Coworking spaces have established themselves as the “new normal” and their fundamental characteristic is a sense of “community” and “collaboration”. Coworking communities are a transformed version of the traditional workplaces which are slowly decreasing in size as an aftermath of the pandemic crisis.
The coworking space is a new type of workplace: heterogeneous professionals, in terms of employment, their field of work, organizational status, and relationships, work all together in the same space.
This broad definition is due to the fact that there is no common interpretation of coworking in the academic literature. It is not a coherent phenomenon but a “new normal” based on the values of collaboration, openness, community, accessibility and sustainability, which each organization interprets ad hoc.
Uda’s (2013) definition of coworking spaces is a widely accepted one and goes as follows: “it is a way of working in which individuals gather in a space to create value while sharing information and knowledge through communication and collaborating under conditions of their choosing”.
We all agree that the practice of coworking in a space is a hybrid of remote working and working from a flexible office that does not commit you to anything!
The importance of co-creative work
Co-creative work is linked to the concept of “hubs”. Their structure and content can take various forms, such as coworking spaces, studios, clusters, incubators, accelerators etc. Often the boundaries between these are blurred and there are no clear definitions.
Co-creative work is a manifestation of affective creative labor and its essential ingredients are proximity and co-location. These two characteristics, together with inclusivity, are usually necessary to bring out a complete profile of a coworking space.
The importance of informality as a component of openness is also in the core of coworking. Informal relationships are truly motivating. When it comes to joining coworking spaces such as Stone Soup, we are proud of our coziness!
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/IMG_2148-min-scaled.jpg25601872Stella Noutsouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngStella Noutsou2022-11-18 13:22:232022-11-18 13:22:25Ingredients for a tasty coworking experience
Sergio is a freelancer specialising in informatics who first visited Athens six years ago while travelling. He came back to the city as a digital nomad and spend some of his time co-working with us.
Life in Athens
Having a Spanish origin, he feels very much at home in Athens and enjoys the Mediterranean climate and relaxed lifestyle of the locals. He has already toured a few of the islands as well as mainland Greece. What excites him the most is how easy it is to get away from the city into the countryside and ‘zone out’ as he put is.
‘I love nature. It makes me feel recharged and gives me fresh energy which I can then put into my freelance work. As a remote worker I am fortunate to get the chance to do that!.’
After completing his studies in Media, Sergio moved to Germany in order to to pursue a career in informatics. He is currently working as a web developer for a German finance company. During the pandemic he had to work from home most of the time, but accommodating himself into co-working spaces changed his mindset for the better.
‘I feel so much more concentrated when in an office due to the fact that I get to work without distractions. I especially like Stone Soup as a space because of the warm and welcoming feeling this place has. The atmosphere is quite the opposite from the stiff corporate environment I was used to be around and I really embrace that.’
Sergio’s hobby is prototyping video game ideas and developing graphics for them. He finds it way more exciting than anything else and he hopes to be able to make a living out of it in the future.
‘Having a project of your own is really fun and rewarding at the same time. For me it has been great working in an office space because I manage to split my time effectively in between my job and my hobby as well!’
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/IMG_1637-min-scaled-e1666179945548.jpeg10272248Stella Noutsouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngStella Noutsou2022-10-21 12:25:112022-12-16 14:54:21Meet Sergio, a freelance dev who fell in love with Athens!
What happens when four friends decide to share a private office in a coworking space? To start with, they let their creativity flow when it comes to naming their group. Jojo, Kourou, OBA, and Vagos are the Cobra Kai team! Thanks to the flexibility a coworking space provides, these four friends who work remotely decided to get a private office at Stone Soup and focus on their projects together. When all you need is workspace and everything else is serviced, professionals can decide to join a coworking community instead of staying at home or returning to their fixed office.
Bringing diversity in a private office
Remote work and freelancing are two great ingredients in any recipe for flexibility and diversity. In this view, a shared private office is like a mini coworking space on its own! All you need is to gather your group of friends from school, university, or RPG games and get together in a workspace as Cobra Kai did! This way socialization is guaranteed as you can see a friendly face every time you focus on your projects.
Although they decided to enter a private office because they are long-time friends and not due to their professions, they have formed a truly interdisciplinary group. Apart from bringing some retro martial vibes to Stone Soup, the Cobra Kai dojo works in very innovative fields. Kourou is a front-end developer and works in data visualization while Vagos is an EU official specializing in cybersecurity. Jojo is a linguist and editor and OBA is a mathematician and works as an R&D consultant in machine learning.
In their own words: “Self-employed and working remotely. Some coding, some editing, tons of online meetings.”
Benefits of a sharing your own space
For them, getting a private office and sharing it “seemed like a good idea to avoid the everyday loneliness of home office”. This way it is much easier to catch up and stay in touch with your close friendly network. Moreover, having some cool company nearby is definitely helpful. This way you can share your personal and professional troubles with people you trust and listen to. Creativity and problem-solving get a boost as well since good brainstorming is just a couple of words away! And a tricky conversation piece does not have to do only with personal matters! For the Cobra Kai group, “illusions of deep political discussions“ is what brings them together as well!
Sharing a private office has been quite a positive experience for this group of friends so far, and they believe there are even better days to come. And if you are still wondering what is up with the name they gave to themselves, all we know is that “Yannis is a ninja. The rest of us have Netflix and just hate the Larussos!”
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/feature_image_sharedoffice.jpg9502400Stella Noutsouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngStella Noutsou2022-06-20 13:18:192022-06-20 13:18:22Creating your own private office the way you want it to be!
Last six months, we had the pleasure to host George and Carla, a couple of marketers who traveled with their family from Barcelona to Athens! We talked with them about their international marketing projects and their experience as a family in Athens. We also inspired them to create content featuring Stone Soup! As part of his content creation aspirations, George just completed a Videography course in SAE! Stone Soup proudly starred in his first attempt at directing a corporate video!
Firstly, we asked them how they got involved in marketing as well as the pros and cons of working remotely. Before the family came to Athens they added many pins to the European map. Carla started working remotely back in 2015 after quitting her job at SoundCloud in Berlin. Back then she had already been away from her homeland, Spain, for 10 years and she was looking forward to finding her way back home. A friend was the one who connected her with a big digital project. Ever since she has remained working remotely either as a freelancer or in a permanent position. She describes her first few years as a “rollercoaster” as she craved social interaction with other team members. However, she now admits that she has mastered it and she truly enjoys the freedom she gets from working remotely. From her current perspective, going back to her previous life with a 9-5 office job seems distant and weird.
As for George, remote working came along with his promotion to a Regional Marketing Manager at SAE Institute 7 years ago. He points out that getting to work from anywhere as long as you have WiFi is very tempting. You only have to find the strength to defeat the “pyjamas syndrome”. Professionally his main challenge was to train, manage and inspire a team of young professionals exclusively from a distance. Interactions are limited to online tools and this fact consequently limits the dynamics between people.
Marketing projects they are proud of
Their positions as marketers granted them the opportunity to work remotely and enjoy traveling all over Europe at the same time. They involve themselves in many facets of marketing, so we wanted to know more about their interests in this continuously expanding creative field. Carla enjoys working on digital marketing strategies. She loves thinking of ways to find the target audience of her clients online. She also finds challenging to plan out multiple a/b experiments to test what type of targeting may perform the best. As for George, he prefers working on social media projects as there is a more direct interaction with the audience. Aside from that, he likes running event promotion projects, as they move faster, with a greater variety in designs.
Working in the marketing field means that you are designing projects that can be both impactful and creative! We asked our members to pick a couple of marketing campaigns they dealt with that are worth mentioning. George feels quite proud of a marketing campaign he runs across five countries, promoting a new portfolio of Games Production courses. It was challenging as he had to overcome cultural and market diversity issues and manage to create consistent storytelling. Carla could not help but point out that she is currently running a campaign to promote the platform adeccojobsforukraine.com. It is a portal created to connect employers with refugees and this goal motivates her to give her best. Any employer can sign up and upload their vacancies and the displaced workers can upload their CVs. It operates as an effective matchmaking platform supporting all the Ukrainians in this terrible moment of their life.
Traveling to Athens
Their story continued in Athens, where they have been staying for the last six months. Together with their one-year-old daughter, Emma, they traveled to the Greek capital and decided to try focusing on their marketing ideas from here. They both agree that Athens is a lively and exciting city with plenty of things to do and international people to meet. They comment that strolling around may not be that easy but there are so many nice spaces to go to, like the Niarchos Foundation and the National Garden. There is no doubt that having a family limits the number of outings they can have. However, they have realized that there are also plenty of international families in Athens as well, even in Stone Soup!
Why work from a coworking space?
Working from a coworking space can help in achieving a work-life balance. They find it motivating to leave the house and add some flavor to their work life. If the coworking space neighborhood is full of choices (as it is in the case of Stonesoup), then even better! This way they can also pursue their interests as well. For example, aside from their marketing work Carla is exploring the digital art scene and curates content for her Digital Art District project on Instagram. They both find it inspiring to stay creative so they also do some paste-up street art together every now and then (instagram.com/lovnoir). When we asked them what is their biggest motivation lately, they passionately agreed that their number one mission and success story is named Emma, their fantastic daughter that rules their colorful world!
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/GEORGECARLA.jpg7121800Stella Noutsouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngStella Noutsou2022-04-19 10:56:552022-04-19 14:48:28An Expat Family In Athens: Working On International Projects Remotely
Monday to Sunday: Members access Stone Soup according to their membership type