Getting established in the new world of work. Part 2: Coworking

For the better part of two years my office was 10 feet from my bed. It’s a large room and a portion was partitioned off as an office. (Yes, I’m aware that sounds like a cubicle.) I could easily spend 15 hours a day in that one room. Hermit-like. I imagined myself as eventually becoming a reclusive, gray-haired hermit with a Twitter account.

While my office today is still in the house, it’s a separate room with some (household) traffic throughout the day. My move from the bedroom to the main living area of the house  just meant an equal distribution of daytime parenting responsibilities (my husband works from his home office too). Before my move, kids would come in, stop to ask my husband something (because he’s the first person they’d see) and if they wanted me they had to walk ALL THE WAY through the house and upstairs. That, or they’d text me. It was as if I wasn’t there.

Even with the new set up there’s no work-related socializing. There’s no sitting back and saying, “what do you think of this?”or “can I bounce this idea off you?” And there’s no one asking me what I think. No creative side trips.

What is coworking?

“A global community of people dedicated to the values of Collaboration, Openness, Community, Accessibility, and Sustainability in their workplaces.” – coworking.com

A hermit-free zone.

Here’s one explanation:

Over the past couple of years I’ve talked to a couple of people in my area who work virtually from their home office and have found some interest and a shared understanding of coworking. Most people I talk to can’t quite get their arms around the community part of coworking and instead want to provide shared office space using something like a fitness center business model. The spirit behind coworking isn’t about profit or renting office space. While you need a space (eventually), first you need a community.

I’ve even presented the idea to groups and now have a blog with one post so I can start pointing people to something.

One way to get a coworking community going is to do something called Jelly.

“Jelly is a casual working event. It’s taken place in over a hundred cities where people have come together (in a person’s home, a coffee shop, or an office) to work for the day. We provide chairs and sofas, wireless internet, and interesting people to talk to, collaborate with, and bounce ideas off of.”


It would be difficult for me to open up my home during summer vacation with my kids around. Fall would be better. So that’s a goal for this fall. Jelly.

Why do I like the idea of coworking?  This older Wired article resonated with me.

Coworking:

  • Mixes up work
  • Re-humanizes work
  • Makes collaboration easier
  • Fosters socialization

It seems an especially nice fit for cloud workers and creatives. I can see value too in a ‘many jobs loosely joined‘ set up where it would be easier to meet the needs of a large client no one person could easily handle.

BTW….Here’s a link to all the coworking resources I’ve been using. It’s a generous community. Would love to hear of any such work areas in your community.

Photo: Coworking Photo/Hillary Hartley

Getting established in the new world of work Part 1: The edges

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