A space for both the working parent and the active child to co-exist is making work-life balance easier, writes Meera Murugesan.
IF you’re a parent who works from home, is a freelancer, or a stay-at-home mum with a home-based business, you’ll understand the challenges of trying to work from your house.
The home can often be chaotic and full of interruptions. With children and their needs and meals to be prepared, it becomes even more challenging for mums who work outside the office to meet deadlines.
Understanding that these unique challenges could hold back many women, two working mums decided to find a solution — a space for play and work.
Nurlin Salleh and Mien Dee Yong, both busy mums themselves, have set up LinDees, an integrated children’s playland and co-working space in Kuala Lumpur where parents can get down to work, and hold business meetings or discussions while their children enjoy safe, supervised play.
LinDees is a playland with a difference since it caters not only to the needs of the child but also the parent.
Located at Hartamas Shopping Centre, it has a separate section where parents can get down to work.
“Private Pods” have been designed for those who want an enclosed, cubicle-type space to work while “Hot Desks” have been designed for independent working parents and freelancers who want flexibility and social networking opportunities.
The Sky and Ocean Meeting Room, meanwhile, caters to start-ups and small teams that need a space for strategic planning and brainstorming sessions.
Water, WiFi and snacks are also provided when people book these co-working spaces.
“When we set up LinDees, we didn’t want to call it a playland because it’s a concept with three spaces — a co-working space, a playland and a restaurant,” explains Nurlin.
“That is what sets us apart from other play gyms. We approached this from a different angle because we’re both working mothers with busy careers and we saw a need for a space where kids can learn, explore and enjoy themselves while parents work or socialise,” says Nurlin.
Nurlin and her co-founder also want to empower mums to earn an income so they have a woman who sells essential oils and others who bake and sell cakes at the facility.
Nurlin says many parents find LinDees appealing because the playland is large and varied enough to keep children occupied for hours while parents have peace of mind knowing their children are safe while they work.
Mothers who bring their kids here have many options.
Some choose to leave their younger ones at the play area — it caters to children aged 0-12 years — while they either supervise the older ones in homework or focus on their own deadlines at the co-working space.
Nurlin says some parents even choose to bring their laptops to the play area to keep an eye on their children.
There is also a shower, a breastfeeding room and baby milk storage facilities to make things more convenient for mums and kids.
Nurlin says their customers range from stay-at-home mums to student mums pursuing higher studies, freelancers, those working from home and parents with flexible working hours.
“A typical day for a parent here would be one where kids play and do activities, while parents work or have a meeting. Afterwards, everyone meets up for lunch at our in-house restaurant and then it’s back to work and play.
“It allows the best of both worlds. Mothers feel reassured that their children are safe and secure while they’re working.”