Sarah Browning stuck her toe in the water and tried Jelly pop-up coworking for the first time. And here’s her account.
This is it, I’m finally here – my first KindredHQ Jelly co-working event. My first Jelly event of any sort, in fact.
I’m sitting at a table with a cup of tea, my laptop, phone and papers (plus my trusty coloured pens, don’t go anywhere without those), along with 3 other people who have similar work ‘stuff’ of their own. There are a couple of other tables of similarly companionable and engaged people. On the other side of the room is a delicious-looking birthday cake – courtesy of our host for the afternoon, Alex. So far, so good!
There’s the level of background chat you would get in a shared office, plus background music (we’re at Mozilla, in their chill-out area – must be a pretty cool place to work, if a ‘proper job’ is your thing). This beats sitting in my kitchen on my own, any day. Half-way through the afternoon – am I still feeling it?
Yes, I am! It feels cool and fun to be working in a new and different environment, with new people and assorted snatches of conversations going on. Somehow, even though the people around me probably don’t give a monkeys whether I am achieving and getting through my to do list or not, the presence of others is helping me to keep productive.
At least, that’s true until Alex stands up and announces “It’s cake-o’clock!” This elicits a resounding cheer from the assembled co-workers, although I notice that no-one downs tools immediately, which shows how engaged we all are with what we are working on. Would this be the same if we were in a regular office?
While we all tuck into a fantastic cake – the best word I can use to describe it is ‘frou-frou’ – we each take it in turns to introduce ourselves and give a quick summary of what we do. This is purely for interest and introduction purposes, there’s none of the hard sell you get at some networking events. That’s not what Jelly is for and today’s group appears to be staying true to that principle. It’s actually really refreshing and liberating to be talking about what I do without the pressure of feeling I have to ‘sell’ my work and come away with business cards. One of the guys in the group said “This is my gang” and even though I’m only here for the first time, I feel a sense of that too!
After scoffing the cake, grabbing another drink (more tea anyone?), it’s back to work. No-one moans, no-one groans, no-one dawdles….. Again, this is different to my experience of cake breaks in a full-time employment situation.
A bit more work and a bit more chat – Eurovision, songs from the 70s, the Olympics opening ceremony – and then it’s time to go home. The 4 hours have absolutely flown by and I’ve got loads of work done.My verdict? I’ve really enjoyed it and I’ll be back again in the future! Thanks, KindredHQ!
Twitter id: @BrowningYork