Work Buddies Online
Is this you?
You work or study remotely – at home or at a coworking space.
You are either running your own business or work as a remote freelancer, contractor or employee.
Do you often feel…
- That you miss the feeling of having other people around you?
- Frequently distracted, unproductive, and that you are wasting time.
- That you miss the collaboration of with others to share ideas and give feedback?
- Alone and isolated in your work.
- Overwhelmed or swamped.
- Lost in your to-do list.
- Over-done with computer time and crave more connection with others who ‘get you’ and are part of your tribe.
You love the freedom of your own endeavours, yet miss the collaboration and synergy of having co-workers or work mates.
We are building this community for people that love the freedom of remote work yet miss the buzz of having people around them and the accountability that comes with that.
Our big picture dream is to build a fully functional platform to support this all over the world.
Come and co-work with us remotely. It’s free and it works!
How it works
Step 1: Book in
Visit our schedule page and choose a preferred morning or afternoon 'Co-Work Time' and add it to your calendar (usually 4 hours).
Step 2: Connect on Zoom
We meet and greet first, and warm up with introductions, chat and share what we are working on.
Step 3: Get focused
We set a synchronised timer and focus distraction-free on mute as agreed (25, 35 or 45 minutes at a time), together on mute.
Step 4: Collaborate
We break for short and longer periods so there's great chances to connect and catch-up.
It's amazing how knowing others are 'at work' with you, keeps you accountable and focused.
And there are great people to learn from have fun with and maybe one day collaborate with.
As we grow... so will the days we work together.
Transformational coach, UX Researcher, design thinker and the mother of ‘Work Buddies Online’. She’s worked remotely for over ten years and knows all about the challenges it brings. Janine seems to bring people together wherever she goes and has her eyes firmly set on a future where digital nomads, entrepreneurs, students, office workers and everybody else who works remotely can connect, contribute and collaborate. We are wired for connection. She’s on a mission.
Visionary, long time entrepreneur, organiser and communicator extraordinaire. The rock solid one that keeps this show on the road with focus and determination no matter what!
Why is it free?
This is a passion project and we are figuring out what works at the moment. Our ultimate vision is to build a digital platform to faclilitate this all over the world. For now, we are happily discovering if this is what you want and will use, and how to make it work. We love your donations (buy us coffee!) as an exchange of happy vibes, yet, that is totally up to you.
How do we work over video?
It's a very simple idea, yet very effective. We are all on Zoom, our faces or work spaces are on camera, and once we mute, we get to work, and we can see each other on the screen, working (gallery view is best)!
With just a laptop, the simplest way is to shrink and move Zoom to the side, and then use the other part of the screen for your work.
An advanced version is to take a phone or iPad positioned to the side of you a little further away with the Zoom on, so that you only have your work on your laptop.
I'm not a morning person. Can I join later?
Yes you can! Just quietly arrive on Zoom, mute yourself and wait until the next break to say hi. You can see on our synchronised timer where we are up to in our session.
Can I leave early?
Yes of course. Just let us know at your last break or say goodbye in the chat window.
What if I'm a bit video-shy? Especially when I have my concentration face on!
Whilst it's important to be on video when we introduce ourselves and at the breaks (otherwise, what's the point?), you can always switch off the video during the focus sessions.
The other work-around one of our work buddies came up with was to position his iPad a little further way and to the side of his work station, because he preferred not to be 'face-to-face whilst he was working. You can get creative!
How do you manage the group sizes?
When we have larger groups working together, we use break out rooms with 2-3 members at the breaks. That way you can get to know each other beyond the large group interaction.
Can I take a call during the session?
Yes, you're on mute anyway, so call away! It's just like being in the office with other co-workers around you working.
How do we keep in sync with the timer?
We use a synchronised timer tool, so that we all can see together how long we have left until the break, or how much of our break we have left.
What's the Pomodoro Technique?
There's a whole book written about this! This is what first inspired us to use a timer.
In a nutshell, you pick one thing from your list to focus on, set the timer for 25 minutes and stay on it until the timer goes off. Any other distractions or things you think about during the 25 minutes, you write down on a piece of paper, then come back to your single task. Then you take a 5 minute break, and go again.
I have my favourite buddies now. Can we just work together in our own group?
Of course. Using the Facebook group you are welcome to gather your favourites and set up your own groups together. We encourage this! You'll just need to use your own Zoom Room, or the Spontaneous Facebook Group Room that we are trialling. We'd love you to let us know how you go.
Do you do skillshares or masterminds?
This is definitely in our plan. Depending on you all and what you want. It is easy for us to add these on at the end of or beginning of our sessions if you want to get learn from your co-working buddies, or seek their collaborative input on a challenge you have.
Will there be a session in my time zone?
Help us create one! We will support you. We are certainly planning to have sessions that suit our friends and co-workers everywhere else. It's just a matter of time!
“I was looking for a solution to my lack of productivity. I was even starting a Mastermind group (yet) I realized that what I needed most is getting things done. Work Buddies Online sessions help get me focused. With our pomodoro sprints, I am able to focus on ONE thing and start working. Usually by the second sprint, I can see things getting done on my list that would otherwise hang around for days, weeks or even months. I would love to have more of these meetings throughout the week. Thank you Janine and Marja for creating this opportunity.”
“I did loads there! It’s so weird! Knowing you were there with the ‘pressure’. I didn’t stop I just kept on going and that’s good. It just shows you as humans we don’t want to be alone do we?”
“I just got more done in 25 minutes than I have all morning on my own, and I woke up at 6am. I got so distracted all morning and then you showed up and said ‘let’s do a session’ and seeing you in the background I felt guilty if I kept Googling so I actually got some work done!.”
“Thanks for the warm welcoming Janine! This morning session really helped out, taking on tasks with a focus I had not felt since working in the office! It made me feel quite fulfilled and good about myself. I was sweating the technical novelties a bit, but I’m glad I overcame my reluctance.”