Today is National Coworking Day. I don’t have any flags to wave, sadly. I thought instead I would write about my experience of coworking and it’s benefits. If it isn’t something that you’ve tried, now could be the time!
National Coworking Day: The Main Event
National Coworking Day is primarily about sharing information about coworking, how it works and encouraging people to give it a go. It is also about opening the doors to paid or membership coworking set up for a day so that those curious can have experienced it for themselves first-hand. If this is something that appeals to you, have a look at the National Coworking Day website.
What is Coworking
Strictly speaking, coworking is working alongside others. In today’s business world it generally refers to going to a coworking group or a paid-for coworking cafe/event or similar. The rise in coworking events and groups in the past few years has exceeded expectations which clearly shows that there is a need for them.
Coworking and Me
I am a huge coworking fan and a staunch advocate for it in the Thirsk/North Yorkshire area. Back in 2017 I set up the Thirsk Coworking Group. My idea behind this group was to offer an opportunity to freelancers, solopreneurs, business owners and basically anyone else working for themselves in any capacity to do so alongside likeminded others. I now run two coworking sessions a month in Thirsk and pop-sessions in a local cafe. All Thirsk Coworking Group sessions are absolutely free and you can find the latest news on the Facebook page and dates on Eventbrite.
When not at the TCG I regularly cowork with a friend and fellow freelancer, at her home, mine, or in Caffe Nero. Working alongside each other is motivating, offers accountability and for us works very well from a productivity point of view.
The Benefits of Coworking
The benefits of Coworking are vast. Here are just a few to consider:
Avoiding Isolation: Working for yourself, holed up in your home office day in and day out with only the goldfish to talk to can be very isolating. By choosing to remote work or cowork you open yourself up to the company of others which can make a refreshing change when working alone is your norm.
Accountability: Working alongside others can be a great way to make sure troublesome tasks on your to do list gets done. Ask a coworker to make sure you stay on track or simply enjoy the fact that everyone else is hammering on their laptops so you should probably be doing the same too. Accountability can be needed sometimes to get you through days when you aren’t as motivated or have a particularly sticky piece of work that you’ve been putting off.
Informal Networking: Coworking is not the same as going to a networking event with your business cards and your pitch ready to go. Coworking is about cracking on with the task at hand. That said, there is an element of informal coworking in that you meet new people, learn about their businesses and extend your own network that way. I don’t allow “proper” networking at the Thirsk Coworking Group as I want it to be a place people are able to work in relaxation, not be pitched to. That said, many of the attendees have gone on to work with each other and/or recommend fellow coworkers to others who might be looking for specific skills.
National Coworking Day
If you haven’t considered coworking as a way of shaking up your working habits and even boosting your business, now might be the time. See what is on offer in your local area, from Jelly UK sessions, to free coworking sessions like the Thirsk Coworking Group to regular paid-for sessions, desks and more.
If you have any questions about coworking in general, about the TCG or perhaps you want to set up your own group, I’ll be happy to help. Just drop me a message via the contact page or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re coworking today, have a great National Coworking Day and make it a fabulously productive time!