22 December 2023
Growing demand for coworking and childcare: Plattform Land creates work-life balance in the “COWORCare” project
The compatibility of family and career is a hot topic, with changing role models, labour shortages, increasing demand for childcare facilities, etc. At the autumn conference of Plattform Land, which was also the final event of the “COWORCare” project at BASIS Vinschgau Venosta, examples of how coworking and care can be combined were presented.
For many parents, it is a challenge to reconcile work and family life. Children of different ages have different entry and exit times at daycare centres, kindergartens or schools, some of which are even located in different municipalities. Added to this is the inadequate flexibility of these facilities. At the same time, the compatibility of family and career is becoming an increasingly important criterion when choosing a workplace. Companies could create a competitive advantage here if they offer flexible working models or childcare facilities themselves.
“Coworking has become increasingly popular in recent years. There is now also a considerable range on offer in South Tyrol. And combining this with childcare will be the challenge of the future. The municipalities are working hard to meet the growing demand for childcare places. We need to be open to new ideas and promote them, especially with regard to rural areas,” emphasised Andreas Schatzer, President of Plattform Land.
The “COWORCare” project aims precisely to bring coworking and care together – childcare and, in future, possibly also care for the elderly in the area of co-working structures. This would allow young parents and women in particular, who still perform the majority of social care and nursing work, to work in a creative environment close to home while having their children and relatives in need of care looked after in or near the co-working structure. This enables young families and single parents to participate in the local labour market, which enhances the offer in rural areas, reduces commuter traffic and creates a more cooperative and open working culture, even in remote locations. In order to be able to offer coworking and childcare together, the cooperation of coworking structures with existing daycare centres, companies, associations, etc. that have suitable premises should be expanded. Not everything has to be created from scratch – it is often enough to make better use of what already exists. This also keeps rural areas attractive.
In order to test the new concept, pop-up childcare was set up at BASIS Vinschgau Venosta in collaboration with Plattform Land from the beginning of October to the beginning of November 2023 as part of the EU project “COWORCare”. Katrin Gruber, Chairwoman of the BASIS Vinschgau Venosta association, presented the pop-up childcare facility at the COWORCare autumn conference: “We were able to offer a total of 16 childcare places, including three places for spontaneous registrations, on four Friday afternoons and four full days during the All Saints’ holidays. The demand came mainly from BASIS users. Overall, the offer was very well received and we hope that we can create a long-term offer.”
They discussed how work and care can be combined: from left to right Ulrich Höllrigl (moderator), CoWorkLand regional office Bavaria Hans-Peter Sander, CoworkationALPS board member Carina Matscher, regional councillor Waltraud Deeg, the president of Plattform Land, Andreas Schatzer, and hds president Philipp Moser.
Photo: Basis Vinschgau Venosta.