The Home Based Co-worker

This isn’t an idea I like.  It is not something I would ever want in my life.  But it is something which would improve the quality of my wife’s life dramatically – which has to be a good thing.

You see, Adelina, my wife, is a people person.  And right now, she is setting up her own business – which means an awful lot of working from home.  It has become clear that a lack of people in her work day means lower productivity – or higher irritability.  She has a number of ways to cope with this – her social life has rocketed into space.  But it seems to me there ought to be a solution:

“Have you considered a Co-working space?” I asked.

She had. But they cost money, you can’t choose who Co-works with you, and you have to spend some of your day commuting to them, which takes away one of the key benefits of working from home.

Then, the other night, Adelina was getting on with some work while chatting with a friend on Skype.  She got more work done than normal.  And my idea began to grow:

So – here it is:

First thing in the morning you log into coworkingfromhome.com

Coworkingfromhome lets you sign up to be ‘seated’ close to people who have described their work with similar words.  Picked similar areas of interest.  It lets you upload a photo of yourself.  And it lets you talk – by VOIP, or by IM to the people you are seated near – either as group, or directly.  If you don’t like someone you are seated near, you can block them – they’ll just see you as leaving the office, and you’ll never need to hear from them again.  Or you can mute them (and they’ll know – it’ll be like you have your headphones on)

The concept of seating is probably the thing that makes this unique – imagine an office as an infinitely long table.  When you sit down, you chose the point on the table where other people who are like you also sit.  Moreover, you choose to sit near people you’ve sat with before, if at all possible to build up a sense of community.  Throughout the day, you can simply chat as you work, without having to put much effort in to the two or three people nearest you – and they can chat to people near them.  Everyone will have a slightly different group of people their talking is carried over to, and you can always move down the table to join in what sounds like an interesting conversation (the further people are away from you, they quieter their voices are played over voip)

What you’ll wind up with is something that provides the social value of an office workplace, and perhaps even offers valuable contacts, without the need to travel.  It won’t be a replacement for real face to face socialising, but it will provide you with a stream of constant sociability, which can keep your work rate up.

And the best thing about this idea?  If I ever work from home, I won’t have to use it.  Peace and quiet – thats the dream!

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