Member Profile: Bobby Watson

It’s time for us to introduce you to another one of our spectacular Office Nomads members: Bobby Watson! We are so fortunate to have this wonderful individual in our midst.

Bobby Watson 3

 

What are you working on right now?

I started working at Full Circle Insights in May as a senior software developer. Full Circle is a Salesforce partner that builds solutions to help marketing and sales understand the true value of their campaigns and responses.

What are you passionate about?

I’m pretty big into running. I’m not sure what I would do if I ever broke my leg or something… I would be completely lost! We have an Office Nomads Running Group that meets every other week that I love being a part of.

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What is one thing about you that most people don’t know?

Most people probably don’t know that I’m the president & co-founder of an LLC – it sounds like a big, fancy gig but it really isn’t. My best friend from high school and I set up an LLC (Adams American Capital) a few years ago for investment funding. We’re finally just now getting started on it… maybe one day we’ll become millionaires. ☺

What brought you to Office Nomads?

I moved to Seattle in the summer of 2013, but kept my job in Rochester, NY. I knew that if I just worked from home with my cat every day, I would go nuts. So I sought out Office Nomads after I got settled in, and I’ve been around ever since.

Has anything surprised you about Office Nomads?

I think what’s so surprising to me is the great diversity in the space, as well as how quickly everybody here became more than just my coworkers – they became some of the first friends I had here in Seattle. Sure, there are a lot of us who are software engineers – but we also have several writers, lawyers, financial advisors, teachers, data scientists, ornithologists, … the list goes on and on!

Even now that Office Nomads is a 30+ minute bus commute away I can’t stop coming here. It’s not an office, it’s a community.

Bobby Watson 1

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Bobby, we couldn’t agree more! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

You can find Bobby at Office Nomads a couple of days a week, and you can keep up with him on Twitter if that’s your jam.

Thanks as always to Marti Rhea for snapping photos of our photogenic members – you’re the best!

Member Profile: Micha Goebig

Micha confidently strode into Office Nomads in January of 2015, and when we asked “have you been to a coworking space before?” her answer was a gem: “Yes, I started a coworking space in Germany before I moved to the US!” Micha has been surprising and delighting us since day one, and we’re so glad to have her amongst us.

Marti Rhea Photography-2

What are you working on right now?

As a translator, my main customers are a German premium carmaker and its design/event agencies – there’s a great variety of stuff that ends up on my desk to be translated from German into English. Right now I am working on a longer essay on the future of individual mobility for one of the board members, and a comprehensive IT knowledge database. As a writer, I am currently in “summer hibernation,” rereading and reevaluating a couple of stories I have started and other ideas to decide about my next novel project.

What are you passionate about?

My greatest passion is learning. To benefit from the new things I learn I usually try to turn them into daily habits. The latest additions to my calendar are strength training, meditation and studying Spanish.

What brought you to Office Nomads?

I ran my own shared office space in Frankfurt, Germany, before I came to Seattle. I knew I didn’t want to work from home all the time (I really enjoy it 2-3 days a week), so I asked around and a friend who had looked at various places in town recommended Office Nomads. So I checked it out, liked the vibe and became a member.

Marti Rhea Photography-2-3 (2)

What keeps you at Office Nomads?

I really enjoy the focus on community. Of course we are all in the space to get our work done, but there’s plenty of time for a chat or a shared interest/activity. Since becoming a Community Cultivator, I have had even more opportunities to interact with other members, which I love. I am an extrovert with a job most suitable for introverts, so being a part of Office Nomads gives me the perfect balance in my workdays. Plus, as I cannot have my own dog (our kitty is 21 and really doesn’t like four-legged company at all), I enjoy the fact that ON is such a dog-friendly space.

Marti Rhea Photography-2-4

What is one thing about you most people don’t know?

That’s a tough one – I am not very private! I really dislike my first middle name (I have two), so very few people besides immigration officers actually know it. I tend to use my second middle name, Olivia, which is also part of the pen name I came up with for my writing in English, Olivia de Winter.

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You can keep tabs on what Micha is up to on Instagram (for example, right now she’s in the midst of an entire year without shopping!). For an example of a great project Micha worked on this year, check out taoteh.

Thanks again to the fabulous Marti Rhea for the wonderful photos of Micha!

Member Profile: Dave Ross

A little over two years ago Dave Ross walked into Office Nomads and we knew we were in for a treat. Well, change that. We knew Tia was in for some treats. 🙂 Introducing Dave and his awesome canine colleague Tia:

Dave Ross 1

What are you working on right now?

I primarily work on Twistle, a product built to automate healthcare processes. Twistle is focused on solving communication problems and “gaps” in anyone’s healthcare journey. We built Twistle because too many patients have told us “they never followed up with me.”

Tell us a story from your time at Office Nomads:

I can’t believe this is the first thing that came to mind, but here we go: while boating in Lake Washington two years ago, my friends and I discovered human remains! As morbid/scary as it was, without Office Nomads I would have had no one to tell the next day at work! Having people to tell the story to was really helpful, actually.

What are you passionate about?

I’m most passionate about sharing great experiences with friends and family. This means traveling, exploring the outdoors, dancing, or just watching a movie together.

What is one thing about you that most people don’t know?

This is a tough question, because I am an extraverted “over-sharer” about my past, present, and future. I would say while most people know me as a lover of slow-cooked meat dishes, they don’t know that I secretly wish I knew how to be a vegetarian.

Why did you come to Office Nomads?

I feel it is essential to have a workplace that allows you to focus and is physically separate from your home.

Why did you stay at Office Nomads?

I really enjoy the atmosphere, the people that work here, and the great location. I love being surrounded by a variety of people (especially not 100% tech), with the primary benefit being a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, stories, and personalities.

Who is this spirit animal that follows you around?

This is Tia, who my wife and I adopted from Eastern Washington. Tia is an incredible listener, loves to hike mountains, and high jumps large obstacles for fun. I couldn’t think of being at work without her.

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As always, thanks to the incredibly talented Marti Rhea for the awesome photos!

Member Profile: Katie Davis-Sayles

It’s time to bring our blog back to life!  We couldn’t think of a better way to reconnect with y’all than to introduce you to some of the incredible individuals who call Office Nomads their coworking home. We hope these Q&As will be a way for you to glimpse into our coworking community and get a sense of how much awesome there is here.

With that, let us introduce you to the fabulous Katie Davis-Sayles – designer, educator, and all-around incredible person. Katie’s introduction to Office Nomads was unique – she came here on a second date with Jacob. We’ll let her tell you the rest!

Marti Rhea Photography 1

What are you working on right now?

I am working a bedroom remodel, a bathroom remodel, various projects for a local stone mason/artist (stone table drawings, website design, marketing materials), and my own rebranding. Plus I’m putting together some business cards for a fantastic photographer that I know.

Tell us a story from your time at Office Nomads.

My first day at Office Nomads was my second date with my now husband. I sometimes (sort of) jokingly say that with Office Nomads, it was love at first sight. With Jacob, it took a few months.

Marti Rhea Photography 2

What are you passionate about?

Design, teaching, art, houses and good food and wine.

What is one thing about you that most people don’t know?

My background is in theater and performing arts. I once worked for WCW (World Championship Wrestling). You know all of those impromptu fights that they have in hallways and dressing rooms and things? I hung the lights for those.

Why did you come to Office Nomads?

I was desperate for a place to work away from home.

Why did you stay?

I love the community. And the space. And Buckley.

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Keep your eyes on the blog for more member profiles coming soon! We’re working with the uber-talented Marti Rhea who is snapping gorgeous photos of our gorgeous members. Aren’t they lovely?!?

Coworking Signals

The little moments that happen within the bounds of a coworking community are some of the best examples of the coworking movement’s ability to make an impact. These moments are rarely newsworthy, but are incredibly important and are so much of the “why” behind what coworking is all about. So why not try to shine the light on these moments and see what happens?

Welcome to #coworkingsignals.

I introduced this little idea to the giant bullhorn festival that is Twitter and was happily surprised when I got my first response:

Andy

And then I got another one:

GoneCoworking

And even more. Some of them in French. Ou là là!

Foundery

Cohere

YES! This is what I’m talking about. The “why” of coworking is so rarely touched on because it can be so small. But added up over time, it is pretty powerful stuff.

Please join me in adding your voice to the mix. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

GCUC 2014: The Potential of Coworking

coworking

For 3 days, coworking geeks from around the globe gathered in Kansas City for this year’s Global Coworking Unconference Conference. During our time together we shared, listened, learned, argued and laughed. As always when coworking friends convene, it felt wonderful to reconnect with the global movement. Coworking is not just this thing that we do in Seattle – it’s a movement of independent workers from around the world all looking to do better together.

Now back home in Seattle, I am eagerly diving through a long list of great ideas to implement here in our coworking community. Beyond what we’re getting up to here, I think it is important to share some of the bigger picture items that were discussed while we gathered together in the Airline History Museum (hence the planes in all the pictures – cool, eh?):

Forecast: there will be 1 MILLION coworkers by 2018

During the first day’s conference session, Steve King of Emergent Research provided us with this incredible nugget of insight into the future of work: 1 million coworkers around the world by 2018. That’s bigger than the population of Seattle. Bigger than Austin. Bigger than San Francisco. While the total number is impressive, it is the potential of this number that gets me particularly fired up. We have the potential to ensure that 1 million people don’t just have a great place to work, but that they are a part of strong, supportive, collaborative communities. One million people working alongside one another doesn’t sound all that exciting to me. One million people who are tapped into strong support systems and are encouraged to learn with and from one another is an entirely different data set that I hope to contribute to. Coworking spaces have a responsibility to adhere to the core values, and to shift the conversation away from our physical space and onto the communities that form within those spaces.

Unconference Day

We’ll say it again: it’s not about the space

Day 2 was our unconference day, which is when we got to dig deep into specific topics with one another. It is participatory, full of great dialogues, and is the day that I personally get the most out of at this event. In the first session, I hosted a conversation called “Let’s talk about cultivating spaces that matter.” My hope was to highlight that opening and operating a space is the least exciting thing that we do. No city in the world is short on desk space or internet connections. What draws people to coworking is the possibility of having their emotional needs met.

Yes, it sounds woo-woo but it’s the most important work of coworking: addressing the human needs of the independent workforce. These tend to come in the form of social connections and opportunities to learn, not the ability to print something or upload a big file. During this talk, 100% of the conversation was focused around the emotional needs of our members and how to address them. We talked about how a sense of belonging happens, the delicate dance of cultural development, and how to encourage members to take the reins of the space themselves. It was fantastic stuff and reinforced what we’ve learned from 7 years of coworking here in Seattle: it’s not about the space.

Unconference talks 2

Addressing the true needs of the independent workforce

The final session I was a part of on Day 2 was a discussion about “intentional coworking.” Tony Bacigalupo of New Work City and I talked about our experience bringing Cotivation (accountability/support groups for indies) to our coworking communities. Nicolas Bergé-Gaillard from Les Satellites shared about their member mentorship program, as well as their “Good Actions” project where members work together on a nonprofit project. The central theme of the programs we shared with one another was not that they were great marketing fodder or a way to generate revenue, but that they were ways to encourage our current members to make the most of their membership. Programming at a coworking space can be more than an event listing on a website. It can be another way to build a strong platform on which independent workers can create a community. Coworking spaces have the opportunity to be the platform, and great programming can be a way to set that intention.

Big thanks to everyone who came out for the conference – it was a delight to meet so many great folks from around the world. And thanks to the GCUC team for all your hard work, and for letting us borrow these photos for the blog. See you next year, if not before!

Spring Photo Contest!

work from home

We know working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For some it works out delightfully well – peaceful, quiet, focused. But for many (and we’ve heard from thousands of you over the years) it’s rife with distractions, lonely, and uncomfortable. We’ve heard your stories, but nothing quite says it like a picture. Show us how bad it can be!

Send us photos of your best (aka worst) home office setups. Whether you’re programming at the kitchen table, crammed into the local café, or attempting to get some work done with a puppy in the house (like Teal, above), we want to see what you’re attempting to work through. Photos can be spontaneous or staged, and we won’t judge you at all if you put your pets or your kids in the photo to get extra points.

The individual with the best photo will win a one-month membership to Office Nomads at any membership level (key card access not included). Send your submissions to photocontest@officenomads.com. We’ll be posting some of our favorites to both our Facebook Page and Twitter Feed. Submission deadline is Friday April 18th at 6pm.

Show us your worst, Seattle!

Wage Slaves: Tales from the Grind

We are thrilled to invite you to join us for a special event at Office Nomads! Please join us and this wonderful crew for an evening of prose.

tales from the grind

Wage Slaves: Tales from the Grind
Thursday, March 13, 6:30-8 pm (during Capitol Hill Arts Walk)

Six Seattle authors read stories and poems about the jobs they’ve loved, lost, hated, tolerated, and sometimes, quit in a frenzied rage. Featuring Maged Zaher (2013 Stranger Genius, Thank You for the Window Office), Peter Mountford (The Dismal Science, A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism), Jane Hodges (Rent vs. Own, My Year of Living Posthumously), Matthew Nienow (The End of the Folded Map, Best New Poets 2007 and 2012), Sierra Golden (poems forthcoming in Chicago Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, and Permafrost), and Michelle Goodman (The Anti 9-to-5 Guide, My So-Called Freelance Life). Coffee and doughnuts provided. Free and open to the public. More details at http://seattlewageslaves.com/

Personnel:

Maged Zaher is the author of Thank You for the Window Office (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012), The Revolution Happened and You Didn’t Call Me (Tinfish Press, 2012), and Portrait of the Poet as an Engineer (Pressed Wafer, 2009). His collaborative work with the Australian poet Pam Brown, Farout Library Software, was published by Tinfish Press in 2007. His translations of contemporary Egyptian poetry have appeared in Jacket MagazineBanipal, and Denver Quarterly. He performed his work at Subtext, Bumbershoot, the Kootenay School of Writing, St. Marks Project, Evergreen State College, and The American University in Cairo. Maged is the recipient of the 2013 Genius Award in Literature from the Seattle weekly The Stranger.

Peter Mountford‘s debut novel A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism won the 2012 Washington State Book Award. His second novel The Dismal Science was recently published by Tin House Books. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, Boston Review, Southern Review, Best New American Voices 2008, and numerous other anthologies and magazines. He’s currently a writer-in-residence at Richard Hugo House.

Matthew Nienow is the author of three chapbooks, the most recent of which is The End of the Folded Map (2011). A 2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow, he has also been recognized with grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, 4Culture, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poems have appeared in Poetry,New England ReviewPoetry Northwest, and two editions of the Best New Poets anthology. He lives in Port Townsend with his wife and two sons, where he builds boats and works as a writer-in-residence at a small private school.

Michelle Goodman is the award-winning author of The Anti 9-to-5 Guide and My So-Called Freelance Life, both published by Seal Press. Her essays and journalism have appeared in dozens of publications, including Salon, Vice, Bust, The Magazine, The New York Times, The Seattle Times, Seattle magazine, and several anthologies. She’s currently writing a book called Crap Job: How to Make the Most of the Job You Hate, which Seal Press will publish in 2015.

Jane Hodges is a Seattle-based business writer and author of Rent vs. Own. In 2012 she became power of attorney for both her father and her uncle. They each died, forcing her, grieving, back to the South she had fled like a prison escapee. There, in her executrix role, she found herself hocking jewelry at Southern Bullion, pawning a gun, skirting tornados, hacking into e-mail and bank accounts, trying to divest mountain plots and timeshares, and lurking at the Oconee County dump. Navigating Dixie with a catty ex-military rent-a-brother, a gypsy jazz CD, and her Letters Testamentary, she wound up in an existential crisis she’s chronicling in a memoir in progress, My Year of Living Posthumously.

Sierra Golden received her MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. Winner of the program’s 2012 Academy of American Poets Prize, Golden’s work appears widely in literary journals such as Roanoke Review, Fourth River, and Tar River Poetry. New poems are forthcoming in Permafrost and PloughsharesShe has spent many summers in Alaska working as a commercial fisherman.

Here’s to you, coworking

It’s August 9th, 2013 – Coworking Day! Coworking is being celebrated all over the world today – in big cities, small towns, and rural coworking gatherings alike. Today is a day for us to reflect on all that has happened in the 8 years since Brad Neuberg threw down his original blog post in 2005, and to dream of what the next 8 – nah, 80 years may bring.

Initial Open House

Susan and Jacob, visited by Noel for our grand opening in 2007

Since I first sat down to coffee with Jacob 6 years ago, my life has changed. The coming about of Office Nomads – from my initial dreams on a walk to work until the day we threw open our doors – is something I absolutely cannot imagine my life without. Sure, it has been a crazy journey becoming a small business owner, but that is by far the least interesting part about my life since Office Nomads began. The meat of the matter is being a part of a budding international movement designed to live and work better together, and how coworking cracked open the city of Seattle for me, introducing me to an amazing group of people who I likely would never have met otherwise.

Coworking Day is an opportunity for me to remember Office Nomads’ roots – the early days on the Coworking Google Group, diving into a “wiki” (yeah, I had no idea what that was) to learn and contribute what I could, blogging about everything, visiting fellow spaces in Portland, San Francisco, Philadelphia, excitedly helping to launch the Coworking Visa program, pre-SXSWi beers with the only other people in the world who had heard of “coworking.” It was so. Much. Fun. And such hard work. We were building something new using the pieces we loved about artist lofts, cafes, networking groups, and yes – the regular ol’ office. It took time. It was exciting. It was challenging. We made mistakes. But we hit some things out of the park. And every step of the way I knew that what we were building wasn’t just about Jacob & I “us.” It was the Coworking Community “us.”

Within our own space in our own city here in the northwest corner of the US of A, coworking has been a day-to-day lesson in the great rewards that come from inviting people over. Office Nomads has introduced me to more amazing people that I certainly wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise. I’ve learned so much over the last 6 years about such a wild range of topics it is incredible. I know that I am not the only one who has had this experience. I hear members meet one another every day that may not have otherwise that realize they have a shared interest, a reason to work together, or just have a need to head out for a cup of coffee at the same time. It’s incredible stuff. It is accelerated serendipity, but in the least accelerated way possible – through the careful, slow, and deliberate act of working alongside one another over time. Introducing ourselves when we are ready to. Saying hi on the day we’re feeling a little less shy.

Back in late 2008, a small group of fellow coworking spaces started getting together in Seattle, planting seeds for what would become Coworking Seattle and then the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance. Because if we took all of the lessons we learned in our space and applied them to a wider circle, it meant making strong connections with the people who would be our greatest strength in ensuring the coworking would make it in Seattle – our fellow coworking spaces. And now we have an organization with 20+ spaces participating with a kick-ass mission: “We are here to unify, support and promote the coworking and collaborative space movement in Seattle.”

I’m not sure it gets much better than that.

Happy birthday, coworking. And here’s to many, many more years of great things to come.

 

The Nomad-in-Residence Program Returns!

Come and spend some time with these smiley people.

Come and spend some time with these smiley people.

After running the  pilot version of the Nomad-in-Residence Program this summer, we are ready to bring this awesome community-supported membership back in 2013! Applications are now being accepted, and we’ll have the form open until January 15, 2013. Apply today, or send the link along to someone you think would be a great fit as our next Nomad-in-Residence.

What is the Nomad-in-Residence Program, you ask? It is a community-supported Resident membership designed to help bring a new Resident into our space for whom membership is currently financially out of reach. For a 3-month period, you receive 1/2 off your Resident membership thanks to the generous contributions by current members (which is then matched by Office Nomads). In exchange for having the barrier to entry for membership lowered, we hope that you’ll give back to the Office Nomads community by sharing your knowledge, hosting classes, or doing something else awesome that makes our community even stronger (even a little bit more than we all do normally, that is).

Questions? Comments? Wondering if you might be a good fit? Email susan@officenomads.com. I’ll be more than happy to help you out!