Coworking: The Cure for What Ails Me?

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I’ve been lonely lately.

I mean, freelancing has always been lonely. I sit in my condo, hunched over my keyboard, getting more and more used to not going out. I have full-on conversations with my three cats. I tweet, and retweet, and @reply, pretending that virtual conversations are just as good as actual human contact. I feel lonely.

And my husband has been working longer and longer hours, building a business on top of working full-time. I can’t really blame him. He’s the breadwinner. But I feel lonely, and so I pick fights with him, and succumb to depression.

Last week, our couples therapist pointed out that I was relying on my husband to provide me with all of my social interaction. It was like a lightning bolt, this epiphany. Once upon a time, I worked in the city, in an actual office. When I went full-time freelance, I lost that social outlet. I never replaced it. Could coworking be the answer?

The coworking setup is gaining ground, as more and more freelancers seek out the one thing they miss about working in an office (well…there’s that and the regular income). What is coworking? A collaborative space for freelancers. Groups like Jelly are organizing coworking setups around the world, and sites like this one provide additional resources for those who are looking for a coworking setup near them, or even looking to start one of their own.

Anyone here do coworking? How has it affected your workday? And why can’t I find anything in NJ!? ::sigh:: Fingers crossed that I can find an arrangement (other than parking my booty at Panera Bread and pigging out on soup in a bread bowl) that gets me out of the condo on a regular basis.

Related: In Favor of Freelancedom: You Can Do It Anywhere

Comments

  1. Coworking sounds like a great idea…It would be awesome to have an office full of independent freelancers who gather there on a daily basis to work on their individual projects, help others out with projects and even (gasp) socialize every once in a while.

    Steph, if I were in NJ, I would co-work with you…I bet that would be a blast and a HUGE benefit (especially if you had freelancers that worked in different areas) is that you would be around different topics, not just the ones you focused on…even better if you had a photographer on board who could provide you with pictures and such for articles you are working on – paid of course πŸ˜‰

  2. I wish there were a co-working site closer to me. The closest is Ithaca, where I do have a client but I do not get there all the time.

  3. Some friends and I were trying to get a coworking place started here in St. Petersburg, but it never really got off the ground. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the resources or ties to enough local freelancers to get a good group together. However, I know there are quite a few in the NYC area. Check this out: http://coworking.pbworks.com/

  4. there’s a vacant office building next to our condo. you should get a group of freelancers together and split the rent πŸ™‚

  5. Steph: You know you have an open invitation to come to Casa de Dossy and work from here.

  6. Sing it, sister! My cat and I have never been closer. I have a far-off dream in which I (make enough money to) rent an office space and work with other freelancers there – on our own projects, but together each day. I didn’t realize other people had thought about this too. Getting together in a free space is an even better idea. Problem for me is not knowing any other freelancers. If I did, I’d probably go out for lunch with them, if only for an excuse to get dressed.

  7. It sounds like coworking it exactly what you need. I was working from home and it was just lonely, plus I had all sorts of interuptions. I started to go to the local coffee shops but that costs money and I wasn’t able to really talk to people around me about my projects. I found a group and then a space locally (Northern CA) and that has made a huge difference for me. My fellow coworkers provide social interaction and allow me to bounce ideas off of them…
    As far as locations in NJ, sorry I can’t help but the folks at http://coworking.pbworks.com might be able to.

  8. It looks like I’m not the only lonely freelancer out there. πŸ™‚ I’ve actually considered the NC coworking spaces, but the commuting costs are somewhat prohibitive. Maybe I should start my own coworking group. Or just hang out at Panera every day. Or Dossy’s house. πŸ™‚

    I love the freelance connections I’ve made online so much. I wish desperately I could connect with you in real life! No matter how much I talk to my cats, they never seem to respond…

  9. jesse Dziedzic says:

    I couldn’t think you are more right…

Trackbacks

  1. […] Coworking: The Cure for What Ails Me? Steph Auteri’s pondering of a debate that seems to be growing more common in the freelance […]

  2. […] 2. This job will get me out of the damn house, and among people again. A really cool group of people. And, as we know, I’ve been desperately lonely lately. […]

  3. […] York Sun folded, I took a definite financial hit. But what was even tougher to deal with was being alone all the time. All the freelance work I did was off-site. And I took on as much of it as I could, […]

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