Have you heard about co-working? It’s where a range of professionals, in particular individuals/freelancers and small businesses work together in the same space to achieve their individual goals. There is a special kind of osmosis, collaboration, cross-pollination of ideas and support of one another. If you still don’t understand what I mean, this article and video from The Conversation offers a great description.
I recently started working at Sass Place, Adelaide’s newest co-working space which is designed especially for women, with an on-site creche. Being able to bring in my baby to work, and duck into the creche for a quick breastfeed and then return back to work is fantastic. With increasing child care costs and availability, the opportunity to have kids cared for on site is extremely unique, indeed Sass Place is the first of its kind. After the work is done, we can surrender back to family life. It’s truly a perfect solution for us.
One of the aspects I’m really enjoying is working alongside other talented professional women, many entrepreneurs starting out or established freelancers in a range of fields. I can’t help but wonder: Could this sort of working environment could help to embed health promotion practice and ways of thinking into sectors that influence health?
Maybe instead of huge buildings filled with staffers from their respective areas (the health department building, the transport building, the education building, you get the idea…) we need to share space. Physical working spaces. What about if all the like-minded NGOs shared space together? What about instead of set meetings across agencies, we had co-working days where all you needed was your USB or laptop, and a collaborative frame of mind.
I’d love to see the concept of co-working introduced by and for health promotion to integrate and cross pollinate. I think it could be one possible strategy to break down silos, and further understanding across professional boundaries of what health promotion really means.