REHACARE.com has checked out the coworking space in Berlin.
Ms. Trzecinski, TUECHTIG is a so-called coworking space. What is the concept behind a coworking space in general and your space in particular?
Stefanie Trzecinski: As is the case for all coworking spaces, people lease and share workplaces and meeting rooms as needed – either on a daily or monthly basis. What makes our coworking space different from others is that our facilities are accessible. This means there are no barriers, we have wide doorways, height-adjustable desks, and a wheelchair accessible restroom. Those who need personal assistance will directly receive the help they need from us.
The exciting aspect of this is that we bring people together. Those who rent our spaces and work here also get to know the other coworkers. The job of KOPF, HAND + FUSS is to connect people in a way that helps them to develop new ideas together.
You can meet very different people in this setting: people in wheelchairs, people with hearing impairments (deaf or hard of hearing), and people with cognitive or mental impairments. And obviously, you will also meet people with no impairments. Everyone is at a level playing field and interacts with each other. At the TUECHTIG coworking space, people with and without disabilities are working together – and not just next to each other.
What are the benefits of TUECHTIG, especially for people with disabilities?
Trzecinski: People don’t have to work from home, they can actually work and perform their job at an explicit place of work. This allows them to separate their private and professional life. The provided assistance and especially the customer contact don’t take place at home. What’s more, they can also interact with others and compare notes and get feedback on how they are performing at work over a cup of coffee for example. This allows people to test their business ideas without major financial risk and to realize their personal dream of work. In other words, they don’t have to sign a long-term commercial lease agreement with a typical minimum lease period of five years. Here they can simply lease or terminate a lease on a daily or monthly basis.
We also provide an accessible infrastructure, special furniture and comprehensive assistance to offer an ideal workplace.
How does TUECHTIG support inclusion in the labor market?
Trzecinski: Frequently, there are only temporary solutions that are not flexible when people re-enter the workforce after an illness and rehabilitation. Our idea aims to provide an ideal work environment with maximum flexibility. Inclusion should be something that is the norm. Special needs are readily met. We guarantee flexible assistance or support from a psychologist. At the same time, people are not supplicants – and that’s a very important aspect.
Essentially, we accept anyone as long as they are open to other people and people from different backgrounds. Companies who would like to hire a person but don’t meet the structural requirements yet could also rent space with us for their new employees.
Our team also includes a psychologist who assists people who want to re-enter the workforce after they suffered from burnout for example. For example, this particular person could come to us once a week to practice and strengthen newly learned behavior patterns and prevent a burnout relapse. It is always difficult to implement what you have newly learned at your old working environment. In our setting, you receive additional support from an outside party if you need it.