Work and childcare becomes office and play
Juggling work and childcare could become a thing of the past for South West London residents with the launch of Third Door in May 2010. The first facility of its kind in the UK, Third Door will provide flexible office space with on-site childcare operated on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The Wandsworth-based company lets parents book a workspace â€“ a hot desk or meeting room – and a place in the on-site OFSTED registered crÃ¨che for their child, at times that suit their specific work requirements.Â This flexibility will be ideal for independent professionals, entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote, home-based workers or employees who are able to work from home at least one day a week.
â€œRemote working is on the rise. We are creating a space where parents can work without the overheads of having their own office, while having their child looked after in the same building. This cuts down on the stress of trying to commute from work to collect children on time and it means they can spend more time with their child during the day,â€ explains Shazia Mustafa, the mother of two behind the brainchild.
â€œMost importantly though, it gives parents the flexibility they need. Most childcare establishments require a child to be booked in on fixed days every week, usually for a set number of hours. Parents often find themselves on waiting lists just to get their child a spot and often donâ€™t get the days or times they need.Â For people with varying levels of work, this inflexibility costs them a fortune, particularly as they still have to pay for the care, even if their child is sick and canâ€™t go. Weâ€™ve taken away all of these problems by allowing parents to book space on a pay-as-you go basis,â€ she says.
Shazia also thinks it will be a great way for home workers to meet like-minded parents, share ideas, network and have more social interaction than theyâ€™d have if they worked on their own in a home office. And for mothers who arenâ€™t sure what to do once their maternity leave ends, Third-Door gives them the child-free time they need to put ideas into action.
To celebrate the opening, Third Door is running a competition in which a prize worth Â£4,000 can be won including free Third Door membership, 30 hours of free workspace/childcare, a Business in a Box package (including logo, business cards, letterheads and website), 3 hours of consultancy with business experts, a smart phone and laptop â€“ everything needed to start up a business.Â To enter or to find out more about Third Door, go to www.third-door.com