This week I attended a co-working day in The Dock Market in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. The event, organised by Wabi-Sabi is a bit of an ongoing experiment into new ways of working together, particularly for freelancers. In this article I’ll briefly tell you a bit about this growing group of individuals and how this new way of working could prove to be beneficial for you if you’re one of them.
Freelancers, Creatives, Entrepreneurs, Sole Traders, Consultants!
Since I left behind the safety net of full-time employment in a busy digital agency to become a self-employed ‘freelancer’ or any of the other equally applicable descriptors above, one of the things people sometimes ask is – do you not get lonely?
For most of us who choose to work this way, being lonely is unlikely 99% of the time. Our weeks are full of variety and our office can be anywhere (ideally somewhere I can drink lots of tea, get a good wifi signal and have access to a plug socket to charge up the laptop and smartphone when necessary).
But every now and again, it’s healthy to get out and meet new people, form new collaborations and just have a bit of good old ‘Norn Iron’ banter. And for that we have Wabi-Sabi days!
A Change of Scenery
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘A change is as good as a rest’. A new environment allows us to break away from our normal daily routines. For many freelancers our office is our kitchen table, spare bedroom, living room coffee table, or wherever we feel like sitting each day. And although one of the greatest perks is trading queues of traffic on the M1 for a 5 second walk to the ‘home office’ dressed in jogging bottoms, hoodie and skecher gutties, every now and then it’s good to exchange the familiar view of my driveway and overgrown back garden for something different. On Wednesday, this was it and I’m sure you’ll agree, it wasn’t a bad view.
Creative Space Full of Inspiring People
Freelancers are undoubtedly some of the most inspiring people to be around. They are the type of people who have a strong sense of self-belief that gives them the courage to challenge the norm, push the boundaries, take risks, try new things and make things happen! Being in a space crammed full of like-minded people certainly helps to get your creative juices flowing – new ideas are born and new partnerships formed.
If a change of scenery and inspiring company aren’t good enough reasons to go along – well, the food isn’t bad either! I don’t know about you but I can live with fresh scones for breakfast, tasty platters of sandwiches, wraps, crisps and fresh fruit for lunch, followed by the all-important sugar fix from caramel squares, malteaser buns and iced shortbread for afternoon tea!
The Wabi-Sabi husband and wife team, Allen & Dawn Baird can also advise you on where some of the other local co-working haunts are in your area if Belfast is a bit far for you. For South Down entrepreneurs like myself, the lovely Suzanne Murdock will welcome you all to her co-working space, The Hub Newry.
Are you a fan of co-working spaces?….