Being a married working woman can be challenging - handling work, a family and then children. Many have succeeded and have managed to strike the perfect work-life balance, but there are still a large number of women that opts out of working to care for family instead.
In fact, as per Indian Labour Organisation (ILO)’s ‘Women at work – Trends 2016’ report, while 30% Indian women want paid jobs, 22% women want the option of being able to manage family care at home while having a paid job. And a staggering 41% women prefer staying at home.
In this backdrop, two Chennai-based women are looking to be the answer to all women struggling with striking the perfect work-life balance. Jinal Patel and Vandhana Ramanathan have founded Wsquare, an exclusive workplace for women. With the first centre being launched in Adyar in Chennai today, WSquare provides a conducive work environment for women looking to work close to home.
So how did this idea come about? Co-Founder and CEO, Vandhana, being a mother of two children herself, saw the challenges of effectively maintaining a work-life balance. “While working from home may seem to be the ultimate dream for some, especially after a maternity leave, meshing work and personal life will take your productivity only so far. With a co-working eco-system, you still maintain all of the control and flexibility of owning your own schedule, but you also get the built-in structure of an office. Added to this, is our personalized services that ensures working women can go home care-free,” she said.
The duo along with a board of directors have invested Rs 50 lakh into building their first workspace in Adyar in Chennai.
Designed to be a collaborative shared working space, WSquare provides its member women with facilities like Wi-Fi, 24/7 security, yoga sessions, a doctor on call and spa treatments. To help them further manage their homes, it also provides them with concierge services that help them with chores like grocery shopping.
Every member will be charged for the seat they take. WSquare offers various options like a day pass, a reserved space for a few days each month. There are also monthly passes for reserved and shared spaces with prices ranging from Rs 500 a day to Rs 12,000 a month. The company hopes to break-even in four months if it maintains a 40% occupancy.
The duo will be opening their next center in Mumbai next week, where they have invested an additional Rs 50 lakhs. The aim is to open three more centres in Chennai and expand into Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad in the next year-and-a-half.
In fact, WSquare is in talks with corporates and IT companies in Chennai to open up centres near residential areas, so women can work after their maternity leaves as well. Each centre will be of 50-70 square feet and the duo wants to ensure that every centre is completely eco-friendly, next to day care centres so women come out of their homes, begin working and chase their dreams.