Virtual Coworking: The Essential Guide

What is Virtual Coworking?

A Virtual Coworking is an online community of people working from a centrally located environment.

Imagine Slack meets a physical coworking space. It’s everyone working remotely but feeling like they’re not alone.

It has the best parts of a physical coworking space, without tap-on-the-shoulder interruptions, in the environment of your choice.

Plus, virtual coworking has more diverse communities due to the lack of geographical location. It is also much cheaper and requires no commute.

How does it work?

Virtual Coworking are online portals where like-minded people regroup to work on their own projects. They aim to solve these issues for remote workers:

  • Loneliness;

  • Procrastination;

  • Accountability; and

  • Networking.

Here’s how Virtual Coworking helps you fight loneliness.

Each one has their own implementation. Some use a combination of tools like Zoom and Slack with custom made software. At Forest Virtual Coworking, we use Sococo and Slack.

See “other players in the field” below:

Who are the players in the field?

Apart from our very own Forest Virtual Coworking, here are other players in the field:

  • The Arena brings people online through Zoom meetings. 

  • FocusMate connects two people over video for short focused work sessions. 

Forest Virtual Coworking uses Sococo to bring people in a visual coworking environment.

What are the Benefits of Virtual Coworking

All virtual coworkings have the following in common, shared with their physical counterpart:

  • Business and personal networking opportunities;

  • Removes loneliness;

  • Events;

  • Entertainment;

  • Accountability;

  • Meeting rooms.

Here are the benefits specific to Forest Virtual Coworking:

  • All of the benefits of coworking from above;

  • Public Member profile to facilitate meeting the right people;

  • Added accountability;

  • Access to a growing world-wide and diverse community;

  • Community-organized events;

  • Mastermind groups;

  • Brown bag sessions;

  • and much more!

How do I know which Virtual Coworking is right for me?

Community

Community is one of the most important aspect of a coworking. You want to surround yourself with the right people for you.

Things to consider are:

  • Size of the community;

  • How well-managed the community is;

  • Tightness of community;

  • Acceptance;

  • Disruption;

  • Activities;

  • Gender segregation;

  • Language segregation; and

  • Interest segregation.

Focus

Some virtual coworkings are about heads-down work and others are better for social networking. Some allow for the two.

When researching which coworking to choose, consider how important focus is for you.

Accountability

All virtual coworking options offer some form of accountability. The current possibilities are:

  • One-on-one partners for a focus session;

  • Weekly group accountability; and

  • Coworking-wide showing up.

Some virtual coworkings, like Forest Virtual Coworking, support all three options.

Accessibility

How easy is it to join and participate?

Some have an interview process before you can join. Some require learning a new set of tools, others use known tools exclusively.

Some are always “on”, and some require scheduling calls and events with other members.

Forest Virtual Coworking is the only one that works in multiple languages than English.

Health

Some coworkings provide incentives to get active and be healthy, but most don’t.

Forest Coworking has a gym area in a few of its spaces where people can do their home workouts at the same time, for added accountability.

Price

While most virtual coworking prices vary, most are more affordable than their physical counterpart. Most charge a monthly subscription fee. Price usually ranges from $20/month to $199/month.

How do I know it will work for me?

Like anything, you won’t until you try.

Forest Virtual Coworking, for example, allows you to book a 10-minute tour before to see if you’ll like it or not.

FocusMate has a free tier.