Member Profile: Juan Valera

Fresh off the press – we’re happy to introduce you to another member of the Office Nomads coworking community: Juan Valera!

What was your first job?

My very first job was an internship at a web design agency. I was miles outside my comfort zone, and terrified/ecstatic about everything. I’ve managed to keep that state of mind for the most part.

Is that a good thing?

Not always. Actually, I’d wager that most of the time it’s not a good thing. It gets in the way of my productivity. But the ecstatic part, that’s just who I am – I’m passionate about what I advocate for and what I know and wish for.

What are you working on right now?

I’m doing research on a client’s market to inform user testing. (If you know research or user experience testing, let’s talk!)

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

I’m afraid of warewolves. Seriously.

Why are you a member of Office Nomads?

The community, hands down. There’s something about ON that makes you feel instantly at home. A combination of authentic people, all sorts of different work, awesome events, and the occasional dog petting opportunities sold me.

What events have you participated in at ON?

I joined in for a round of Cotivation, because motivation for projects isn’t always easy to come by. I quickly learned that my fellow Nomads have some great ideas! I volunteered with a bunch of other members at Northwest Harvest, a WA hunger relief organization in December. And does Thursday Snack count? I participate because snacks.

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Thanks for sharing with us, Juan! We’re so glad you’re a part of our coworking community on Capitol Hill! If you want to keep tabs on what Juan is up to, be sure to follow him on Twitter. Thanks so much to Marti Rhea for snapping photos of Juan and all of our other members for these fun profiles. We’ll be back with another profile soon!

Our First Member Survey: Results!

Office Nomads is in the midst of some end-of-the-year reviewing, plotting and planning. Part of the process this year included our first-ever Member Survey. After two years of coworking in Seattle, we’ve had a lot of informal feedback and have drawn some basic conclusions about what our members like and dislike. But we decided it was about time to ask them for their suggestions.  Their rants and raves.  In their words.

We're listening

The results were fantastic. Our members  provided us with some excellent hard data on what makes our coworking space work, as well as some great feedback on what we can be doing better. Here are three big takeaways:

  • We’ve said it before, but now we have some data to back it up: it’s all about the people.  When asked about the thing that members appreciate most about being at Office Nomads, they replied nearly in unison that it is the people that make it great. We can now say things like “the proof’s in the pudding.”  Well, maybe we can’t.  I’m not really sure what that means, actually.
  • Our members are interested in figuring out even more ways to share resources (including people-powered resources such as bookkeepers and admin assistants), and pass business to one another.  From recommendations of even more way to highlight what it is that each of our members do, the Nomads spoke out loud and clear that they want to help one another out as much as possible.
  • Working in community means being human.  When asked what our members would like to see improved, several of the responses revolved around typical shared space gripes: being mindful of one another when on long (and loud) phone conversations, remembering to do the dishes, cleaning up after one’s self.  These frustrations came as no surprise; we all take turns being more of a distraction than we normally are, forget to do a dish now and again, and decide to not replace the toilet paper roll when it runs out.  We’re all human. These challenges (while very real and requiring quick and responses by us as business owners) demonstrate another part of being in a community with one another.  It is about our members working towards the best way to work successfully with one another.

Our members continue to humble us with their thoughtfulness, willingness to help us make the business better, and spectacular senses of humor.  So with that, here are some of our favorite quotes from members:

“I feel like Office Nomads is saving my business. The isolation was killing my attitude and creativity. Thanks to Office Nomads I am not confusing my clients with my social opportunities (not as chatty, not as ‘charitable’ with my billing :)), I have closer ties with downtown clients. I am quite productive at Office Nomads because everyone is there to get things done, not socialize all the time. A+ guys, really.”

“There is a lot of small business know-how which could be shared more.  The brown bags are a good start.  And the email list is good for the occasional recommendation query.
Maybe we could occasionally collect and share links to public stuff people are working on?  Blogs, artwork, trip photos, …  I feel like there’s a lot of creative work going on but I’m missing a lot of it because I can’t get to happy hour due to other commitments.  Maybe a “shameless self promotion” email list?”

“I just sat here for five minutes trying to think of something which I’d like to change which I actually want you to take on.  There are big “nice to haves” like more light in the cafe area, but I actually don’t want you to busy yourselves with big projects which I don’t think are worth the effort when things are running smoothly.
So, I guess if I have to choose then I’d like everyone to have free ponies.  With wings.”

Wow.  Thanks everyone.  We hear you!  Thanks for helping us continue to breathe new life into the business.

(In case you were wondering,  I used Google Forms to complete our survey, which was an absolute breath of fresh air after struggling with Survey Monkey. Thank goodness for Google’s helpful new tools, which bring together Google’s simplicity and exciting analysis capabilities. It saved me time, effort, and endless frustration.

In total, we had 22 members fill our our survey, representing several membership types including Basics, Residents, and those who have been Pink Slip Scholarship recipients.)

Thanks to Flickr user tonamel for use of the photo above under the Creative Commons license.

End-of-the-Year Membership Specials!

'tis the season...

December is here and you know what that means… It’s the season for giving. This year, Office Nomads is in such a giving mood that we want to give you presents and maybe even help make your holiday shopping a bit easier.

For the month of December, come check out Office Nomads and if you like what you experience, take your pick of one of two great specials:

  • Now through the end of the year, new members who sign up at the Regular or Resident level can choose to pay just $100 for the first month or enjoy the third month for free!
  • OR if you’re feeling like getting in on the giving too, anyone who signs up for a Basic membership in December gets a free month of basic membership to give to a friend or colleague.

Remember, everyone who works at Office Nomads gets

  • High-speed 10Mbps internet access
  • Wireless (wifi) or wired networking
  • Use of three conference rooms
  • Basic print/fax/scan
  • Coffee/tea
  • Free notary services
  • Great company!

And membership at any one of our levels brings even more benefits including access to exclusive members-only events at Office Nomads.

So if you’ve been thinking that working at home just isn’t working for you, this is a great time of year to try out coworking at Office Nomads!

For more information, drop on by the office or send us an e-mail at info@officenomads.com.

(Thanks to flickr user fazen for use of this photo under the Creative Commons license.)