Freelance

Can Coworking overcome the Daily Grind?

Consider the term “the daily grind”. The framework that usually comes to mind is Monday through to till Friday, starting at 9am and finishing anywhere in the vicinity of 5pm, right?

There is no logical reason as to why we follow this trend. No scientific research has proven that we are more productive during these hours. Hell, most of the people working such hours can’t stand it. Through tradition alone, it has just become the norm.

If my studies in Philosophy at Melbourne Uni have taught me anything, it’s to not accept any established social framework as fact. Socrates created a legacy by doing just this: he questioned everything. Why should the working week be any different?

If I encountered a restless night’s sleep on Sunday, why should I drearily wake to my 7am Monday alarm, jump on a packed Melbourne train, knowing it will take me at least two short blacks before I can produce anything of value?

Some of us are morning people, admittedly. But personally, I'm not really human until post meridiem. 

My brief but insightful time at Framework Melbourne, one of Melbourne's new creative coworking spaces, has shed some light onto the working habits of a freelancer. People come and go as they please here. Taking a morning or an afternoon off from coworking is standard: not coming in for a whole day isn't uncommon.

One thing that is uncommon however is the stress levels. The mood is positive and everyone is social. The chilled background music and regular coworking means that silence is rare. Creativity and productivity are high. 

I like the way this coworking thing functions. This is one thing I’d say that the freelancers at Framework Melbourne coworking space have definitely got right.

If you're a Melbourne freelancer looking for a great coworking opportunity, Framework Melbourne open their doors for free on the first Monday of every month. What better reason to come in, connect and get creative?

Sick leave. A distant luxury.

My appendix blew up. I don't feel like working.

I feel like appendicitis is a reasonably common affliction these days and for whatever reason I didn't think it was that big a deal. Maybe mine was a particularly bad case but I certainly wasn't expecting the surgeons to tell me it would be six weeks until I had fully recovered. In fact, I'm told I shouldn't lift anything heavier than a kilo in the next week. You would be surprised what weighs a kilo. My girlfriend gets me water from the fridge because I can't physically lift the jug.

While previous positions have allowed me to tap into sick leave, there is no such luxury for us freelancers and small business owners. I won't be around Framework Melbourne too much for the next little while. I simply feel guilty and anxious about all the work I'm not doing and all of the money I'm not bringing in through the door. This is of course exhausting, and puts my weakened mind and body to sleep, where I have unproductive dreams about cartoon animals (another story).

The trick seems to be having a good little team, a few solid connections and a personal brand identity you can be proud of. Coworking spaces are good for that. The support of my loved ones has meant everything to get me physically through my very first hospital visit but the support of my colleagues and a belief in the brand I work with keeps me positive and ready to hit the ground running. Or hobbling... kind of slightly bent over with some light pain killers and plenty of nap time in the middle of the day.