Work and be close to the kids— no way — yes way — The Third Door Way

A chat with Shazia Mustafa, Co-Founder and Director of Third Door

Third Door — a hybrid Cowork space and nursery

This nursery and work hub, situated on the borders between Putney and Wandsworth, offers a unique solution for working parents — the ability to put your children in an outstanding-rated nursery with flexibility on hours and work upstairs in the co-working space, so you don’t waste time travelling between work and nursery.

It’s such a cool idea — I freelanced pregnant with two little ones for a few years and would hide upstairs in the attic room (luckily we had one!) but just being able to hear the kids would be a distraction in itself and inevitably as they began to learn that I was upstairs, they would come up and see me. It was my guilty pleasure! But it could be badly-timed interruptions. And was equally annoying for the child-minder. All working parents know that the loud speaker and mute button is an absolute MUST when choosing a home phone (okay it was a few years ago!)

The dilemma

But it is a catch-22, you want to focus on work and get the job done well — you do care (after all that’s why you are working) but you don’t want to miss parts of your children’s lives either. Time flies and there is only so long when you are the centre of their universe (needy mother alert). For the last few months, Putney Hive has been promoting and encouraging more flexible working options so, yes you can have your cake and munch through it contentedly without guilt. Wow.

So, you can see that’s why I was excited to hear about the Third Door. Shazia said the idea for Third Door was born from wanting to work but realising soon after the birth of her first child in 2008, that there was no suitable place to do that and have access to your child. The hub is an excellent solution for those mums returning to work but still wanting to breastfeed, for example. Shazia said one of the hardest challenges was to educate the market for the need, as it was such a new concept. Job done. Seven years on and the nursery is full and they are booked out most days in the workhub.

It’s not just for Mums and Dads:

Third Door is not just for Mums and Dads, remote workers and freelancers also use the onsite coworking space. Remote-workers (who like me need to work outside of the house but don’t want the commute) and freelancers who may not have an office to attend but want the boundaries of work associated with going into an office. They have flexible packages to suit your working patterns and you can choose the hours and days you want to work.

Shazia, herself, is inspirational. Having started the business with a young family, she is passionate about providing facilities that help families work and provide excellent childcare. She has recently been asked to speak at the #21st Century leadership seminar at the Muslim Women Connect conference. And, many awards (Best Start up, StartUp 100) and writes ups along the way, her plans are to take the hybrid model and grow the business to multiple sites and develop the concept of helping families work alongside their children.

If you are in Wandsworth, Putney — go check it out. The packages are flexible and it’s a perfect workstation with everything at hand, printer, wifi, meeting rooms and of course an onsite nursery.

Check it out:

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