Inspiration

Switch Cowork at World Entrepreneur of the Year 2017

Contributing to the World Entrepreneur of the Year event session “Future-Proofing Your Workforce”, Co-Founder and CEO, Christa Freeland, had the opportunity to share her experience starting Switch Cowork as a restaurant workspace concept in Austin, Texas.

 World Entrepreneur of the Year Signage

World Entrepreneur of the Year Signage

 

During the break out session she discussed her idea of creating a business model designed specifically to address the workspace and community needs of freelancers, young companies, and remote workers.

The session kicked off with Nancy Altobello (EY’s Global Vice Chair and Head of Talent) interviewing award-winning author Tammy Erickson on collaboration, innovation and nature of work.

Based on research from the EY Contingent Workforce Study, almost one in five US workers will have alternative work arrangements by the year 2020, or the equivalent of 31 million people.

 Leading the session: Tammy Erickson and Nancy Antobello

Leading the session: Tammy Erickson and Nancy Antobello

 

If part-time workers are added to that number, they predict as much as 40-50% of the workforce will be non-permanently employed in less than five years.

One of the biggest takeaways of the session was Tammy’s suggestion that leaders of today and tomorrow need to give their employees more flexibility. Also she predicted that new job titles will become more focused around projects versus areas of business or departments of companies.

Also, after polling the audience of business leaders and entrepreneurs from all around the world, it became evident that "culture" was the number one way their businesses would attract the next generation of top talent.

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For further trends and information around the future of the workforce and workplaces, check out Tammy's Twitter stream here: https://twitter.com/tammyerickson.

How Freelancers Can Get Organized in 2017

Switch Cowork Freelance Austin

‘Be more organized’ is one of the top New Year’s Resolutions every single year. It’s right up there with lose weight and make more money. For freelancers, getting and staying organized can be the hardest thing about running your own business. When there’s only you to handle every aspect of your business, things can (literally) get messy quickly. Luckily, there’s an easy way to stay on top of things without too much hassle.

Now, everyone is prone to different systems of organization. Some of us are color-coordinated filing cabinet people, some of us are piles of papers on the floor kind of people. You’ll have to tweek my steps to fit your own system. Here I tackle three of the biggest organizational issues that freelancers face: financial organization, time organization, and email organization.

1- Separate Things. If you make more than $400 freelancing you’ll be taxed by the government. In order to keep track of your business income and thus your business taxes, you should have a separate bank account for all your freelancing income.

By keeping your personal and business finances separate, you’ll make tax season much easier for yourself. Freelancers live and die by their taxable deductions. Having a bank account dedicated to your business income and expenses will make it easier to track your eligible deductions. It will also keep you on track for how much you should be paying each quarter in quarterly taxes.

2- Automation Is Your Friend. When you’re running a one-person show you’ll find that your to-do list never ends. There’s always something that needs your attention, but you won’t always have the time to devote to it. That’s what makes automation your friend.

You can schedule your social media posts through tools like Edgar or Hootsuite. You can set up invoices and automatic reminders through software like Freshbooks or Zoho. You can set reminders for meetings on your Google calendar. Anything you can do to take some responsibility off your shoulders and give it to the robots, you should do. Worry less and do more with automation.

3- Control Your Email. Email is a necessary evil for the freelancer. You’re tied to it and you have to check it frequently to stay on top of pitches, edits, and client responses. Without an email system though, you can easily spend valuable hours stuck in your inbox.

Set four times to check your email a day. If you work eight hour days, that means that no email will go unresponded to for more than two hours maximum. If you’re working longer days, you can add in email checks to make sure you’re within that two hour response window.

While lightning fast response times are becoming more and more normal, constantly checking your email is a huge distraction. In order to be more organized and productive, you need to limit your email time. If you and your clients know that you’re on email at 10am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm, they’ll know when to reach you and when to expect a response.

You’ll gain the ability to work more productively in the time away from the inbox, and then, be more focused when you do pop into it. No more sending emails with have thought out responses and typos. When you give yourself dedicated email space you’ll focus on it more concretely than when you try and multi-task it throughout the entire day.

Have some tips of your own? Let us know in the comments section below some of your best suggestions for getting organized in a new year.

Kara Perez is a freelance writer and founder of bravely, a company that connects women and money. She lives in Austin, Texas and is passionate about financial literacy and peanut butter. Find her on twitter @bravelygo or Instagram @webravelygo.

How To Stay Productive in a Shared Work Environment

Switch Coworking Austin

We asked several local entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Austin community how they crank out work while avoiding distractions in a shared work space. The following tips can be applied when operating out of a coffee shop, open-desk coworking office... and of course, unique work environments like Switch Cowork.

Corina Frankie

FOOD & DRINK
"If I know my work session is going to run long, I choose a spot that has both food and drink, or at least has that within easy walking distance."
-Corina Frankie, Founder and CEO of Brand Besties

Ruben Cantu

USE NATURE
"Work by sunlight... seriously sunlight is awesome! Also, try drinking enough water to where it makes you frequent the restroom, which is both good for your organs and skin, but also requires you to get up and shake things off."
-Ruben Cantu, CEO of LevelUp Institute and Core Media Strategies

Bijoy Goswami

SIGNAL TO OTHERS
"Use earbuds! They are a great visual market showing that you don't want to be disturbed."
-Bijoy Goswami, Founder of Bootstrap Austin

Switch Cowork Pin

SWITCH TIP
Play some of your favorite songs while you work. It'll lift your mood and give you extra energy to be productive!

Chase White

TO COWORK OR NOT TO COWORK
"When I'm putting myself in a space like a coffee shop or coworking space to work, it's usually very intentional; so that I can focus on making significant progress on creative or strategic projects without distractions that I might otherwise be obligated to give attention to."
-Chase White, Founder and CEO of Loom

Switch Cowork Pin

SWITCH TIP
Some locations with open work spaces are quieter during different part of the day. For Switch this is generally between 9am and 10:30am. Check Facebook or Google's "Popular Times" for information on historical foot traffic data. If you're looking for minimal distractions, or alternatively, looking for high energy, it might make for a better work experience.

Michael Cummings

TIME MANAGEMENT
"Put specific 30 minute time blocks where you're dedicated to one task only. In social environments this can mean planning on having time scheduled for interacting with others. Everyone is different... I'm a bit more social than most, so things like that are important to me or I can find myself letting other people dominate my time."
-Michael Cummings, Founder at ExploreThere

Lynan Saperstein

PREPARATION
"I make sure to find a comfortable spot by an outlet to keep my computer charged and finish tasks. Also I don't go anywhere without my Roost laptop stand and keyboard/trackpad so I'm not hunching my neck down to a laptop screen for hours upon hours."
-Lynan Saperstein, Chief Marketing Strategist and CEO at The Experience Experts, and Founder and Lead Organizer of the Austin Women Entrepreneur Community

Let us know what we're missing by adding your suggestions on productive work styles in the comments section below.