I had the privilege of meeting Naomi Rasmussen, founder of Workafrolic, a unique coworking playspace w/ flexible childcare and classes back when her idea was coming to fruition. She now has an amazing space located in between Eckington & Shaw which boasts three stories; top floor is a coworking space with everything you need to work successfully, main level includes a kitchen, lactation room and a separate space for childcare and a basement for older kids, classes and conference calls you may need to take.
Below is a q+a that will allow you to understand what Workafrolic offers and how you can use all it has to offer to your advantage.
How did the concept begin?
At first, my idea was to build an indoor playspace for infants and toddlers. When my son was too young to enjoy the playground, there weren’t many indoor places outside of my apartment where he could safely explore new surroundings and I could relax knowing it was acceptable for him to be crawling around putting everything in his mouth. As the concept developed, the amenities I had in mind for the parents grew until it was a space that was equal parts for kids and adults. I ended up creating my ideal place as an urban working parent!
Explain what coworking is.
Coworking is when individuals who don’t work for the same organization work side by side in the same office space. It’s often a financially smart arrangement for businesses of all sizes since the overhead costs necessary in managing an office can get expensive. For individuals who would most likely be working from home in isolation, the coworking model has created a valuable opportunity to work in an office setting where they get access to professional networking, printers, and meeting space. The coworking model has been around for a few decades, but there has been a sharp increase in its popularity over the last several years and is now common globally.
What’s unique about Workafrolic?
Workafrolic is unique not only because it is a coworking space that has on-site child care, but because of the flexibility our version of this model affords parents. They can see availability and book child care by the hour weeks in advance or right up to the minute before they arrive. We have long hours during the week (8am-7pm) and weekend (10am-7pm) to accommodate a variety of schedules. We have monthly memberships, but we also welcome non-members to use our services on a drop-in basis. We also host classes that families can participate in together during the week and weekends, like music and family yoga.
Another unique aspect of Workafrolic is that in addition to work space we offer a convenient place for adults to take time for themselves to participate in fitness and wellness classes while their child is being looked after. Parents—and especially moms—often sacrifice their own personal time for work and family responsibilities. Not that we need a reason to have some alone time, but evidence shows that exercise makes people more productive and creative. Self-care also puts parents in a stronger position to care for kids. Integrating this element into the same space with work and family and providing child care makes it easier to fit it all in to the day since time is the reason so many of us don’t get to it.
Workafrolic’s playspace is designed for children from birth to age 6 with toys and activities that engage children at each developmental stage. We believe free play encourages creativity and independence and our playspace gives children materials and space to feed their vivid imaginations and innate desire to learn and grow. The playspace is available as an indoor area for parent-supervised play (Open Play) on the weekends and after 4pm on weekdays. We also rent out the space for birthday parties.
Can a Mom come to Workafrolic if she is nursing? What about if a child needs to nap?
Absolutely! In fact, one of the benefits of Workafrolic is that mom and child can spend the day in close proximity and can continue their nursing routine as long as they’d like. Our rocking chairs in front of the large windows overlooking North Capitol St are a prime spot for nursing. We also have a comfortable lactation room if you’d like more privacy to nurse or pump.
Most of the children who come to Workafrolic nap here. One side of our main child care space is dedicated to napping and a gate keeps wandering children from bothering the nappers. We have cots, cribs, infant swings, bouncers, and a rock ‘n play, so your little one will certainly find a comfy spot to settle into!
What can those using the working space expect?
Expect to be productive!
Workers can expect a comfortable and inviting space with everything they need at hand to tick things of their to do list. We serve complimentary hot and iced coffee and tea and sell snacks from local food businesses to munch on while you work.
You can also expect to see a lot of Dads! Many people assume moms are the parents using Workafrolic, but our clientele is pretty much half and half so dads should feel very welcome to come work here.
Location: 1707 North Capitol St NE Washington, DC 20002