Coworking spaces have been finding success in large centres around the world, thanks to the recent rise in telecommuting (an old fashioned term that’s been reclaimed to describe a new fashioned, work-from-anywhere-with-wifi work style). Now, small business owners, entrepreneurs and those who work remotely can opt for a slightly more social and perhaps even more productive work environment than their homes, one they pay to share with like-minded individuals.
Some coworking businesses are taking it one step further and a designing spaces purposefully for parents and their children. It’s bring your kid to work day, every day!
In Toronto, Working Ensemble has brought the concept to life with a downtown location that offers parents a communal place to work with strong, steady wifi, free coffee and tea and access to a kitchen to make lunch. In another room in the same building, kids are kept busy by certified staff that lead them in crafts, free play, reading and other activities. Then, when mom or dad wants a quick break, they can pop into the play area and spend recess with the little one.
The images paint a picture of a fun (for the kids) and productive (for the adults) environment. Parents can buy memberships or individual time slots, depending on their needs/schedules.
(The building is also home to two cats, which sounds super fun, unless you’re allergic, of course.)
It’s clearly a novel approach to the age old challenge of work-life balance that seems to be ever front and centre, especially for those who run their own businesses and often blur the nine-to-five boundaries set on many contemporary work positions.
Over on the West Coast meanwhile, a company called Nestworks is preparing to launch its first location in Vancouver sometime in the next two years. The business model will no doubt provide some assistance for those who can’t make daycare or other forms of child care work, but it also seeks to learn something. “How might the proximity of children and families to business inform a broader culture of playfulness, creativity, optimism and fun?” their website asks.
Some parents surely relish the child-free time they get at work, but for others looking to find a work-life balance that involves more time with the kids, a family-friend coworking space just might be the answer.