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Since the school and office closures were implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic , many working moms have been forced to make home offices. This brings the challenge of being professionals while taking care of our little ones or supervising their online classes .
Because of this, going to a ‘kid-friendly’ coworking space became the best solution (and a great relief) for us. If you have not yet adapted your establishment to receive mothers and their children, here we tell you what changes can benefit your business.
Although the numbers of infections are going down in Mexico, the massive return to offices and schools is not yet in sight. Even when the entire country reaches the green epidemiological traffic light, there will be thousands of mothers and fathers with young children who will prefer to continue with the home office and maintain distance education .
So you still have time to make the necessary modifications to give this industry a safe place to work productively while your little ones are playing or studying.
In addition to having high-quality electronic equipment and a fast, rugged internet connection , there are other things to consider. Take note and get to work:
1. A space for everyone
The first step is to distribute the space in a way that is comfortable for working adults and small visitors. You should have meeting rooms that are comfortable and isolated from the external bustle, free from distractions for adults.
You also need specific spaces for children of all ages : toddlers (1 to 3 years old), preschoolers (3 to 5 years old) and school-age children over 6 years old.
Some of the elements that it is suggested to have are:
Toddlers area. A small table with chairs at their height, a ball pool and mats where they can sit down to play or take a nap.
Preschool and school area. They also need tables and chairs, as well as shelves to put their personal things (backpack, lunch box, jacket). Although visitors are responsible for bringing the material that their little ones will occupy, it is recommended to have basic stationery: colored paper, pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, markers, scissors, glue, paints and brushes. This to provide a more complete service and have teaching tools to entertain children.
Teens are not a problem, as they may well share the adult space and use their own devices to entertain themselves when they are not in class. Not to mention, they may well prefer to stay home. Although if you want to give the extra and you have enough space, you can adapt a room with video games, ping pong tables or foosball.
As for babies under one year old, it is unlikely that mothers will decide to carry them. Unless you can offer the conditions of a nursery with all that that implies, you can specify in the rules that only children who can walk are allowed, as some hotels or sports do for their children’s club.
Image via BigAndTiny.com
2. Hire trained staff
Each children’s area must have at least one person to take care of the little ones . The recommended ratio is one babysitter or educator for every 5 children . The person chosen must be someone reliable, responsible and well trained to deal with children of all ages.
An excellent plus is offering early stimulation classes or activities that do not involve extra infrastructure such as yoga, singing, dancing, board games or experiments.
3. Offer healthy, fresh and rich food
Although adults can get by with a coffee and a baguette to survive, children need healthier foods and drinks. Your menu should include varied and fresh options: salads, chopped fruit, carrot strips, cucumber and jicama, sandwiches and fresh waters, for example.
4. Safety is a priority
The key to having a successful kid-friendly coworking is the confidence you give parents that their children will be safe and happy . That way, mom and dad can focus on their work.
You must establish strict access controls to children’s areas, to ensure that no strangers enter. It is also recommended to install security cameras linked with an app to allow parents to see their children from their phones or monitors.
Depending on the legislation of each state, city or municipality, it is very likely that you will need some type of special license , as well as taking out medical and / or liability insurance , for any accident that may occur.
It goes without saying that you must also comply with the highest standards of cleanliness and follow the sanitary measures established by local authorities.
5. Adjust your prices and build packages
It is not the same to receive a lonely adult than a mother or father with one, two or three children. In business terms, you must find a way to establish fair and affordable prices , which at the same time guarantee a good profit margin.
You can put together irresistible packages that include several options: an adult and a child, two adults and a small or an adult and two children, for example. The payment can be per day, per week or monthly, and adapted to the needs of each family.
In short, you must focus on meeting the needs of parents to see good returns. You must also be willing to listen to visitors and make constant adjustments to facilities and services. Remember that the happiness and safety of our children is priceless and many of us are willing to pay whatever it takes to have a little peace to remain productive and grow professionally.