Coverage of Cowork Coplay
Since Cowork Coplay began in 2019 as a very small startup, we’ve been very lucky to have been featured in the news, by organisations and in a conference poster. Read more below to see who covered us and what they said.
If you’d like to get in touch with Founder, Claire Harris, to discuss Cowork Coplay for an article, visit the Contact page.
Australian Institute of Family Studies 2022 Conference
Cowork Coplay was mentioned in the AIFS poster, Supporting Wellbeing by putting Defence families at the centre: A high-level view, as one of many innovations emerging to address wellbeing needs of ADF partners/spouses and families.
A focus on wellbeing
The military way of life can present particular challenges to families with Defence families/partners report feelings of being invisible, uncatered for, misunderstood and unappreciated. We ask: Is the focus on building self-reliance and resilience appropriate? How can we celebrate the initiatives that are working? How can we also address the systemic issues that surround families?
- View the powerpoint slides for the eposter.
- View abstract: Supporting wellbeing by putting Defence families at the centre: A high-level view
Authors: Claire Harris, Innovate Communicate; Beck Rayner, Military Life; Dr Amy Johnson, Central Queensland University; Amanda McCue, Career Swag.
Defence Families of Australia
Defence Families of Australia (DFA) is
In 2019 they covered the program when it ran at the Duntroon Community Centre; the first program!
Claire Harris is working mum of one and an ADF partner who saw a need and created a CoWork CoPlay space in Canberra with support from Duntroon Community Centre. Claire has volunteered her time to this project for the benefit of the Defence and wider community.
What is Cowork Coplay?
Cowork Coplay provides a space for women to work together and their young children to play. Cowork Coplay sessions are designed to support enterprising mothers in business or working on their own professional development, for example, to get a job or map out a career plan.
This is about helping mothers, and in particular ADF partners, continue to thrive professionally during the early years of parenting.
A definition of coworking is: The practice of working alongside other people, sharing a workplace (even on a temporary basis!) but not necessarily an organisational affiliation.
HerCanberra is a wonderful lifestyle magazine run by a local Canberra woman and team.
They featured Cowork Coplay in 2019, due to its novelty and relevance to working mums in Canberra.
Enterprising Canberra women with young children, lend us your ears. Here is an opportunity tailored exactly to your needs.
How does this sound: a morning of working without interruption alongside like-minded mums, while your child plays in a supervised area nearby?
It’s no daydream. Each Monday from 14 October to 4 November, Cowork Coplay will run co-working sessions from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm, including on-site childcare with a qualified educator.
Claire Harris, Founder of the Cowork Coplay initiative, says that programs such as these are vital for the changing face of the modern workforce.
“More women are running businesses than ever before but while some aspects of business, like operating online, may be easier than ten years ago, the caring responsibilities aren’t,” she explains.
“As most mothers are the primary carers for young children and are managing the majority of household responsibilities, they generally find it challenging to take advantage of business and professional communities.”
“Time for business or professional development often gets squeezed to late nights and extra early mornings.”
International blog series by GCUC (Global Coworking Unconference Conference)
Cowork Coplay was featured as part of an international three-post blog series exploring coworking spaces incorporating childcare.
The series: Child Care & Coworking demonstrated how valuable factoring children and family needs into coworking can be. (Note that this was done pre-COVID pandemic and the landscape has no doubt changed.)
What made you want to have childcare to your coworking space?
My husband is a military officer so we move around every few years. In our last location in Victoria, Australia I established Popup Café Coworking Meetups to meet other business people and entrepreneurs. It was great fun and we all got more work done than we would have at home (with another load of washing or the dishwasher always beckoning…).
After I had a baby, that model didn’t work anymore. When we moved to Canberra, I went looking for coworking spaces with childcare. There aren’t any! I don’t want to put my baby daughter in full-time daycare (nowhere really offers part-time) while I work by myself. One entrepreneur I spoke to about my idea said it would be a whole lot easier to just get a babysitter while I work at home. But that misses the point.
The benefits from coworking and childcare together includes community, networking, support, better mental health, shared learning and the financial benefits of group-buying for facilities and services. There’s an amplification effect from having purpose-driven individuals building their businesses and themselves together. Children also benefit from being with other children and in stimulating, child-friendly environments.
Read more: Child Care & Coworking part 2 | GCUC.