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FT. WORTH-Every day is a family affair at Crescent Real Estate Equities, which has added a “Moms First” at its corporate headquarters in Ft. Worth.

The addition is a private retreat created for employees.”My department had received several requests for accommodations for moms who are expecting or new moms, nursing at home, with a need for privacy,” explains Tammy Kendall, manager of administrative services. “Of the current employees in the corporate office, approximately 10% are expecting or have had a baby in the past year.” Kendall and Tom Shaw, vice president of human resources and administration, are the brains behind the latest employee perk.

The facility is housed in a renovated 10-foot by 15-foot office, out of the headquarters’ main traffic flow. It is accessible to restrooms and kitchen facilities. The room is outfitted with at-home furnishings and cozy lighting. The lounge also is insulated from office noise.

“We have received many positive comments from employees – even some of the men whose wives have recently had children understand the need for this amenity and have commended Crescent,” says Kendall.

The Moms First lounge is targeted for new and expecting moms at Crescent, but is available to any Crescent employee who needs a few minutes of quiet time. For added privacy, the door locks from the inside and a sign notifies would-be visitors if the lounge is available or occupied. “We want our team to enjoy a comfortable, friendly work environment,” says Tom Shaw.

The amenity has resulted from Crescent’s endeavor to raise its employee rating as a preferred workplace. In 1999, an employee survey had given the company a 59% rating. In 2000, the company’s efforts to improve its standing with employees had jumped to 84%. “We are making real progress in becoming an employer of choice and setting a standard for other companies to follow,” says Shaw.

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