Member Profile Pauline Menage

Check out Pauline’s website: http://paulinemenage.com

Where are you from?
I am from France.
What’s a fun or interesting fact about where you’re from?
I lived in Bordeaux for the last few years and it was a 30-minute drive to the beach, so I would take strolls on the beach frequently. 

What do you do?

I am a software engineer, a freelancer who creates websites for clients, and a trainer who mentors and teaches students on-site or remotely in software. I help these students learn the technique of coding or how to create websites; usually, these students are enrolled in a 6-month course.

What are you currently working on that you’re most excited about?

This week, October 9, I am working on a 4-day boot camp for students in Asia, specifically India, the Philippines, and Singapore; I’m excited to work outside of France. I am also currently creating a website for townhall, or city hall, in France by creating a directory to assist the elderly to locate a nurse that is closest to them.

Why did you choose to work from Prague?

I did not choose Prague for a particular reason, I just wanted to move away from France. I had heard Prague was an amazing place, so I decided to have a trial period of 3 months and decided to stay.

Why did you choose to work from a coworking space?

I chose a coworking space to meet new people because I was alone in a new city. I wanted to make friends and it’s also a better work environment than sitting in my room because I feel more productive while watching other’s work rather than being tempted to watch a tv show instead.

Why did you choose Locus in particular?

When I was looking online for a coworking space, reviews said that Locus was the best for a small cozy workspace. I decided to get a membership at Locus on the first day because other people invited me to lunch with them and I decided Locus was the place for me.

What describes the kind of location-independent work you do?
I am a stable freelancer. Which means that I have a business that can be done from my laptop in any locations and that I am based out of Prague with annual work trips that last two months maximum.  
Before you joined a coworking space, what were the biggest challenges of doing that kind of work?

Actually, I was still working on-site before I joined Locus so I did not have many challenges. Locus is my first remote location and it’s great.

What is the main benefit you’ve gotten working from Locus (not already mentioned above)?

Making friends has been working out, it’s a big benefit, for me, when working at a coworking space. Another benefit is being able to network with other members at Locus. For example, I had some problems with a project and a fellow Locus member helped me, they were able to freelance with me for this project. It was a challenge for me because I don’t want to bother people, so when I needed help and had to ask, it was amazing being able to ask for help and get it. It helped me get over the freelancer stereotype of being completely independent and have the ability to ask for help when I need it,

What’s the best thing about living and working in Prague from the perspective of being a location-independent professional?

The city is beautiful, it is nice to be able to take a break and walk around the city. For me, that is super important when looking for a spot to work. I also like that there are so many technical events about coding through Meetup. I was able to see interesting conferences and network with like-minded professionals, in this sense, the community is very active.

Any other interesting projects you’re working on that you haven’t mentioned already?

I will be going to Cape Town for 8 weeks. The company I will be joining is called Hacker Paradise. Hacker Paradise organizes trips for remote workers. The trips usually last anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks and can be in any city in the world. The goal of Hacker Paradise is to prepare everything, so they put together accommodation and reserve a coworking space, a sim card and build a community. By being part of this experience, I can work on personal projects but also build a community through events and side trips. On this specific trip, one of the side trips that we will be doing as a community is a safari, which will be fun. The main concept of this organization is for freelancers and the like to be able to work and travel at the same time while not feeling alone, by having a group of people to join you. 

What is a fun fact about you?
One fun fact, or weird fact, about me is that I used to snail race as a child.

Intern Profile: Rebecca Cerka

Hello Everyone! My name is Rebecca; however, you are more than welcome to call me Becca. I have been living and attending university in Prague for a little over a year now and I am loving every minute of it. Some of my hobbies would include rock climbing, camping and café visits.

Hometown: Bellingham, WA, USA

Fun fact about hometown: Bellingham has its own city flag that represents the Bellingham Bay, Mt. Baker and the people who live there.

Occupation: Intern @ Locus Workspace/Student

Field of study: International Relations and Diplomacy

Why did you decide to study International Relations and Diplomacy?
After graduating from Western Washington University, I decided to continue my studies and earn a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy. What better way to understand International Relations than traveling all over the world and understanding the plethora of other cultures? I decided to study this particular area because when I start my career, I want everyone from every background to feel welcome and comfortable while working in a collaborative environment. There is still a lot of misunderstanding and discrimination in the world, my goal is to change the misconceptions and allow growth and positivism.

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you joined Locus?
I did not know that much about coworking spaces before I joined Locus. However, now that I have tried it, I do not know if I could ever go back to using a regular office!

Why did you decide to be an intern at Locus?
I decided to work at Locus because it embodies that type of work I would like to be involved in for the rest of my life. I love to work with people and getting to learn new skills is just a bonus opportunity. By working at Locus, I will have the pleasure of getting to know new people and hopefully help them achieve some of their goals.

What are some of your goals for this internship?
Some of the goals I have set for myself during this internship is to meet as many people as possible from a variety of different backgrounds. Another goal of mine is to gain further knowledge in the world of event planning and to help everyone network while building friendships in the process.

What kind of responsibilities do you have as a community manager?
My main responsibilities as a community manager will be to update the community, members and the public, on social media sites regarding Locus events that are happening; events that give everyone the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals while having a fun time. The last key responsibility as a community manager is making sure everyone I encounter is having a great experience and that they have everything they need in order to succeed.

Intern Profile: Petra Skubanová

My name is Petra and I am in the last semester of my studies. Internship is the last step in order to finish my bachelor’s degree and I chose beautiful city of Prague and Locus Workspace for these months which I believe will be full of learning and fun!

 

Hometown: Prešov, Slovakia.

Fun fact about hometown: In nearby Opal Mines (which are declared to be the oldest in the world), the biggest opal stone in the world was found.

Occupation: Intern @ Locus Workspace/Student

Field of study: Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management

 

 

Why did you decide to study hospitality, tourism and event management?
I wasn’t really sure about what I want to study until I actually started university. I chose my program especially, because I knew that it would give me the opportunity to travel and work abroad which has always been my dream. I’ve always liked to learn languages and wanted to be closer to people from other countries so I can get to know different cultures.

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you joined Locus?
Kind of. I was traveling to Bali couple of years ago and visited a coworking space there where my friend was doing her internship.  I thought immediately that it would be a cool place to work, among different people and to get knowledge from different areas that are useful for my study. I think the concept of a coworking space is a great idea and a perfect solution for modern nomads and freelancers.

Why did you decide to be an intern at Locus?
I was mostly attracted to range of things I would be responsible for, which is perfect for my studies as it is composed of different subjects. Plus, after visiting a coworking space before, I wanted to work somewhere with more cozy and friendly atmosphere rather than a big corporation as it fits my personality better. I had a good feeling about Locus and I thought it would be right place for me. And I wasn’t wrong! Also, I wanted to try living in Prague and get to know the city better.

What are some of your goals for this internship?
I intend to learn about the job and duties of a community manager regarding managing the coworking space. Also, I would like to organize some events for both members and public and learn how such events are organized. Some of my personal goals are to develop relationship with the members, create nice environment for them and get to know new, interesting people. I expect the internship to be a good professional and personal experience that I will later use in my occupation.

What kind of responsibilities do you have as a community manager?
Working as community manager, the crucial task is to be friendly with members, get to know them and make them feel good in the space so they can focus on their work. As Locus is about community, the duty of a community manager is also to take care of events organization together with number of daily management tasks.

Top 8 Ways to Improve Coworking Culture

Today we’re featuring a guest blog post from Michael Feldman. Mr Feldman is a professional journalist based in NYC that writes on topics of leisure and entertainment for niche magazines.

 

Here are the top 8 ways to improve your coworking culture:

The successful running of a company does not depend only upon its design, interior, or cost; instead, what matters more is productivity along with flexibility. The happiness of your employees and coworkers is substantially the most critical element. Why coworkers? Because the more diversity and expertise you have in the relevant fields, the more you become capable of producing efficient results.

When you share your workspace with people to build an all-inclusive office or company, you will inevitably have to face some challenges in that shared culture. While some coworkers may be very flexible, lenient and easy-going, not everyone will be the same. Here are some practical ways to deal with coworking challenges and improving the coworking culture:

1. Be clear about core values:

Coworking combines people from different walks of life who may not share the same work priorities. Coworking space must have a set of predetermined mission statement or core values. It helps the coworkers to know what is considered imperative in their shared office and how they should work together to achieve common goals.

A mission statement does not have to be a rigid rule about work, preferably a small statement that defines the goals, as well as values of your workspace, would be sufficient. In a private office, while working in a coworking culture, one can create posters to be displayed at a prominent place within the office as a sign of solidarity.

Having clear values not only lets the coworkers know what is expected from them about also lets potential coworkers assess if they will be able to fit in this shared place or not.

2. Planning events:

In coworking culture, one can avail several amenities like free coffee, networking, and community events. So, in order to promote coworking culture, the company must plan various activities so that all the coworkers can get to know each other and develop ideas. Leisure events will make the overall environment more productive.

It is crucial for team members that they feel connected; otherwise, they could have worked from home or anywhere else. Preplan events so that everyone can schedule them in their work plan; in this way, coworkers will not feel detached while working under the same roof.

3. Appreciate ideas:

As a business, you can improve the coworking culture by simply giving value to the ideas and thoughts of everyone. Instead of allocating the decision-making responsibility with a few selected persons, encourage everyone to share their ideas, and discuss opinions with each other. It will enable all coworkers to consider themselves as a team and one whole unit.

People appreciate when their ideas and thoughts are being heard; such encouragement will not only enhance their development process but also augment an open coworking culture. Therefore, it is a win-win situation.

4. Take feedback:

It is one of the essential steps towards not only the betterment of coworking culture but also to increase productivity at a broader level. When you ask other members regarding their feedback or evaluation, you will come to know the kind of issues they are facing while working in a coworking environment.

Moreover, you will also get to know what steps are being appreciated by other members, and you can take steps to resolve them accordingly. Feedback will help you in the identification of areas where you can improve your workplace culture and also the ones that are being appreciated.

5. Minimize distractions:

Coworking comes with its fair share of problems too, and distraction is one of them. It is quite evident that when many people work within the same environment, there are bound to be some distractions too; it is totally inevitable to get distracted with so much going on around you. Noise also adds considerably to the disturbance.

To make your coworking space productive, you should devise ways of minimizing distractions. This includes proper ceiling and insulation to avoid outside noises. Also, you can set up some rules so that others can be cautious about creating disturbances.

Some soft and low background music may also help in hushing some noises. Also, remember to have a separate relaxation area where coworkers can talk privately and take coffee or lunch breaks; this will minimize distractions for others who are working in the meantime.

6. Need for proper layout:

There is a dire need for appropriate layout zones in a coworking environment. If the work areas of all members are not adequately zoned, then they might interfere with the privacy of others. This will avoid the fuss about seating and placement; a layout will prevent any confusions about overstepping the boundaries.

While it may not be financially feasible for the office to give separate rooms to every staff member, cubicles, or any other form of partition can be a workable idea. You can also give people the opportunity of a team room, where they can conduct meetings, discuss problems, or meet with outsiders.

7. Culture of cross-communication:

Develop the culture of cross-communication to improve the coworking environment. In this type of culture, it is critical to find the balance between engaging the coworkers while also giving them enough space to work independently.

Collaboration with team members will further bring social culture. It will help to identify problems, reach solutions, and understand each other. Such cross-communication will also help coworkers to exchange ideas, refer clients, and seek help.

8. Put whiteboards in open space:

If creating a separate room for brainstorming is not viable, do not worry, as you have got some other alternate options. You can always go with the idea of putting whiteboards in prominent places. It will help each member to contribute with their ideas and thoughts.

This will not only increase efficiency but also give confidence to the members to put forward their suggestions. By providing value to the needs of others, you will encourage them to contribute to the organization.

These steps can easily lead to the betterment of coworking culture. Thanks to its multiple benefits, coworking is getting increasingly popular, but there are some inherent challenges as well. While you cannot put a hot tub to help coworkers relax (after all, who is going to drain and clean the hot tub?), but these ideas will help you create a relaxing and productive environment for everyone.

 

Michael’s homepage: https://medium.com/@michael.feldman.jr

 

Community Manager profile: Daryna Vynnychuk

Hi, my name is Daryna Vynnychuk and I’m a second-year student in a Bachelor degree program for Communication and Human Resources. Also I am a Diploma Specialist from Law and Public Administration. I live in Prague just 2 years  and during this time I loved this city as my own.

Hometown:  Kolomyia, Ukraine

Fun fact about hometown: My hometown is a centre of Hutsul culture. Kolomyia is famous for its Pysanka Museum, that was built in 2000. There are many examples of both pysanky and other forms of decorated eggs from other Slavic countries (Belarus, the Czech RepublicPoland) and more distant lands (Romania, Sweden, United States, Canada, France, PakistanSri Lanka, India).

Occupation: Community Manager at Locus Workspace; Student

Field of study: Communication and Human Resources

Why did you decide to work at Locus?

One of the subjects in my university is Management. Immediately as soon as I saw that Locus offers a vacancy of Community Manager, I reacted without hesitation. What could be better than gaining practical knowledge in an international English-speaking coworking space. Besides,  I am sure that here I can meet unique personalities  and get valuable experience of communication and opinions.

What are some of your goals for this job?

In the first place, I am interested in learning English on proficient level. And I am sure that at Locus I can get real experience from conversations with native speakers.  Also, the organization of various events really interests me.

What kind of responsibilities do you have as a community manager?

My main task is to make members comfortable here. Locus is open coworking space that’s why it is very important keep nice atmosphere.

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you joined Locus?
Before, I only heard  that there are some places where nomads,  freelancers can working. But, I never could think that I would become part of this and how it is cool.