A Love Letter to Coworking
I’m lucky enough to have a home office – a shut the door, window desk facing, bookshelves behind me, honest to god workspace of my own, where I am typing this right now. And it’s great…but it’s just me and my computer, and sometimes it can get very, very quiet, which can lead to disruptive behavior like losing an hour or two to Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re not familiar with the phrase, “the third place” it is was thought up by he marketing team at Starbucks to describe a comfortable, safe gathering place that’s not your house and not your office. In other words, Starbucks.
When I really need to concentrate on a project or a deadline, I grab my laptop and go to the nearest Starbucks, or other third places like my favorite dedicated coworking spot in Old Town or a bookstore and settle in. All I need is wi-fi. Wi-fi and a jacket – has anyone else noticed how chilly these places are?
Why do I bring this up? Last week, a couple of brutal memes with the same theme came up again, that we are spending entirely too much money buying $5 cups of coffee, when we could be drinking coffee at home and saving for retirement. Suze Orman and Chase Bank have been debunked elsewhere but I feel that I need to defend that third place with its luxurious, caffeinated space justification. Because staying at home might save you money but going outside and co-working will save your sanity. Bonus points if you can walk there. Double those if there’s free parking.
Coworking – Everybody’s doing it.
I mean, that much is obvious anytime you walk into a Starbucks. Across all ages and demographics. Teenagers doing their homework. Business meetings. And, of course people like you and me, just typing away. What is it that keeps people coming back to a crowded, often noisy room where they have to pay for the coffee, and can’t even control the music?
Being productive and responsible in a place where I have NO responsibilities.
I’m not responsible for anything except what I want to get done. I don’t have to make the coffee, I don’t have to clean the table, I don’t have to make the sandwich, I don’t have to do anything but work. Everything else I could want is already there for me. Kind of a relief.
Everyone is doing the same thing I’m doing – minding their own business. I can observe, but I don’t have to interact. No one expects anything from me when I walk in the door. Kind of a relief.
A built – in deadline.
If I’m away from home, that means eventually I have to go back home at some point, either because I have stuff to do, or you know, the bookstore is going to close! When you work for yourself, you have to be good with deadlines, or else you’re not not making money. Sitting down with a clear time limit for when you have to get up and go…is kind of a relief.
But here’s the most important part – don’t give yourself a hard time about the coffee, or about leaving your house to go and get it. Coworking and changing our work environment, for however long, can increase your productivity and helps your business thrive. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house to get any work done!
‘ll talk to you soon,