When we had children, our ideas on work and family shifted. As parents who ran their own business, we were looking for flexibility and solutions to new challenges. But getting our work started, or restarted, took time, know-how and support. Sound too hard? We don’t think so.

Hello coworking! Coworking gives parents the freedom to work for themselves, in an inspiring space, with a community of like-minded folks. It gives them the head space and physical space to give their clients and work their very best.

What is coworking?

Coworking spaces are popular in Melbourne and around the world. They are usually open-plan work spaces and many also have other options. These might include private areas for meetings, events, and social and networking opportunities. They offer business support, reception and mail services, full kitchen, coffee, snacks, and other facilities. They are a great alternative to working from home or the local coffee shop where noise, distraction and lack of privacy are issues.

Coworking arrangements appeal to both people working for themselves and to businesses. A 2018 report on coworking in Australia found that the main reasons people cowork are:

1. It’s quick and easy to find a great work space

2. Flexibility is front and centre in the cowork model 

3. Coworking is more affordable than other rental options

4. Coworking culture is all about connection, collaboration, wellbeing, and innovation

Why do parents love coworking?

Coworking offers parents the flexibility to arrange work around family commitments and other life stuff. For parents, a well-designed cowork space promotes wellbeing, healthier workflow and a sense of calm, freedom and convenience. Family friendly membership models now allow members to drop in for a couple of hours or the whole day. They can see their clients, catch up on their admin, or find the brain space they need to get things in order. 

Traditional coworks have catered for industries like IT, marketing and design. Now, coworks are beginning to offer industry specific workspaces. This includes spaces for female dominated industries, such as psychology and other health professions. This allows for more meaningful connection and sharing of ideas.

Wondering about childcare? No problem.

Coworking spaces are beginning to offer flexible childcare options. These can range from regular onsite childcare, child friendly work days/events, to partnerships with quality in-home nanny services.

Still not convinced? All coworks offer tours and trials, why not go and see how it could work for you.

The professional-parent life. It’s crazy, it’s tough and wonderful all at the same time. We know you will survive the family and work juggle, but coworking can help you thrive at both. And love it.

By Daniela and Brooke from Union Co. a cowork space in Essendon for psychologists and allied health professionals.
@unionco_cowork  www.unionco.com.au.