The Coworking Challenge
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My definition for the current direction of coworking.

random strangers choosing to sit shoulder to shoulder with each other in distracting awkwardness, with the overwhelming feeling of obligation to engage in witty banter

It’s ironic, but through my entire IT career it was a constant complaint of employees when they got stuck in a room with or in close proximity to a coworker. The #1 reason to get promoted in the corporate world was getting your own office, whether for designers, PM, devs, etc. Now everyone wants to sit shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of strangers.

The problem with coworking is first and foremost the definition of work. Sometimes work requires collaboration. When it does, working closely with others is far more productive than remote work. But this requires you to cowork with the people on your actual project, not people working on a completely different project with a different company.

The opposite of collaborating, which is the bulk of most work, necessitates you being alone. It’s head down, get things done work. For this you need isolation. Coworking is a total fail for this kind of work. You can’t do pomodoro quality work when you feel obligated to socialize or collaborate. If you aren’t doing this type of focused work, well, you aren’t getting much done.

I think what most people mean when they say cowork, is socializing with peers during work hours. As much fun as this is, it’s not work. Save it for breakfasts, lunches, meetups, and after hours. There are enough distractions in a day as it is without sitting next to someone you rarely see who you enjoy talking to.

Back before there were coworking spaces, I frequently coworked with a friend at Panera Bread. This was back before anyone else was doing it. We were the only two there and using their wifi. We would frequently get asked about it by customers and employees. They were so puzzled as to what we were doing in a restaurant with our laptops. It was the glory days; the benefits of being a pioneer. No shortage of electrical outlets! Within a year, the plugs were impossible to get, the wifi was turned off at lunch and the fun was just gone. Though at least customers stopped walking by us staring in confusion and sometimes judgement.

During those early times of “coworking”, we actually worked. We would sit next to each other for hours without speaking. We stopped for lunch and talked only then, and after, dove right back into isolated work. I don’t see that any more. I see people gathering to do 50% work and 50% talk. That just isn’t effective. We’d be better off separating our social time from our work time. It would make us more effective at both.

I’ve been looking into another solution, in hopes of launching it in the Safety Harbor area, that would solve the desire for “coworking”, and the need to be around others, but remove the distracting nature of what occurs today. Hopefully I can find the right place and the funding to give it a shot.

I prefer asynchronous communication!
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Coders have been using asynchronous communication for years, but now with our new methods of online communication, we are all enjoying its benefits. This is the perfect t-shirt for the way your inner geek prefers to communicate.

I had a blast working with my fellow Gauged2 teammate, Keith Burson, as he brought my slogan to life using his awe-inspiring design skills. Now we need your votes to get it printed!
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Happy Birthday to my Son and Best Friend
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Today is my Son’s 13th birthday. It’s hard to believe its been that long since he was born. I’m so blessed to have had the privilege of watching him grow into such a fine young man. His heart if full of willingness to help others whenever he can and whenever he is asked. He is fearless in reaching toward his goals, attempting things I myself was never able to at his age. I’ve been inspired watching him work hard at the skate park to learn new tricks, getting back up when he falls, trying over and over again without feeling defeated; playing football with him in any weather, repeating the same pass plays over and over, no matter how many times he dropped the ball, he wanted ‘one more pass’ because he wants to get better; seeing him march on the field with his fellow Civil War reenactors, most of whom are adults, watching him fire cannons and rifles, performing difficult drills, and doing whatever is asked of him to support his group; watching him work hard around the house so he can earn the hundreds of dollars he’s need to purchase his Civil War gear; it’s all been such an amazing blessing to be a part of.

Over the year’s he’s helped his church, raised thousands of dollars to support unwed mothers in their unexpected pregnancies, and helped out numerous times at our local community center. And, while he prefers playing football, skateboarding, firing guns, and many other things that boys his age love, he still has no problem finding time and energy to play with his little sister, and do the things that she enjoys that he would otherwise have no interest in.

He’s a huge help at home, both to myself and his mother. He does his chores reliably, gets his school work done, and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to discipline him in the last several years. He has become more than just my son, he is one of my best friends. In many ways I look up to him, and on his birthday today, I wanted to take a moment to say, thank you to him for his love, his commitment, his friendship and for often times being the person that I myself wish I was.

You sir, are commendable. Happy Birthday. This badge is for you.

Movie Review: The Expendables
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I got a chance to see the Expendables. With a line up like that, I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time, and I didn’t even know Charisma Carpenter was in this! Here are some thoughts:

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PeepNote Spring Peeps Giveaway!
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Giveaway basketWe are running a giveaway right now at peepnote.com/giveaway. One winner chosen at random will win the basket full of Spring goodies including a stuffed Peep and a bunch of Marshmallow Peeps, and a lot more. It’s worth over $129 and will be shipped at no charge to the winner’s door. It’s great for yourself or as a gift to a child for Easter.

The giveaway ends Sunday, so hurry and follow the directions to enter today.

 

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