Written by Spencer Cowley, Writer and Editor at Byvi
Where does work happen? Notice that the question wasn’t, “Where should work happen?”
Where does work actually get done? For the purpose of this hypothetical, let’s exclude the trades and the essential services that, obviously, carry some locational requirements. Most white collar workers would agree that almost any job primarily accomplished from behind a computer screen can be and has been accomplished anywhere. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided direct evidence of this.
So, why did we all flock to office spaces before the pandemic brought our plans, our routines, our entire lives screeching to a halt? Because our bosses said so? Because we loved the hours sitting in a cubicle, or the water cooler gossip, or the glass-enclosed conference rooms that made our meeting spaces feel like zoo exhibits? We haven’t exactly escaped the “windows” on Zoom for the latter, but at least we can close the blinds by turning off cameras and microphones when our toddler stumbles into the room like a screaming drunk at 11:15 am on a Tuesday.
After a year and a half (and counting) of public health concerns putting public work in question and forcing families to cohabitate 24/7, there are plenty of workers out there who are wanting flexibility in where they make work happen. And for many of those hustling, back-bending, bringing-home-the-vegan-bacon parents, that flexibility now involves getting some personal space some of the time.
Surely, though, we can do better than we did before the lockdowns. As we’ve already seen from the companies who have tried to launch back into an office setting too quickly or too harshly, employees will quit their jobs before they can be shoved back into their cubicles. But they also can’t thrive on daily Starbucks laptop sessions much longer, and many do still want some amount of actual, real face time with their colleagues.
We need a happy medium for happy mommies and daddies to enjoy their work and manage their families in a post-lockdown world.
Michelle Chan, hard working mom to two young children, is envisioning a new kind of co-working space — one built for parents like her, who need to take care of their kids and their work without compromising on the quality of either areas of care.
That’s why she is founding Workplayce, a startup with the goal of providing a thoughtfully designed incubation space for working parents that promotes a healthy work-life balance through quality on-site childcare and a community-focused workspace. An urban co-working environment meets affordable, play-centered childcare at Workplayce, where Chan believes families will find uninterrupted work time without sacrificing proximity and involvement in their children’s daily lives. Employers will be pleased, too, thanks to Workplayce’s offering for corporate sponsorships to provide childcare benefits and retain high-performing professionals.
Working together again
Workplayce could be the post-pandemic solution for cities filled with working parents. Chan and her team recognize that cities have historically reinvented themselves after major crises, and the Workplayce team sees their spaces as innovation hubs that can boost productivity and revive urban streets. Entire teams can come back to work alongside their communities, while still maintaining the sort of personal flexibility that individual employees have earned during the pandemic — like having the chance to check on their kids amid an 8-hour workday, or eat lunch with them at Workplayce’s cafe.
Workplayce encourages colleagues to come together again when they want to, get some space when they need to and nurture their relationships with those who matter always.
Differentiating itself from everywhere else
There are countless daycare facilities and co-working spaces out there, but none of them wear both hats and offer the same amount of benefits that Workplayce offers to parents, children, employers and retailers alike. Workplayce is a one-stop, services-based family community that is 25% more affordable than its co-working and childcare competitors. It offers:
- Quality, play-based early childhood education and care, with an emphasis on parent and caregiver partnership
- Easy annual membership and subscription fees
- Option to access a permanent desk space
- Employer partnerships to provide full-time, emergency and backup childcare as benefit for their employees
- App-based concierge
- On-site cafe
- Educational workshops and classes for parents and kids
- Evolving retail shopping experiences
- Sustainable materials and environmentally conscious work and play space design
Workplayce is where work should happen
Every company and team is different, but for those working parents with young children that have been seeking balance among all of the chaos, Workplayce is well worth a shot. There are tens of millions of working parents with children under the age of 6 in the U.S. alone, and millions more are becoming new parents every year. Many of those millions are ready to return to some kind of shared space, whether for their own productivity or sanity. But they don’t want to leave their kids behind, especially after more than a year of time spent so close together.
Workplayce is the office space of which millennials dream and the childcare program that parents desperately want to afford. For city-based families, Workplayce promises to help realize a dynamic that the pandemic has been pushing every new remote-adjusted worker towards — we can do it all together and still feel good at the end of the day.