‘WTH is virtual coworking?’ and ‘How the heck do people get work done that way?’

With more and more cities issuing work-from-home or shelter-in-place directives alot of coworking spaces are leaning towards ‘virtual coworking’ sessions via platforms like Zoom, Crowdcast and others.

 

But a pair of questions we keep getting/seeing across our internal and extended network is “what is virtual coworking anyways?”, and “how can people even get things done in all these virtual coworking calls?”

 

And both are great questions. To answer them, we need to take a quick look at the kind of virtual calls could fall under ‘coworking’.

 

 

 

👋 Check-in / connection calls.

 

These are usually between peers and literally allow for quick calls to catch up with others.

 

Whilst arguably ‘no real work’ gets done in these calls, they come first because right now, many humans need a peer-support network to just chat to every now and again.

 

⏲ Work sprints / pomodoro calls.

 

These are the calls where a coordinator uses some kind of timed mechanism to balance work/chat sessions for a bunch of folks.

 

Attendees usually mute their mics and calls during work sprints, unmuting to chat during breaks. Sometimes these calls or listen to shared audio  with lofi channels being kinda popular for these sessions.

 

Usually the pomodoro technique is used to time these sessions.

 

👌 Accountability calls.

 

These calls are shorter, more structured but scheduled over a few days.

 

The first call introduces folks to each other before having each participant commit to achieving some objective(s).

 

The next call is a check in to see where folks are, and how progress is being made.

 

The last call is to check how everyone did, and to chat about what can be improved. The next set of calls can then be scheduled.

 

These can run weekly with calls on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or over three weeks with calls every Wednesday for example.

 

👩‍🏫Knowledge-led calls.

 

These calls (sometimes called ‘webinars’ but due to the untold number of overly-sales-y webinars that term has lost its credibility with most busy people we asked) focus on having thought-leaders or experts give talks or lead discussions about certain topics.

 

There are also hybrids of these like Cat Johnson’s Coworking Convos where they start with an on-topic session of shared insights from an industry leader before opening up for a frank and open discussion and tips sharing between attendees.

 

🤝 Coordinated-action calls.

 

These calls are usually between peers who congregate around a singular objective and are based around a group of individuals or organizations cooperating to achieve set goals.

 

These are popular for coworking alliances, and associations for similar-skilled or niche workers.

 

A great example here is the European Coworking Assembly’s monthly first-Friday and weekly calls.

 

🧠 Mastermind / Roundtable calls.

 

Similar to some of the above, these calls are usually topic-specific but are open to a wider audience and participation is encouraged from all attendees.

 

Great examples of these are New Work Cities‘ mastermind sessions and the Coworking Operator Rountables coordinated between numerous coworking alliances and supporters.

 

The Shift from connecting to getting-shhh-done.

 

Right now, most calls are focussed on the chatting, checking in and being empathetic towards the stresses placed on businesses, employees and the self-employed.

 

As time passes and work requirements continue, more and more folks will switch to other kinds of calls and virtual coworking sessions for accountability, peer-support and a tiny bit of sanity to break the cabin-fever.

 

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Stay informed and share your thoughts.

Stay safe out there, and if there’s anything we can help you or your community or your business with, please do ping us on Twitter @includedco, where we’ll also be sharing more information about other calls, coworking sessions and more resources during these trying times.

 

Got any other types of virtual calls to share? Or planning virtual events for your community?

Let us know via our Twitter handle above.

 

Cover photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

 

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About the Author

Hector Kolonas

Hector Kolonas

Passionate about connecting entrepreneurial communities, so that amazing people can take their businesses from anywhere to everywhere.