The Workaround Collective is an expanding community of freelancers, stay-at-home parents, artists, activists, dreamers, makers and everything in between with one thing in common: we are all parents and we all need a little time to get some work done.
At The Workaround, parents share desk space at a coworking facility while they are on-ramping, freelancing or changing careers. If you are a new parent ready to start picking up work again but don't want to pay full price for a coworking desk, The Workaround is available for your part time needs.
We also host a childcare swap
The Workaround offers an add-on bonus of access to a babysitting exchange among members. Coworkers can arrange drop off playdates with each other while they get work done, run errands, take time for self-care...or for any other reason!
Our Desk Share + Babysitting Exchange = $150/month
Our "Village- Only" option (access to the swap without the desk) = $25/month
When you join the Workaround, you are joining an active and supportive parenting community. Our members take part in weekly get togethers, including library events, park dates and toddler-friendly happy hours. Your fellow schedule-jugglers are there for you when you need a few hours to yourself, when you have been up all night and need a shoulder, and when you just want a laugh over drinks.
Meet some of our members and find out how the Workaround has worked for them:
I am so happy that I found the Workaround. Being a member of the Workaround had helped me in three real ways.
First, I book five hour long blocks of time at the coworking space three days a week and really get work done out of the house while my daughter is with a sitter. There is no way that I would be able be able to get that kind of focus at either a coffee shop or locked in my bedroom away from my daughter.
Second, I do short 90 minute childcare swaps a few times a month and I use that time do something nice for myself, like going to get a manicure or just eating lunch slowly by myself and then running a few errands without having to drag the stroller into each and every shop. And it's not like I'm asking for a favor or taking advantage of someone's kindness the way it is with friends outside the Workaround; all of us made a commitment to watch each other's children, and we are all just doing what we said we were going to do.
I was nervous when I signed up that I wouldn't be "good" at watching two children at the same time, but now I'm a pro at herding multiple kiddos in our small living room and it's really sweet to watch my daughter try to make her first friendships. Plus on days when the weather has been awful I've even thought "Oh, wonderful. We don't have to leave the house today. She's going to have time with another kid without having to go to the library. Win!"
And finally, there's something silly and fun about being a part of whole group of moms and toddlers meeting up for drinks to kick off the weekend, and I think participating in these group outings has both introduced me to a bunch of awesome women and has helped in turning down my anxiety about going to restaurants with my toddler.
The Workaround helped me start contributing to the household income again. Several factors meant I was basically not comfortable leaving my son and going back to work when I had planned to. Which meant I was at home spending money and we were struggling financially. I'm lucky to be in an industry that is amenable to freelancing, so I decided to give it a go.
I pictured myself "having it all", working on my laptop in my cool airy apartment with my son happily stacking blocks beside me. Pinterest lied. In reality, I was sitting in an apartment strewn with dirty laundry, discarded toys, avocado on the walls and piles of dishes, with a son who was on a mission to cause serious self-harm. If you have a climber of a child, you will understand what I mean. It was impossible.
The Workaround offered me a desk space close to my home, for a price I could justify. It offered me colleagues in the form of moms who were muddling along just like me (and who inspired me to get it together!). It also offered socialization and friendships for my only child. It became my back-up childcare. It became my motivation.
I have collaborated with my "Workaround colleagues" and I look forward to my weekly "happy hour". It broke the seal, and I am now working a regular gig, three days a week, something I never would have imagined possible this time last year.
At some point after having my baby, I was ready to increase my work schedule and give more hours to my clients. I tried working from my home like I used to, I tried my usual cafe, but things just were not flowing the same as "before".
When I was at home, I was thinking about work, and when I was at work, I was thinking about home...and I was not fully present in either. Something had to give, and I realized this was in my power...that while I could not "control" time, I could be proactive in building my vision for my future. I could own it.
Once I joined The Workaround, simply put, I got a lot more work done. I stopped making excuses--after all, these parents already knew the challenges of getting to our coworking space this morning, or meeting at the library at some exacting time. I did not have to explain a thing, but they would listen if I needed to download. And they would understand.
The motivation from peer parents in a similar position, plus the guidance from Selena and her community, who had been there before us, was worth the price of admission alone. From babysitters to nannies, from daycare to pre-school, from music to swim class, these seemingly simple things can be complex choices, and having a village to bounce ideas off has been immeasurable to me.