Today we visited Cuckooz Nest; a place that offers fully flexible workspace space with an intergrated Ofsted-registered nursery – all under one roof. This is a huge development for the London work scene and, whilst others have tried to do it, no-one has succeeded in quite the same way whereby they are able to offer such flexibility.
That team behind it are headed up by co-founders Fabienne O’Neill and Charlie Rosier, who have seamlessly combined launching their last business, Cuckooz, whilst Charlie had her daughter Orla (giving birth to the idea that would flourish into Cuckooz Nest). Whilst it hasn’t been easy to set up Cuckooz Nest due to complicated licensing and legalities, they are now a firm favourite of the Islington council and are a preferred provider for their affordable workspace programme.
The centre offers 36 co-working desks for individuals or small teams to occupy, plus 21 childcare spaces in their OFSTED registered nursery. The childcare team adhere to the coveted Early Years curriculum which gives them a solid foundation in development and future education. The nursery itself is a gorgeous, airy space and has a soothing nap room (we enjoyed it a bit too much on our visit!) alongside the usual toys and games. The most crucial hook to this innovative concept is that by working here, parents can save money; compared to a private nanny, Cuckooz Nest works out at roughly 30% more cost effective and 20% less expensive than standard monthly private nursery fees. It really is a win-win for parents looking to get back into work, start a business or to strike the right work/life balance.
What’s most impressive about Cuckooz Nest, apart from the inviting, stylish interior, is how it actively encourages larger businesses to utilise the space as a satellite space for parents returning to work. According to the Harvard Business Review, staff retention is waning, particularly in the two years following maternity leave as it is increasingly difficult to juggle and justify childcare and work commitments. Fabienne and Charlie are in discussions with large corporations about how they can be a base for parents who want to return to work but are torn between the ways in which to do it; Cuckooz Nest gives the control back to both parent and employer and allows a compromise which allows a comfortable return for all parties.
The pictures speak for themselves and show off the space and design, but it’s what you can’t see that is so appealing; a change in mindset, a trailblazing ethic for parenthood and a team who make ‘getting sh*t done’ achievable.