The Future Workplace Includes Childcare
Introducing the AMBOSS Kita
As work and life boundaries continue to blur, parents are struggling to solve the challenges of childcare and staying involved and connected with their children during the workday. Despite access to an ocean of information, the simplest questions and concerns are left unanswered by overworked and disconnected teachers and caregivers.
The Coronavirus pandemic showed us how crucial it is to have childcare providers in our environment, yet combining home-office with home schooling is difficult for individual families to do successfully, and other options may be limited due to kindergarten shortages and closures.
A fundamental change is needed.
Here at AMBOSS, we decided to follow other leading companies and establish a Kita (kindergarten) in the Berlin office.
Building a kindergarten at the company was an incredible challenge. The hard work began in February 2020, as we had to evaluate and conform to numerous safety rules and adjusted the office to a smaller, more playful environment, while making it accessible to as many parents as possible.
In just over a year, all the initial challenges and struggles were rewarded with positive results.
We recently celebrated the first birthday of one of our babies, Luan, and I could not help but think it was also a celebration of the success of the first year of the AMBOSS Kita.
Some of the kids became best friends. Parents built working relationships over cupcakes and formed friendships across continents.
The benefits of a Company Kita were seen in every smile, and somebody please stop me before I tell you cute stories about frosting smeared all over our clothes while the kids were jumping on the trampoline.
The concept of corporate childcare at the workplace is both simple and revolutionary.
Instead of pushing women and their partners away from pregnancy because their career might suffer, a workplace Kita allows them to be fully engaged as parents and as employees.
As many as 25% of working mothers considered leaving the workforce during the pandemic according to a recent report from McKinsey. Supporting the health of the employee’s family with on-site childcare benefits their work performance and integrates parenting as a natural part of the workday via digital and in-person interactions to create a family-focused work environment.
On-site childcare also offers spontaneity and versatility. Children can escape from the Kita playrooms to the adult section of the campus, hoping to come across their parents and catch a hug and kiss, and parents can pop in at random times to witness a first step.
The simple activities of snack time or watching how to make coffee can turn into a daily adventure that is often their favorite part of AMBOSS Kita.
Corporate Kitas can help parents stay connected and experience this joy together as their children grow and careers progress. The family-focused environment at AMBOSS celebrates daily the unconditional love between parents and their toddlers or babies, and as the children grow, all of our lives become fuller and more connected. I believe that the Company Kita is definitely here to stay.
Let me highlight 3 of the most important purposes for on-site childcare
1. Employee engagement and productivity
Employee engagement in the workplace plays a crucial role in any organization. While companies do their best to maximize productivity, they don’t always succeed due to the heavy demands on parents.
In the past few years, we have witnessed a huge demand for family supportive organizations tasked with changing work culture and increasing productivity, happiness, and engagement for their employees.
2. Providing employees with more flexible childcare
Flexibility is key for everyone in today’s fast-paced world, especially those with a demanding job requiring long working hours. Offering childcare at work allows parents to balance both work and caregiving.
For example, a corporate Kita eliminates trips and extra commuting distances to outside childcare facilities. Family time is very precious and on-site childcare at work gives more of this time to parents which can improve their commitment and performance.
3. Empowering Women With Stability and Assurance
Integrating diversity and inclusion best practices are incredibly important for companies today. One of the most concrete ways to implement this for women is to reduce the loss of lifetime wage earning and potential advancement that results from being forced to choose between career and caregiving.
Enabling women to come back to work when they are ready while offering one-site childcare can increase their motivation by evoking positive feelings such as stability and assurance. In essence, having a child becomes a joyful option instead of a dreaded dilemma.
Cheers from the AMBOSS Kita team!
Article written by Natia Vardzelashvili