When you work next to babies and dogs…
As my job is completely flexible and the rest of my team are not local, I often work from cafes to get out of the house, and I do love a good coffee!
The good side to this is I decide where and when I work, there is no washing up, the environment is constantly changing and great for people watching, and I feel glad to be out of the house…
However, I’ve actually found that working in cafes I’m often not as productive as I could be- when a noisy dog is barking and disrupting my chain of thought, or a baby is crying- I just want to give them a hug and tell the mum it’s OK if they look worried about it. Trying to have conference calls using cafe Wifi as well has proven quite tricky sometimes- having to turn off my video because the wifi could'n’t cope with it. When you work virtually as I do, the video feed is an important part as it’s the only way people can really connect with you and if a picture tells a thousand words, imagine what a video feed does- it shows you working, it shows what you’re dealing with so much better than any nicely-worded email could ever do. A disembodied voice can’t tell the whole story effectively!
The other thing I find is a spend a lot of money on food and coffee and I don’t always eat very healthily. If you have an amazing cafe with loads of healthy choices, brilliant! But I often find my favourite places to work don’t always have the best food selections.
As a part of what I want to do with Mumming, I am visiting local co-working spaces to investigate alternatives. So far my research has found that the ‘cool’ spaces are too far away to be feasible for me- central or east London is just too far to schlep especially if I were to go with Leo and drop him at childcare locally to where I was working. Have you tried travelling with a pushchair and/or small child in London rush hour? No thanks!
I have found some local spaces that I’m investigating further- I think the workspace is changing- we need local community spaces where we can work, bring our children and relax. More and more people are working remotely / flexibly / out of the office, so we need local spaces that work for co-working parents. The way the system is set up now is so unhelpful- strict childcare on set days and times only- not necessarily close to where we live and work… long commutes, not spending enough time with the kids but needing to work to pay the bills. I think we can do better- the internet has allowed us to be able to work almost anywhere anytime, so let’s take advantage of that!
UPDATE July 2019
I now run weekly Co-Working sessions at a fab venue that is actually a perfect workspace- we have our own area in a beautifully refurbished classy pub in Teddington- check out upcoming sessions here!