games is a bona fide intent to make the workplace as engaging as possible for the employees as well as their family members and make them feel part of the Coca-Cola family. 

All good things must, sadly, come to an end. After enjoying another round of delicious treats in the cafeteria, the children waved good-bye to the circus-troupe and their new friends, clutching their return gifts and other artsy-craftsy mementos of the event while eagerly waiting for the next year’s party.