Back when broadband Internet access was made available to homes in the late 1990’s, teleworking took off. In businesses, employees were allowed to work from home part time (in some cases, full time) and many home based businesses took off, allowing small time entrepreneurs to have a low-cost launching point for their great idea.
Then, reality set in. Working from your home can be isolating and can result in feeling cut off from the working world. Co-working is a new trend, as recently reported by CNN and others, which involves teleworkers gathering within the same physical space in order to have some social time while working on their tasks. There are businesses such as CubeSpace and Citizen Space that make co-working easy by offering space for co-workers to gather, however what is a web worker to do if they don’t have this type of option close by?
Do It Yourself
Most teleworkers likely know someone who also works remotely from their office. If you feel comfortable doing this, offer to host a co-working session at your house or other meeting space. Much in the same way moms self-organize play dates, teleworkers will gain benefit by gathering to work together on an occasional basis. In exchange for offering up your Wi-Fi connection and a making a few pots of coffee, you’ll be able to exchange ideas and make some potentially profitable business connections. For example, by gathering with other bloggers or programmers, I often gain story ideas and other opportunities I would otherwise not come across.
Break Out Of Your Shell
If you see the same people routinely at your Starbucks, engage with them in a conversation to see if they’d like to make it a regular meeting time. This might be a great way to meet teleworkers who don’t necessarily work in your field. Additionally, by meeting at a Starbucks or your local pub, you can use the hosting business’ Wi-Fi and avoid the effort of hosting a co-working session at your house.
Tools to Aid You
To organize a group of co-working professionals, you can either:
- Start a website: build a web site to serve as the communication hub.
- Initiate a Google Group: Drop dead easy way to centralize communications, however everyone will need a Google Account
- Simply start an email mailing list
- Check out the Co-Working wiki page as it has many valuable resources.