Neil Lewis - Innovative Entrepreneur

Solving problems by growing profitable businesses @neil_lewis

Do freelancers enjoy water-cooler-time on Twitter?

Does Twitter address the isolation of work-at-home freelancers?

Or do we still need to meet face to face and work alongside other people?

There are lots of new ways for freelancers to meet. For instance, newly launched work-a-thon, are focusing on bringing together freelancers to work alongside each other in a central city location. This is very similar to the Jelly concept that has taken off with the techie sector.

Equally, we’ve noticed that when we run our intensive Freelance Fair Team projects, then the freelancers get a huge buzz out of working alongside other talented freelancers in a positive environment and on collaborative projects.

However, there are a rowing number of freelancer communities that attempt to use social media to recreate the ‘water-cooler’ chat.

So, what’s going on?

Do we need to feel part of teams after all? And is a virtual water-cooler the answer? Or perhaps this is just what Twitter does?

This need to work with people is as true of entrepreneurs as it is for freelancers. Recent industry reports show that entrepreneurial teams of 2 or more founders grow x3 faster that solo founders. Equally, a number of specialist programmes for startups virtually insist that the founders come as a team – the success rate is so much higher.

Let’s tackle social media first – no, in my humble opinion social media can not fill the gap. Yes, it is great for sharing information or arranging a drink, but sitting down at your computer and sharing a ‘virtual’ drink, just isn’t the same.

There comes a point where we need to leave the desk and go and socialise – even if its an industry chin-wag.

Secondly, yes, we do work better in teams – but we also (many of us, anyway) work better when we are provided or create for ourselves, a quite place to work. This observation was first spotted in the tech industries where developers were found to be twice as productive (or simply, less error prone) when working is a calm environment.

So, it looks to me like freelancers will come out to network meetings – and really do value those – and that twitter has a role, but we are not about to become virtual animals, we still like meet up?

Do you agree?

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Written by Editor on June 16, 2011 and filed in Entrepreneurs, Featured, Freelancers, Innovative Entrepreneur, News, Opinion , ,


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