For several months last year, I had a great deal of success doing video coworking sessions—in a few hours a day, I managed to transcribe, analyze and write blog posts on a dozen fiddle tunes, among other things. In this blog post, I’ll describe how I’ve done video coworking in the past and why I find it useful.
Video coworking is simple enough: two or more people agree to be on a video call for a set amount of time. During that time, everyone involved focuses on whatever they need to work on. Cameras stay on, but everyone remains muted. I’ve used Zoom for all of my coworking sessions so far, but just about any video conferencing platform would do.
I’ve had particular success combining video coworking with the Pomodoro Technique, with all coworkers taking 5-minute breaks at the same time. If you try this, I'd suggest using video software that lets you share your screen and audio is useful, as it allows all participants to view the timer and hear the alarm if they wish.
How is it Useful?
One of the main reasons to do video coworking, I’ve found, is simply to make sure that I show up for what would otherwise be unstructured work. If I don’t make it for my planned start time, I will be creating inconvenience for people, and I don’t like to incovenience others, I make a real effort to start the Zoom call on time.
That said, I find video coworking makes work more enjoyable. Rather than toiling away on my own, work becomes a social thing: at the beginning of a session, we get to ask each other how we’re doing and what we’re planning on working on. And at the end, we can check in about what we got done, plans for the rest of the day, and so on.
Video coworking also fosters an environment where it is easy to work hard: it create a social situation where, if a participant’s mind starts to wander, they can glance at their coworkers and think, “Right, I’m surrounded by people who are working hard, so that’s what I should be doing too.”
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance I’m looking for people with whom to do video coworking sessions. If you’re interested in trying it out, or have any thoughts, comments or questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Posted: Aug 31, 2021. Last updated: Aug 31, 2023.