Saturday, 26 February 2011

Reasons to co-work - it's not 'all' about the cakes, is it?!

Co-working space at Newcastle Business Village
The venue for our first co-working day back in June 2010, we revisited Newcastle Business Village on Thursday 17th Feb for Round 2.  The place has changed a bit since we were there last: the workspace is now open and bright, and the Village team were as welcoming and helpful as ever.

Newcastle Business Village's
home made chocolate brownies
We filled the space with co-workers by around 10 am, and all set to work using the fast WiFi connection that served us brilliantly all day.  Morning was interrupted only by the Centre Manager, Helen Reed's, home made chocolate brownies (yes really!) which went down a treat (and for some more than others - no names mentioned ...).

After lunch our SpoT chat took a slightly different format to usual, with a useful discussion around the table about  current projects, as well as sharing challenges and queries relating to homeworking.  The range of business activities around the table was diverse to say the last, ranging from a study into solid waste management in Europe through to the sale of Cloud-based accounting solutions.  The collaboration amongst the group, however, reaffirmed the fact that businesses don't need to be operating in the same sector to be able to connect.  The commonality was in the home base from which the companies operate and I suppose the sharing of cupcakes after lunch - other than one co-worker who chose to photograph her cupcake to illustrate to co-weight watchers what she hadn't eaten that day :).
'Those' Space on Tap cupcakes :)

When asked whether they managed to get as much work done as they would have done at home, the responses were mixed, mainly falling between 'the same' and 'more' which is great.  One co-worker said he'd achieved slightly less work than he would have done at home, but qualified that with "It depends on whether you consider networking (which was certainly useful) to be work". Well we do!

For a calendar of co-working days planned for March, April and May 2011 CLICK HERE

Quick co-working poll


Make your selection in our quick poll.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Why people don't co-work (yet)

According to a recent report from Deskmag, the 2010 Global Co-working Survey attracted a surprising number of responses from people interested in the concept, but who have not yet given it a try. 

Of these non-coworkers, 65% said they were seriously interested, 29% were slightly interested, and the remainder were non-committal.  Read more ...
Is there a co-working space near you? If there was, would you use it?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Co-working's about the people as well as the place

The concept of Co-working is now pretty much entrenced in the US freelancing culture, with strong co-working communities having formed around places, events and, as importantly, people, and has proven its worth in providing camaraderie, mutual support and hard business benefits.  

The UK has followed suit, with some great examples of established co-working spaces from Brigton to Edinburgh (and probably beyond), with many co-working communities having formed around the creative and digital sectors where the niche nature of much of the freelancing activity lends itself well to collaboration. 

It has been increasingly recognised, though, that successful co-working space is as much about the community as it is about the place (or 'hub').  So as well as the emergence of spaces that provide a structure that accommodates collaborative working, co-working has also been recognised as an opportunity to form a community or network beyond the space.  In fact to the extent that for example when a co-working space closed in the US quite recently the co-workers confirmed en masse that this would not impact upon their ability to co-work - they would literally just uproot and take their community somewhere else - even to the local cafe, as the bonds had already formed.

Creating the community
This said, the community needs a space in which to form, beyond virtual networking. As a hybrid of the US model, 'Jelly' co-working days were introduced into the South West a year or so ago to provide such opportunities, and last June Space on Tap introduced Colleagues on Tap into the North East, formerly virgin territory as far as co-working goes.  

Colleagues on Tap co-working days provide the opportunity for a group of people to form around a pop-up office which is created for the day.  With  now 7 (shortly to be 8!) co-working days firmly under our belts we have a proven formula that provides a plaform for freelancers and homeworkers to enjoy a day at the office surrounded by temporary colleagues, and through this new collaborations have formed.  A nucleus community already exists, with some co-workers having attended several events and forming bonds with likeminded co-workers which now extend beyond the events.  

Thursday, 10 February 2011

How to be a better co-worker

"Co-working has become a big trend in the tech and startups space - an office full of people working on different things, who have no official ties to one another.  Because of this, it can be hard to get the behavioural balance right ..."  READ MORE 

Join our LinkedIn Group

Colleagues on Tap has formed a new group on LinkedIn - Colleagues on Tap.  Through the group we plan to keep in touch with people who have co-worked with us, and those who plan to co-work with us in the future, provide a forum for co-workers to continue to keep in touch after events, and also chat about all things co-working and Colleagues on Tap.
Join us!