So, I’m Planning to Create a Virtual Co-working Space

photo by Dylan Gillis

This is going to be a big undertaking but it’s something I’ve wanted to try for a long time and I hope you’ll join me.

Let’s get straight into it, shall we?

What is a Virtual Co-working Space?

A virtual co-working space is literally anywhere that people can come together online and get some work done. The exact method and organization may vary depending on the app used and the type of work being done, but it can be helpful for basically anyone and can be especially valuable for those who are doing a lot of solitary work.

You may have used one already as many have had to work from home because of the pandemic.

Why Join a Virtual Co-working Space?

There are two big reasons why you might want to join one:

  1. Accountability
  2. Community

If you are working alone – either on a side-hustle, or if that has become your new norm in this post-pandemic world, you may have found it difficult to get work done when you have no one to answer to and no set time frame you have to work within.

Having a community come together to work together and cheer each other on can be great for boosting your motivation and keeping you accountable to more than just yourself.

Productivity at home has become a necessary by-product of the world we now live in and we’re seeing more and more resources to help facilitate that. It’s become that much easier to create a virtual workplace.

I think it can be particularly powerful when you create a community of people with similar goals and interests. You not only have people to hold you accountable, but who may be able to help if you need it.

Why Am I So Interested in Co-Working?

Last summer was rough – I was struggling to find any measure of stability and routine and found it incredibly difficult to focus on anything. It was early in the fall when I suspected (after doing considerable research) that I had ADHD, and began seeking out methods that would help me stay focused and productive.

While I wouldn’t say I was an active member of the Twitch community, I do regularly tune in to writers on that platform who host writing streams, where we sprint as a community to try and get some work done. These were nice if sporadic, but when they happened, I was very productive.

My research made me aware of the concept of body-doubling. Essentially, when you are working with someone else, they act as an anchor, or “body double” and help you focus on the present and reduce distractions.

At present, this is all theoretical – there is no hard empirical data to back up the idea of body-doubling, but there are accounts that it is particularly effective for people who have ADHD. See where I’m going with this?

I wanted to find more regularly streaming writers, but what I found instead was a plethora of co-working and study streamers on Twitch – people who alternated between chatting with their viewers and timed focus sessions – or “pomos” (so named, because they are based on the Pomodoro method), as a way to help you get more work done and stay accountable.

And they have been extremely effective for me.

Through the fall and much of the holiday season, I was tuning into these streams regularly and found a remarkable boost to my productivity.

Here are the streamers that have helped me these last few months. I highly recommend checking them out if you’re interested in co-working!

Working by yourself at home can become extremely isolating, and if you have poor focus, poor self-discipline, or are prone to loneliness it can become extremely difficult to get work done.

And that’s where the co-working space comes in – a place anyone can join to get some work done and feel a little less like they’re going it alone.

I can’t stress how important those streams have been in helping me get my work done these past few months, and I want to do the same for others who may be struggling as I did.

What Would This Co-Working Space Look Like?

This is where I would love your input. I considered streaming, but I’m not sure I have decent internet to make that a reality at this point. I’m not ruling it out yet, but that route will have more hurdles to jump.

I’ve also considered creating a Discord server with separate rooms for working and chatting, as well as commands and timers for focused work. And maybe even playlists. There is a lot of flexibility with a discord server, but it will take me some time to set up.

With a Discord server in particular, I could set up commands that will allow you to join and work no matter when or where – one of the perks of a virtual space is that it can be accessed by anyone in the world. I don’t want location or time zone to be a limiting factor, though the community will be smaller at first, and finding someone to work with at all times may present a challenge. I will try to be on as much as possible, and we can organize something as a community as well.

Who Can Join This Space?

Anyone can join.

As long as you are committed to getting work done and eager to find a community to help support you and keep you accountable. Whether you’re stuck at home isolating, a writer, freelancer, or student – it really doesn’t matter.

If you have struggled with working alone and think having a supportive community will truly help, then I encourage you to consider joining once I’ve finalized everything.

Interested in Joining?

If you’d like to join this virtual co-working space, leave a comment below so I can notify you when it goes live! Also, if you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know! I want to build an amazing community where we can all achieve our goals!

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