By Jennifer Belk

work from home dad

Kids out of school? Home office just turn into Grand Central Station?

GREAT NEWS! SUMMER IS HERE!

Bad news …. Summer is here

Summer can be a wonderful break for kids … a way to refresh themselves and prep for the fall. However, it can be a very stressful time for the 1/3rd of us who are independent, remote or mobile workers. The place that may have been our haven now makes us the go-to person for entertainment and information for bored offspring. You want to spend time with them, but you still have a job, and now that job has become harder to do.

When you are working, you feel guilty about (and distracted by) having to shoo away the kids. When you are with the kids, you are constantly plugged-in because you feel you didn’t get everything done for work. Coworkers and family don’t know what your “office hours” are because they don’t exist. The line between home time and work time eventually disappears.

Do yourself and your children a favor …

 

Set and maintain expectations

During the school year, kids don’t expect you to be available constantly and they don’t care because they themselves are busy and juggling. However, in the summer they can’t understand that their responsibility level change but yours doesn’t.

Take heart … kids thrive when they have consistency and predictability. When they know what to expect, they aren’t frustrated as frequently. The flux of summer break can be unusually stressful for kids, especially if they expect total freedom, flexibility and availability on your part. Discussing each weekend what the next week has in store (as far as camps, workload, travel, etc.) can alleviate many disappointments and help kids take an active role in entertaining themselves.

Find a balance

It is important to understand that summer isn’t just for kids. Everyone needs a break to not only rest but to reflect on the past year and set priorities for the next (14 years teaching makes me think of years from summer to summer, not January to December). Finding a balance of work and play during the summer can help you realize that 50 weeks of working with your hair on fire isn’t erased by 2 weeks of vacation, any more than 50 weeks of eating nachos and hotdogs isn’t erased by a major juice cleanse!

Question …. could your summer work be consolidated into 3 dense days of productive work, allowing you to take many long weekends with the family? Continuing to work while kids are out of school, but doing it on an adjusted basis, can give mom and dad the best of both worlds.

Make the goal to be present with your work and your family

Whether you can take a lot or just a little time with the family over the summer, make it count! Being physically there doesn’t benefit the kids if your head is always in the laptop and your eyes are always on your phone. The dining room table should be covered with food, drink and Apples-to-Apples cards, not electrical cords and sticky notes. Seek ways to keep work at work and home at home, especially if you are an entrepreneur or a mobile professional.

 

But how do you do that?

One way is to connect with a local coworking community. These are collaborative, flexible office spaces where people (like you!) can go to have fully productive days, allowing them to pack up and go home and create that boundary between work and family that many independent workers have found to be elusive.

Coworking allows moms and dads to connect with other adults who can relate to the need for balance. Many coworking communities, like LOOM, offer part-time plans and month to month flexibility so that parents can use the work environment as a supportive resource as little and as much as needed.

Summer should be something we all look forward to! Not feeling it because you are thinking you can’t balance parenting and professional productivity? See how coworking can help!

 

Live in or around Fort Mill and not sure about the whole coworking thing? Give it a try for free!

Call us at 803-548-5666 a come have a trial day on us!

Is coworking a game changer independent workers?

I recently read an article, “Coworking— a game changer in office space” and thought it addressed a lot of the questions people have about coworking. Personally, I feel the community and educational amenities (lunch and learns, collaboration and consultation opportunities, etc.) are the foundation of coworking. This explains that as well as some of the more economical aspects.

DSC_1203Here are some of the most relevant sound bites:

 

• “Only 50% of the coworking business is the space, the other 50% is the community,”
• “Coworking is like the Uber of office space. You only pay for what you use for as long as you need the space.”
• As a coworking space operator, we assume the real estate risks. But we derisk the real estate holding costs for the users (members)
• “I started Collective Works because I saw isolation being one of the major challenges of small businesses and found a way of fixing it,”
• “I knew I wasn’t alone. I kept meeting people … who are entrepreneurs, but they weren’t quite prepared to make that jump from a home office to a proper office space as the risk was huge, especially if they had other financial commitments — for instance, children and a mortgage.”
• “Coworking is ideal for small high-growth companies like ours,” says Vasu. “We want to focus on growing our business and not managing an office.”
• “We chose coworking because we think that in the future, everybody will work in such spaces,”
• Murphy likens coworking to a gym membership. “In the future, a coworking membership will be like a gym membership…It will make life a lot easier and will definitely be the workplace of the future.”
• “It definitely opens up a new market segment, … where the government is encouraging entrepreneurship.”
• “There’s a misconception that coworking is only for start-ups,”

See entire article here
By Cecilia Chow / The Edge Property | April 8, 2016

Learn more about what LOOM Coworking, Gallery and Event Space is doing for professionals in the Fort Mill business community!

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Keeping Company with Those Smarter Than Yourself – A Look at the Shared Economy

Michael (my other half) has always said of his job “I don’t have to know everything, I just have to know the smart people”.

Back in the day, when a paycheck was earned by manual labor and hard work, it truly did “take a village” to raise a family and survive. When the original mill villages in Fort Mill were built, each house (no bigger than 3-4 rooms) was placed on a lot just large enough for that structure and a little bit extra to grow or raise SOMETHING … but not EVERYTHING. One person might have a small vegetable garden while another might have a chicken house. One might have an animal while another might own the plow for that animal to pull…. but no one had everything. If you wanted to feed your family, you depended on the skills, resources and the willingness of those around you.

This is just like us today. We are capable in our time and mental proficiency to do SOME of the things we need to do to become successful entrepreneurs or to keep a business going, but certainly not EVERYTHING.

DSC_1164Personally, I can handle making website updates but I will admit that I don’t know enough to start one from scratch. I can maintain our accounts and reservation systems online but I depend on the advice of those much more experienced than I am on what software to use to do it. Planning professional development events might be my superhero power, but I can’t do it without the sponsorships and support of local vendors.

Some people call this honesty being vulnerable, admitting you can’t handle everything. I call it being
realistic and smart. Why should we all feel like we have to be everything (marketer, planner, manager, designer, author, etc.) to our clients and our community when there are resources, our neighbors, all around us that can do it quicker and better than we can and make our local economy better in the process?

This also solidifies my belief that having a Coworking community in downtown Fort Mill has been a progressive step towards fostering the symbiotic relationships essential for innovation, fulfillment and success …. professionally and personally. Today’s Coworking communities, a representation of our shared economy, are not just about sharing products and space, but also rather sharing contacts, skills and knowledge. I believe there is nothing wrong with needing others. In fact, that is how we were made. That is how our community, the beautiful Fort Mill, was made … and why it will continue to thrive, if we help it.

So, you think I am smart? You should see who I keep company with!

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Can’t run your confidential business from a Coworking Community? Think again!

We often have visitors who think they can’t run their business or work on a startup in a shared workspace because of confidentiality concerns. In reality, there is no better place to do it! Consider this:

  • Everyone comes here to pursue their own dreams and needs … to be productive at their own business.
  • Within a collaborative business community, we understand that when one of us succeeds, we all succeed! Being surrounded by a diverse group (rather than an office full of coworkers vying for the same promotion) breeds authenticity and a supportive network.
  • Having a variety of professionals readily available means you always have someone (other than your dog or spouse) to bounce ideas off of and you can constantly have a finger on what is going on in many markets!
  • Lastly, all members sign a member agreement that has confidentiality clauses.

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Our Community Benefit Partner Program is expanding! … You in?

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We would like to welcome The Mud Puddle at Olives, Downtown Fort Mill’s new (and only!) merchant of fine coffee and craft beverages to our Community Benefit Partner Program! https://www.facebook.com/onmainstreet

Community Benefit Partners are local business owners who support our members while reaping the benefits of the increased foot traffic and brand marketing done by our staff. These partners offer helpful and creative discounts for goods and services in the downtown and greater Fort Mill area. Do you own or work for a restaurant, store or service provider that could take advantage of this opportunity? …. Some examples are….

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How to Network Without Being a Slimeball: by Chris Horner

We know deep down we need to do it, even though it can make our stomach turn just thinking about it. Sometimes we get the impression of the plaid coat used car salesman fast talker running around with a megaphone, shouting about themselves to everyone they see.

Even in this digital-Meetup-Twitter-Facebook saturated world, in-person networking can be some of the most productive that you can do. I’ve been to a thousand of these events for various positions that I’ve held, and I’m here to tell you that, done correctly, it’s not a waste of time. In this article, I’m going to give you some tips to make your time at these events productive and maybe, just maybe even enjoyable.

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How I Have Benefited from Coworking

People come to coworking for various reasons. I came because our two-bedroom house was too small for my work, my wife’s schooling, and the schooling for my 4 and 2-year-old children. One day, after several months in each other’s hair, we realized there wasn’t room.

I called up LOOM Coworking and started that day.

I did not think that a simple choice such as renting a coworking space could change my business for the positive, but it did. I have learned more about my business, I have found new clients, and I have been able to connect with the local community. Read more