News items relating to coworking spaces, also known as workhubs
Those were just two of the tips shared by the home workers who came along to my first meet-up at Central last week! In the relaxing surroundings of the downstairs room, a home from home with its colourful cushions and rugs, there was much laughter and relief at how many challenges and thoughts we all share, as we discussed some of the pitfalls of working from home and ways that people have devised to get round them.
Catherine Raynor explained how she had turned around her thinking on home working from the belief she had no room in her flat to putting a glass desk in her bedroom. Francesca recommended Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy as a way of avoiding procrastination and getting dreaded jobs out of the way early in the day.
Fay told us how much more productive she is on the days she does a two-mile morning walk, inspired by Darwin’s belief that our brains work best when we’re walking. Kish agreed that missing her meditation in an attempt to save time was actually counter-productive.
Christina said that having fallen into the trap of wearing sweatpants too often she’s now aware how important it is to look and feel business-like. Many of us had stories of feeling guilty when we’re not working at our desks in the conventional 9-5 routine, and wondering why that should be when we can work at night if we want.
Like Jose, we resolved to enjoy using our time the way it suits us and to shake off those guilty pangs. Eva, Cassandra and her mum Anne are going to check out Jelly, and Richard resolved to open a Twitter account.
So plenty of inspiration flying around in just two hours, and I’m looking forward to hearing how we’ve all got on at the next home working evening meet-up on Thursday 21 July. As Cherry says ‘It is a great way of feeling encouraged just by hearing that others have similar challenges as your own.’ Hope to see you there – I’ll let you know when booking opens.
We now have moving pretty much under control, with plans and lists compiled over time, but there are still a few things that catch me out:
- There’s always a demoralising time when I’ve been packing for ages and still the kitchen seems full of stuff I can’t put away because we need to keep eating and drinking in the run-up to the move. Somehow it does all get packed up and carted away in the end, usually in a random selection of boxes so I can’t remember what I put where.
- Before the removal men arrive it will seem a physical impossibility that all our furniture and boxes can be moved out to leave an empty house. But once they start, the place empties with astonishing speed and it’s hard to keep up with the cleaning.
- Removal men expend a lot of calories – why do I never remember they might want sugar in their tea and pack it away in the depths of an irretrievable box?
- And that cleaning – it always takes longer than you anticipate, even when you’ve done as much as possible beforehand. I hate that feeling of being left behind in the ‘old’ place when everything and everyone else has gone on to the new house.
- That moment of disconnecting from the internet before packing the computer equipment is always a queasy one. It feels like I might never get back online, perfectly justified given our experience with BT over several moves.
But enough whinging – eight days later we got back online and in the meantime thank goodness for our local workhub, The Old Church School in Frome, which has rescued us numerous times from internet isolation.
What are your highs and lows of moving home (office)?
Just before Christmas I had a chat with James Layfield of Central, which he describes as ‘a new kind of workspace. It’s for anyone who is out and about and wants to touch down to do some work. We’re super flexible and we’ve got no minimum contracts, so you can come in for 10 minutes or 2 years’.
James knows he’s not going to get everything right from the word go, which is why the logo currently contains the word ‘beta’. He’s being refreshingly open about Central’s plans and is sharing everything – from layouts to furniture and lighting – in an attempt to make it as close as possible to what users want and need before the first Central opens in London in April. He’d like you, as home workers, freelancers, Jelly fans and occasional coworkers to let him know what you think of his ideas, and what you’d ideally like from a space like his.
Don’t be put off if you live miles from London, either, James has plans for rapid expansion, so Central could be opening in your local town sooner than you think!
Have a look at the plans on the Central site or Facebook page and leave your comments there, or here as usual, or you can e-mail me or James if you’d prefer not to go public. How often do you say of a new business “Well, it’s good, but it could be so much better. Why don’t they just ask the people who are going to use it?’ Well, now’s your chance to influence what happens at Central.
I’ve already mentioned a couple of points about people being welcomed in off the street and whether mobile phone calls will be allowed in all areas. Have you got any likes/dislikes about working in a coworking space that you think James should know about? He’s looking forward to hearing them.