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Business Offers Shared Office Space, Childcare Under One Roof

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

One problem many freelancers, the self-employed and would-be entrepreneurs face is the challenge of balancing child care and a productive work life.

When Amy Braden had her son three years ago, she struggled with the same issues until hitting upon a solution of her own: creating a “coworking” space that also offers child care.

“Our tagline is: Make your life work,” Braden said of her new work-life center, Plug & Play. “I thought that there had to be a better way for working parents with young children to enjoy their children while they’re young and also be committed to their careers.”

Coworking is a relatively recent concept where nascent companies, the self-employed and other non-traditional employees lower their overhead by sharing office space. Plug & Play Austin offers coworking amenities in its “Plug” unit: a comfortable, quiet work environment with room for up to 40 members. It features private work nooks, wi-fi connectivity, printing, faxing, and scanning, plus a conference room and a collaboration room with videoconferencing capabilities, as well as some light snacks and coffee. 

The “Play” side provides a structured day care environment for children from six weeks to four years old, with kids of similar age grouped together. Up to 32 children can enjoy a schedule of activities just steps away from their parents in the Plug offices.

“With so many men and women juggling full or part-time work in addition to the joyful yet demanding challenge of parenting, this type of service is long overdue,” Braden explained. “And Austin is the ideal city to launch Plug & Play, with its progressive attitude toward work-life balance.”

Plug & Play opens in northwest Austin on June 11. 

Robb Jacobson is a news intern at KUT and a recent graduate of Indiana University.
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