Coworking Spaces for Parents (Tips for Child-friendly Environments)
Opening a child-friendly coworking location may become the next milestone in the development of your business. Read on to know why.
Being a working mom myself, I have experienced all the happy moments as well as challenges of building a career while raising a kid. I am sure most of the parents will agree that family growth moves professional ambitions to the background.
Among married-couple families with children, 97.4 percent had at least one employed parent, and 63.0 percent had both parents employed. Among families maintained by fathers, 84.2 percent of fathers were employed in 2018, a greater share than 74.1 percent of employed mothers in families maintained by mothers.
However, working in a traditional office with rigid schedule can hardly be called the best solution for parents who don't want to miss a thing of their offspring growth. Taking a kid to the office is not allowed. Daycare facilities are rather expensive, what's more, some toddlers suffer from stress when they have to part with mom.
Family coworking spaces let caring parents balance their work and life, keep strong bonds with their youngsters, and build a career.
Family coworking spaces are taking the workspace culture to the next level. They preserve the best components of a conventional coworking hub supplementing it with a childcare aspect. Childcare may differ in different coworking spaces. Some may offer traditional daycare model, babysitting, and so on.
Anyway, child-friendly coworking spaces give freelancers and entrepreneurs a great opportunity to achieve their dream work-life balance.
- The community of like-minded members sharing similar interests and issues and the possibility to engage in work while kids are taken care of by professional babysitters and teachers.
- Safe environment for parents where they can work productively while their kids are happy playing and learning nearby.
It goes without saying that a child-friendly coworking space should have some specific facilities that differentiate it from a traditional coworking space. Here is a brief recap of them:
- fresh and tasty meals,
- varied healthy beverages,
- unique design appealing to both kids and parents,
- high-quality electronics able to quickly cope with all sorts of tasks,
- flying-fast Internet,
- comfortable meeting rooms,
- regular networking events,
- skillful nannies,
- well-equipped playgrounds,
- special software to watch the kids,
- access control system,
- professional business development courses,
- fitness and yoga classes,
- treadmill desks,
- ping-pong tables,
- climbing walls,
- dog parks,
- wellness rooms where members can relax and take a nap during the day.
If you are thinking to make your existing coworking space kid-friendly, or open a brand-new location offering babysitting, here are some essentials to consider.
Create a detailed business plan. Research the competition, local pricing policy for the same services, and of course the demand. You need to have solid documentation, specification, and marketing strategy to show your bank/investors and get financial support.
Coworking with children may have many forms. Choose the one you want to stick to. Are you going to let kids into the workroom? Maybe it's better to separate playgrounds and hire babysitters?
Some thriving coworkings for parents provide areas where parents and children can spend some time together during the day. Please note that each room in a child-friendly coworking space should have its rules.
Running a child-friendly coworking space involves lots of legal and insurance liabilities. There is no one-size-fits-all advice here as those requirements vary even within municipalities.
Depending on the kids' ages, you must hire staff with different qualifications and design your rooms taking into account very specific features. Some locations require additional licenses. One thing that is common for all coworking spaces with daycare is that it must comply with the highest hygiene standards.
The operators of family coworking spaces, like Paulina Lopez from Cango Cowork & Play (Santiago, Chile) name the safety of kids as the highest priority. You should restrict access to unauthorized people. andcards coworking software efficiently resolves this issue by means of integration with access control systems like Kisi.
Code-secure doors, safeguards, and cameras allow to spot a stranger as soon as they try to enter the space. You should also think about how to enable parents to watch their kids from their smartphones or computer monitors.
A key to the success of any coworking with daycare is parents' confidence that their kids are happy and secure. Only then moms and dads can relax, concentrate on their work and be productive.
In other words, you should meet all major parents' needs to get decent revenue. You must be ready for the dialogues with members and constant services adaptation.
While parents value coworking spaces for their flexibility, irregular hours are not suitable for their kids. Nursery at your facility should maintain certain routines for children — fixed hours for meals, gaming and educational activities (as a bare minimum).
Scheduled rituals help kids better orient in their daily lifecycle. Not all children feel comfortable in the coworking space at once, adaptation takes some time. Sometimes parents' proximity even prolongs this period. Though, as a rule, having parents under the same roof is a benefit that takes away most of the worries, especially when adults trust caregivers and don't panic if they hear their baby crying.
This point is obvious, actually, it flows out of the previous one — all your staff must be well-trained, reliable, and highly-skilled.
One more essential point is setting the proper pricing. You can offer pay-as-you-go pricing and monthly rates, give discounts to members using coworking and child facilities regularly, price kindergarten and coworking space separately and altogether to work out an irresistible package for each member.
Mompreneurs (mothers taking care of children and starting small businesses) are growing in numbers, so I advise you to study the needs of this part of the business community. If you decide to target this demographic, you will have to combine your coworking space with childcare facilities.
Beware of the pitfall when one side of your family coworking business overtakes the other. You should keep the balance between coworking and nursery to succeed. Try to establish an active exchange between coworking and daycare. Encourage parents to participate in children's events, carry out workshops on education topics, celebrate kids' birthdays and holidays together.
You already know a lot of details on running a family coworking business. It's time to get some inspiration from others' success stories. In this section, I am going to feature some of the coworkings with daycare located all over the globe.
This child-friendly coworking space has two studios — Santa Monica and Silver Lake (Los Angeles.)
Big and Tiny is a unique space for families that caters community’s entire way of living: social, educational, professional and wellness. It's a place to create, learn, meet, play, work, unwind and interact. The spaces are mindfully designed so you can work in the front with easy access to the play area or head to the quiet area at the back when you need more focus.
Space is located in Santiago, Chile. It was started by a working mom who knows everything about the challenges of raising kids and building a career. She believes that caring for children cannot be an impediment to fulfill dreams, achieve goals or feel fulfilled professionally. That is why she created Cango Cowork, a flexible space that allows mompreneurs to work and be present in the most important stage of their children's development.
This parent-friendly workspace is located in Toronto, Canada. Workaround aims to provide a friction-free experience that takes the struggle out of parents' working days. They provide same-day, hourly high-quality childcare along with part-time and full-day options while parents work onsite. Their early education program is built and managed by Registered Early Childhood Educators whose goal is to expand early childhood education to more families without the high cost.
Space is located in South Orange, New Jersey, United States. At Work and Play, managers are trying to make things a little bit easier to help parents live a happy imperfect life, where the key is not trying to balance it all, but rather, to find the right INbalance that works for them.
The workspace welcomes freelancers with kids in Berlin, Germany. Coworking Toddler thinks about childcare in a whole new way, and at last, makes the dream of combining family and career a reality. With this child-friendly coworking space, parents can focus on their work in a professional environment, while they take the very best care of their little ones right next door in a childcare space, where they create a truly unique educational experience.
This coworking with daycare is located in London, UK. The Third Door coworking space is a fully equipped, modern and bright workspace for parents and non-parents alike. They bring together a collaborative community of working parents and passionate childcare professionals, who believe that work and family can grow together.
Two Birds is a coworking space in Washington, DC. It was founded by two working parents. Their mission is to serve a community of parents who need quality childcare that aligns with their professional schedules. In addition to regular coworking space amenities, Two Birds provide nursing lounge to bond with your baby and chat with other moms, pump room for privacy when desired, infant, toddler and pre-k childcare, as well as parent workshops and baby enrichment classes.
Second Home is a coworking network with six branches (Lisbon, London, and Los Angeles.) Lisbon and London Fields locations are family-friendly and offer an onsite nursery for members with kids. The workspaces are full of plants and natural light, which creates a special atmosphere of coworking with the soul.
This child-first coworking space is located in London, UK. It was designed by working mums who understand the concerns new parents have when leaving their child to return to work. Working with professionals from the world’s leading educational institute, UCL Institute of Education and in consultation with the National Day Nurseries Association, Cuckooz Nest has been built specifically to cater to the needs of children under three. From the materials used, the choice of toys and reading materials, to the snug sleeping room and nappy changing facilities - they have left no stone unturned.
Brella daycare and coworking center is located in Los Angeles, California. Parents don’t have to stay at Brella, but if they do, they can enjoy their supportive amenities and offerings, including workspace and curated wellness, education, and family classes. If you feel like taking a breather, catch up with a friend, or even change the world, make a booking via the Brella app, drop off your kid (3 months old to 6 years old) and go ahead.
HackerMoms is the first-ever women’s creative life lab for mothers located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California. HackerMoms is founded on the idea that mothers need a creative outlet and a safe environment of encouragement, stimulation, support, and permission to explore new ideas. HackerMoms is like the mythical village that raises the child and the mother together. This is a moms' rescue for lost creative lives and selves put on hold, a place where moms come to have fun.
Giocare is a coworking space for parents located in New York. It is a workspace for parents and caregivers who need to get some work done while their children play and socialize in a playroom. Their teachers regularly plan daily activities for children in the playroom and lead some organized play and some music and movement.
Third Space is a child-friendly coworking center located in Omaha, Nebraska. The facility is aimed at smoothening down the transition period from maternity (paternity) leave to getting back to full-time work. Third Space provides modern office environments for employees to work remotely while their infants are taken care of under the same roof in a licensed childcare space. Mothers can feed and interact with babies throughout the day.
Nido is a coworking center with childcare in Durham, NC, United States. This is a workspace where parents are accepted for who they are while their children receive quality care. Their preschool program is intentionally small serving ages from 6 months to 6 years. Nido maintains optimal teacher:child ratios to ensure a truly personalized program for every child.
The Inc. is a coworking community and playschool located in Seattle, Washington. The workspace's mission is to achieve gender equity in entrepreneurship, in the workplace and at home. They provide community-driven, neighborhood-centric workspaces that meet the needs for more affordable, flexible childcare options and welcoming, child-friendly spaces where parents can work and children can play.
Coggeshall Club includes workspace, childcare, and fitness. The coworking center is located in Middletown, Connecticut. Coggeshall Club has been designed to be more cost-effective than separate childcare, fitness, and coworking memberships. They put them under one roof, to combine life’s missions in one beautiful location.
I guess it's time to roll up my narration and listen to you. Is your coworking space child-friendly or are you just thinking to transform it into the one? What concerns stop you from going ahead?
Please ask more questions or share your own family coworking tips in the comments.
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