Stretched between their personal and professional commitments, fulfillment across the board can feel like an “impossibility” – as outlined in our Rethinking Workplace research.
With this in mind, and taking into account the talent shortages faced by many industries, businesses are increasingly adopting solutions to help alleviate some of the pressure. Here are some examples of the trailblazing companies leading the way. You can discover more about these projects, and many more, in our Storeys Journal: Worklife Edition.
The Little Wing, New York
Women’s-only coworking space, The Wing, is dedicated to ‘the professional, civic, social, and economic advancement of women through community.’ To that end, it recently added childcare to the offer in its SoHo, New York offices.
The Little Wing ‘exists as a support system for moms and families by creating a magical space for their kids to gather under the same roof for enriching programming that takes them higher.’
Certified childminders known as Wing-sitters run the facility, where parents can drop in for play sessions. Imaginative child-friendly design features warm, tactile wood furniture and partitioning, with neutral pale pine and undyed wool offset by bold applications of colour in flooring and textiles.
Second Home, London
International coworking brand Second Home has incorporated childcare into its new east London location. Second Home members get priority access to an exclusive nursery run by the N Family Club, which features a rooftop garden and a café where adults can pause for coffee, blurring the divide between ‘parent time’ and work time.
A neutral palette of light plywood and off-white natural textiles and walls is punctuated with bold colour, again bringing the child-friendly into the heart of the workspace. Spaces for messy play and creativity foster imagination; less obvious design elements such as transitional spaces – coffee bars or play areas where adults can join the fun – keep caregivers actively involved with their child’s day.
Spaces for messy play and creativity foster imagination; less obvious design elements such as transitional spaces – coffee bars or play areas where adults can join the fun – keep caregivers actively involved with their child’s day.
Big & Tiny, California
The Big and Tiny co-working space in Santa Monica, California, puts space for children at its heart, rather than on the periphery. Catering to children from six months to six years old, its creative kids’ space is rich in sensory features and stimulating toys.
Children are encouraged to climb, dive, perform, build and read in a space whose design mirrors that of the coworking space for adults, with wood panelling and a calm palette of soft greys and pinks. The design aims to foster productivity, creativity and flexibility for users of all ages.
Describing itself as an all-family learning and coworking space, Big and Tiny was designed to prioritise children as much as adults – founder Keltse Bilbao, a designer herself, has used her expertise to create a ‘destination for the modern family’.
This is, of course, only a small snapshot of workplaces around the world working hard to ease the strain on parents. There are many others. In Germany, for example, JuggleHub, Cowork & Play and Cowoki are operating in Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne. And in Italy, FeelGood Coworking and Qf bridge the gap between personal and professional.
Download Storeys Journal: Worklife Edition to discover more and access our Family Friendly Design Toolkit, providing tips on how to adapt workplace design to suit the changing needs of the global workforce.
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