In 2020 we experienced a once-in-a-lifetime event – a global pandemic that completely changed the way we lived. COVID-19 caused an entire readjustment to life. Many people who were accustomed to the traditional 9-5 work/life balance had to relearn how to work productively from home. Those who were laid off had to figure out how to earn an income when finding a new job was next to impossible. And, necessity being the mother of invention, many people who found themselves newly unemployed started new online businesses.
In short order, recreating the modern workday, accounting for remote work, and the sudden surge of new online businesses led to the popularity of “virtual co-working.” It quickly became mainstream, and now virtual co-working is on its way to becoming the new norm for working on your own.
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What is virtual coworking?
Virtual co-working is a community of people who choose to work together online. And with so many people stuck at home, virtual co-working gained popularity. Their daily routine switched up so quickly, and staying at home all day became repetitive, lonely, and started impacting productivity. Working from home can definitely put a block on your motivation and mental wellbeing. So figuring out ways to virtually work together was necessary to lift those mental blocks.
You’re surrounded by daily distractions like cooking dinner, doing laundry, or even just flipping on Netflix. Also, when you’re in a co-working space or an office, you have daily interactions where you can talk about work or have mini mental breaks. Virtual co-working allows you to restructure your day and give you the feeling of community that we are all lacking by working on our own.
There are so many different ways that companies, individual teams, and entrepreneurs have adopted virtual co-working into their weekly routines. This can look like virtual coffee chats, team meetings, one on ones, virtual happy hours, etc.
What’s the point?
So, what’s the point? What are the benefits? The biggest benefits of virtual co-working are structure, productivity, and freedom.
Rather than looking at your email for 8 hours, put these meeting on your calendar and better manage the time in-between. These online virtual check-ins are great for people who need a bit of motivation to start their workday. Or if they’re scheduled in the evening, it gives you a moment to reflect on the day. These can also punctuate your routine, “Ok, my day is starting.” Or “Ok, it’s time to log off.”
Standing meetings with your team, or individual coworkers can keep you connected and accountable for the work that you need to get done.
Productivity & The Sharing of Information
It’s so easy to procrastinate when you’re on your own! But connecting with a team and discussing what you’re doing helps keep you focused. It’s also great because you can talk through your thoughts. Maybe you’re overcomplicating something or missing a potential hurdle. Co-working allows you to tap into their views and draw inspiration from them.
Being physically in the office is one of the biggest setbacks people face with traditional 9-5 jobs. But the switch to remote work has taught us that we don’t need those confines. We don’t need our desk, we don’t need monitors, and we definitely don’t need to be stuck inside.
So What Do We Need?
What we need is community and structure, and virtual co-working is a great way to have those things without reverting to a 9-5 model. For solopreneurs, virtual co-working allows you to feel part of a group. You can talk to others, and connect with others which leads to better workflow and better-produced work.
If you’re an online entrepreneur that doesn’t have a team or coworkers, there are plenty of online communities or virtual co-working spaces that you can join. It’ll allow you to meet like-minded people who are familiar with the entrepreneurial struggle. Having a community is integral to one’s growth. And a virtual community allows you to have that connection while still working when and where you want to.
Celia is a Marketing Alchemist who helps women entrepreneurs develop online strategies that are sustainable to maintain. Assisting clients nationally, Celia wants those she works with to feel nurtured, warm, and uplifted.