Just because you are a freelancer or an independent contractor, it does not mean that you cannot occasionally work with others. The concept: Coworking is a gathering of people who work independently. Often they share the same values and appreciate the synergy of numerous, talented people working in a similar space.”
The technology age has made it easier than ever to bring the tools that you need with you, so you can work with other like-minded individuals from virtually anywhere.
Table of Contents:
Networking and Collaboration
Coworking allows you the opportunity to network and collaborate with a wide range of bright minds, making new friends in the process. It gives you the chance to “pick the brain” of many other professionals, not only in your own line of work, but similar lines of work as well.
For example, as a freelance writer you can cowork with graphic designers, website designers, programmers and other writers, and this will give you new perspectives and new chances at collaborating and networking.
Utilize Tools on the Go
Many phone apps, web apps, software programs and other tools for freelancers are designed to be especially beneficial outside of the office.
Utilize the absolute necessities while you are on the go, including Meebo for your chatting needs, Line2 for your business phone communication needs and DropBox to always have the files that you need at your fingertips. The right tools can make all the difference in your ability to cowork successfully.
There might also be the need for you to organize the tasks with your co-workers on a big project. To make the project much more manageable while working with others remotely, use Asana or Trello so each of you can delegate and assign deadlines to each task for the project. By working together using either online project management tool, you can manage your time better and ensure that everybody is working on the project [The tip has been added by Christopher Jan Benitez].
- Zoom.Us – a phone and web conference app for your smartphone that allows you to chat with anyone and hold group meetings with up to 25 people
- EverNote – is a great tool for bloggers as it allows you to “snip” or save videos, web pages, social media posts, articles, and images. In fact, you can write your entire blog post within the app.
I use trello all the time #myblogu
— Stuart Lieberman (@thewebguyfl) September 1, 2016
Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone
Working across the desk from somebody who has a completely different skill set is going to provide you with a brand new source of ideas, allowing your brain to work in different ways than normal.
As Joyce Anderson puts it, taking that risk of inviting others to work with you breathes new life not only into the way you work and create, but to your finished product, as well.
For instance, if you have ever re-read some of your own fledgling compositions after writing for a while, you have probably noticed glaring mistakes and ways you might have rephrased some things.
Imagine not having to wait until you develop as a writer to have access to that finesse and expertise from the very beginning! That’s a huge benefit to collaboration: multiple perspectives bringing polish and clarity to your work!
— Ann Smarty (@seosmarty) September 1, 2016
When you break out of your comfort zone, you are given the chance to come up with completely new ideas to already-existing problems. Only the interaction with a coworker can facilitate this kind of breakthrough.
As an introvert, you may be scared about joining a co-working group. Challenge yourself to step out into the unknown. Much of what you fear is fear itself.
You don’t have to commit to attending every meet-up. Start with something like Shut Up and Write. The main focus of this co-working group is to Write. You spend 2 hours together and simply type your blog post or write your novel.
There is very little socializing at the beginning and toward the end but not more than 10 or 15 minutes. A perfect time to exercise your social skills. [This tip and a few others have been contributed by Sara Duggan]
Utilize Your Co-working Space
This is an ideal time to be a freelancer or solopreneur. Co-working spaces allow a start-up to have an address to receive packages and mail. You can rent small suites to meet with clients or call clients in a no-kid zone. Most have coffee shops attached – a real bonus.
For example, Sara’s local co-working space supports start-ups by having a competition each year. You apply by pitching your business idea and if you are accepted, you get to participate in an 8-Week Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp.
Another example: A popular blogger runs the Sacramento Bloggers group and brings in speakers to help become better bloggers.
Working at home can make you feel lonely after a long period of time, which is something that coworking can easily fix. When you work in a group with other individuals, the socialization can immediately erase feelings of loneliness, giving you a sense of camaraderie, even when you are working with complete strangers.
The benefits of coworking with strangers are numerous. If you need a change of pace or scenery, or want an infusion of new ideas that could benefit your current project, coworking is a concept that is well worth exploring.