Erasmus Young Entrepreneur & Digital Nomad Profile: Guillaume Avond

Erasmus Young Entrepreneur & Digital Nomad Profile: Guillaume Avond

Check out Guillaume’s website: gamastudy.com
 
Name: Guillaume Avond
Hometown: Montségur sur Lauzon, France
My name is Guillaume Avond and I’m a French Entrepreneur. I founded the Language Agency GAMA Study a year ago. I am now visiting Locus as part of the programme “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs”. This programme aims to help European entrepreneurs develop their business by gaining experience in another country and increase their list of contacts.
Hometown: Montségur sur Lauzon, France
Fun fact about hometown: Montségur sur Lauzon is a small village located in Provence in the South of France. Although it’s a tiny place (1200 people), we are the national Capital of Black Truffles, that very expensive mushroom.
Occupation: Entrepreneur

Field of study: Master’s Degree in Project Management and Web Development.

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you came to Locus?
Yes, as I am working remotely myself, and often changing location, I had interest in coworking spaces but never get the chance to work from an actual one. I used to work remotely from home and sometimes from cafés, but I think a coworking space is definitively the best option.

Why did you decide to do your training at Locus?
As I mentioned, I am at Locus as part of the programme “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneur”. Firstly I chose Prague as a destination because it is located in Europe with the same time zone as France, which is a good point for my job. The cost of life is also lower than in Western Europe. Finally I chose Locus because a coworking space was the ideal place for me to grow my business. They were looking for an entrepreneur with web development and community management skills, so we matched perfectly. J

What are some of your goals for your time at Locus?
On one side, I am here to help Locus to grow their online presence on social media and to finalise their new website.


On the other side, I am here to meet other entrepreneurs and freelancers, and enjoy the services of a great coworking space.

What do you do that allows you to be location independent?
I founded the agency
GAMA Study last year. It is a language studies agency which helps students from all over the world book language courses at reduced prices.

Thanks to established partnerships with schools, we offer language training tailored to all clients, whether they are professionals, students, new entries to the job market, retirees, or groups, and for all budgets! 

The job allows me to work remotely from everywhere in Europe.

How would you say that being location independent has changed your life?
It allows me much more freedom than I had before, with a fixed-location job. I can travel when I want, where I want, and I can settle in any country in Europe, as long as it is  not too far from France in term of time-zone.

On the other hand, I also lost a bit of freedom in the evenings and on weekends, as I often need to work. I also need to be connected to the Internet all the time so I cannot go backpacking in exotic destinations anymore.

How many countries have you visited and which one did you like the most?
I have visited most of the countries in Europe as well as Peru, Bolivia, USA, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It is hard to say which one was my favorite, but Bolivia and Taiwan are definitively on the top of my list because they are not so “touristy”. You can have a real adventure without being surrounded by thousands of tourists, and have the chance to order food without speaking a word of the language.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced living a nomadic lifestyle?
Changing cities is often a mess, as you need to find a new apartment, new friends, new activities, etc. It can be fun at the beginning, but after a while, I just wanted to stay in the same place for a longer period of time.

Do you think Locus Workspace is a good place for digital nomads?

Locus Workspace is the perfect size for a coworking place. Not too small, not too big. There is a real family atmosphere as most of the members know each other’s and often go to restaurants and have lunch together. As well, a large number of the members are not Czech and everybody speaks English here.

What is the best thing about working and living in Prague from a digital nomad’s point of view?
Prague is a great place for Digital Nomads. The quality of life is very high and the prices are low, especially for food and drinks. If your job allows you to get a good salary, you can live like a king here! 

It is also a charming city, full of history but also nature with many parks around. Moreover, it is very safe and you can easily travel to other European countries from here!

Intern profile: Gabriel Goin

Intern profile: Gabriel Goin
My name is Gabriel Goin and I’m a second-year student in a Bachelor degree program for business and management. To complete my second year of study, I needed to do an internship abroad. I chose Prague because I know a lot of people who went there and they all loved it, so I wanted to discover this city.

Hometown: Mouilleron-le-Captif, France
Fun fact about hometown: Captif means captive, and during the French revolution Mouilleron – le – Captif became Mouilleron  -le – libre which means free. Unfortunately they didn’t keep that name.
Occupation: Intern @ Locus Workspace; Student
Field of study: Business and Management

Why did you decide to study business and management?
In high school, I did an economics and society diploma, and I really liked a lesson about economics and consumer behavior. That’s why I wanted to continue in that field. I also chose that because I didn’t have a precise idea of what I wanted to do, and I know this field will open more doors than it will close. 

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you joined Locus?
Yes. I did an internship in one in France last year. Before that, I didn’t know. But the experience is still very different as it was a young coworking space (just 1 year when I arrived), so it was much smaller and the tasks were different because my main goal was to increase the visibility of the company.

Why did you decide to intern at Locus?
I’m currently in my second year of university and one of the requirements is to do an internship abroad. When I began searching, I already knew that I wanted to intern at a coworking space because of my previous experience, and I really liked it. After hearing about Prague from friends I wanted to discover the city, and Locus was the best option for me because it is an international and English-speaking coworking space.

What are some of your goals for this internship?
My goals for this internship are to improve my English, mostly my pronunciation, learn more about the job of community and event manager, and gain experience in this job.


What kind of responsibilities do you have as a community manager?
My main task is to make people feel welcome and comfortable at Locus. I also have to organize events, ensure they run smoothly, and do many other tasks such as social media marketing, blogging…

The Impact of Coworking

The Impact of Coworking
The Impact of Coworking

What is coworking?

Here is Brad Neuberg’s original conception (this blog post represents the first public expression of the term as it is used today), which we think captures the spirit as well as any other definitions out there:

Traditionally, society forces us to choose between working at home for ourselves or working at an office for a company. If we work at a traditional 9 to 5 company job, we get community and structure, but lose freedom and the ability to control our own lives. If we work for ourselves at home, we gain independence but suffer loneliness and bad habits from not being surrounded by a work community.   

Coworking is a solution to this problem. In coworking, independent writers, programmers, and creators come together in community a few days a week. Coworking provides the “office” of a traditional corporate job, but in a very unique way.

Here’s one of our favorite definitions, from Coworking.com, managed by a team of coworking space managers and owners who have been central to the coworking movement from its early days: 

The idea is simple: that independent professionals and those with workplace flexibility work better together than they do alone. Coworking answers the question that so many face when working from home: “Why isn’t this as fun as I thought it would be?” 

Beyond just creating better places to work, coworking spaces are built around the idea of community-building and sustainability. Coworking spaces uphold the values set forth by those who developed the concept in the first place: collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.

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How was coworking born? 

Some think that coworking is inspired by the artist’s studios of the beginning of the 20th century. Indeed somdther and work alone or together. These places were created to improve creativity by meeting inspiring peoples, and to make an economy by sharing the cost with others. 
The aim of these places was almost the same as coworking spaces as we know them today.
It’s in Silicon Valley in 2005 that the concept of these collaborative workspaces really took off, with the creation of the first « real » coworking space in San Francisco by Brad Neuberg (at least in name, though there were several similar spaces that didn’t use the coworking moniker that began the same year in other places).
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Why join a coworking space?

Coworking spaces offer dynamic locations of exchange and sharing. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creatives from diverse fields enlarge your network, but more importantly serve as a resource of experience and knowledge and potential collaboration or inspiration. For many members, however, the most important benefit is purely the positive social energy. Members often feel more motivated surrounded by other focused, hard-working members. 

One of the biggest benefits is improved work-life balance. Location-independent professionals often work from home or from cafes and face one of two common challenges. Either they spend too much time alone and miss the social proximity and social connections they used to have before they were independent OR they have a partner or children at home and have difficulty explaining to their partner or kids that they really do need to work even though it’s true that they set their own schedule.

Most coworking spaces also organize events that help facilitate both the social relationships, motivation, and professional development. Locus, for example, organizes weekly coffee breaks and lunches, and monthly pub nights and game nights to facilitate meaningful social connections. For motivation, Locus hosts weekly Work Jams, where members sit together at the same table and use a timer to work together for a half day with planned breaks, and weekly critique-free writing meetups to help provide a sacred time and place, and positive social energy, for focused writing. 

Coworking spaces promote sustainability as key players in the sharing economy. They allow members to dramatically reduce commute times because they are often located in the neighborhoods where their members work, and they reduce operation costs and startup time by providing great office infrastructure to members who could never justify having meeting rooms, data projectors and other high-quality office equipment in central locations if that space was not shared among many other location-independent professionals. 

Many coworking spaces also serve as a kind of landing zone, helping to connect global and local. About 70% of Locus’s members, for example, come from countries other than the Czech Republic (nearly 30 different countries), with the language of the space being English. This allows newcomers to Prague a ready way to form a community with other people like them, and also with English-speaking Czechs who are welcoming to an international community and reading to share local knowledge. Czech members, who make up about 30% of Locus’s members, get the complementary benefit of ready access to a friendly international community and a workplace where they can practice their English on a daily basis.

Finally, coworking spaces simply offer convenience and accessibility. Coworking spaces have become so widespread that as long as you live in a large city they will often have options that are centrally located OR in your neighborhood, with 24 hours a day, 7 day a week access, and with membership plans that meet your particular needs. Locus, for example, is in both a central location and one of the most prized residential neighborhoods in Prague, Vinohrady. It offers all members smart-phone based access 24/7, 365 days a year, and has membership options from as little as one day per month to unlimited use. For the many members who travel abroad but would still like a reliable office in Prague, there are options to put your membership on hold for up to a year. And for members who already have a full-time day job but want to start their solo career, there’s an Evenings & Weekends option.

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Some statistics about the impacts of coworking 

According to global research by Deskmag and Deskwanted:
  • 74% of coworkers are more productive,
  • 86% have a larger business network,
  • 93% have a bigger social network,
  • Over two-thirds feel more creative and collaborate more on projects
  • A third reported an increase in income.

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Still not convinced?

Come and try a day of coworking for free at Locus Workspace

Sources

https://www.business.com/articles/coworking-74-of-coworkers-are-more-productive/
http://codinginparadise.org/weblog/2005/08/coworking-community-for-developers-who.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coworking

Intern Profile: Nirouz Kwrbou

Intern Profile: Nirouz Kwrbou

My name is Nirouz Kwrbou but everyone calls me Rose, I’ve lived in Prague since 2013, I moved from Cairo, Egypt. I am currently on my third year of studying at Anglo-American University in Prague; my field of study is Politics and Humanities. I’ve always been interested in politics since a young age and I knew that that’s what I wanted to study. I also finished my high-school degree here in Prague at Riverside International School. The past years in Prague have been great, I love the city and I feel like a native. Prague is very beautiful and very diverse, and that diversity shows in the Locus members. I’m looking forward to getting to know Locus members better in the coming months and making more international friends.

Hometown: Tripoli, Libya.

Fun Fact about Hometown: The Tripoli International Fair, founded by the Italian government in 1927, is said to be the oldest trade fair in Africa.

Occupation: Intern/ Student

Field of Study: Politics and Society

Why did you decide to study Politics and Society?
Living in the Middle East and coming from a North African country, I have often heard adults talking about our country, Libya, and many others in the region that are facing problems. I am fascinated by the idea of similarities, differences and theories bringing nations together, and the same that are separating and putting borders between them.

Why did you decide to intern at Locus?
At first it was merely to fill in the internship requirement for my university. But I later came to find out that I genuinely do enjoy spending time at Locus, everyone is so friendly and the community reminds me of my school because of how tight knit it is. The space is also beautiful and seeing everyone working makes me want to work.

What are some of your goals for this internship?
My goal is to make connections with like-minded people and to gain experience working and learning from everyone around me.

What kind of responsibilities do you have as a community manager?
One of my main responsibilities with being a community manager is making sure everyone is comfortable and taken care of. As well as planning our weekly or monthly events, social media outreach, marketing, business plan development and so on. It’s a little bit of everything.

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you joined Locus?
I knew what a coworking space was but I had never been in one or involved with one so I wasn’t sure what the environment would be like. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

Intern Profile: Grace Arel

Intern Profile: Grace Arel
My name is Grace Arel and I am a third-year undergraduate student studying abroad in Prague. My home university, Bethel University, is in St.  Paul Minnesota. This semester I am taking communication and history classes at Charles University as well as interning at Locus. During the few weeks I have been in Prague, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Czech culture. Prague is beautiful and I love the rhythm here. I look forward to getting to know the Locus community better this semester. Here’s a little info about me.
Hometown: Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, United States
Fun Fact about Hometown: There are 11,186 lakes in Minnesota, so its nickname is “The Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Being active and enjoying nature has always been an important part of my life.
Occupation: Intern / Student
Field of Study: Relational Communication, Digital Humanities, and Graphic Design

Why did you decide to study Communication, Digital Humanities, and Graphic Design?

After graduation, I want to work in the Museum field as an exhibition designer or curator. The fields of study I chose equip me with a wide range of skills. Relational Communication examines human behavior in a practical way, while Digital Humanities and Graphic Design give me important “hard” skills to take with me into the workforce. The combination of these fields gives me a variety of options to decide what I want to do with my career.

Why did you decide to intern at Locus?

During my first visit to Locus, I was impressed with the space and the atmosphere. The members seemed very friendly. I was excited to learn that community is one of Locus’ core values- creating relationships is part of the job description! All these factors made me excited to join the team here.

What are some of your goals for this internship?

My internship goals for the semester were to intern at a creatively-minded, cross-cultural, collaboration-based organization that provides me the opportunity to jump in and do hands on designing and event planning as well as practice intercultural communication. Locus gives me the opportunity to do all of the above.

What kind of responsibilities do you have as Digital Marketing Specialist?

As the Digital Marketing Specialist, I will be developing, implementing, and managing marketing campaigns, using web analytics to measure and optimize social media, working on updating the website as well as creating a promotional video for Locus.

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you joined Locus?

I have friends who I began coworking with this last fall. My friends and I found that we are more efficient and productive when we are surrounded others who are also focused on getting stuff done. When I heard that Locus was a whole workspace dedicated to coworking, I was excited to experience coworking on a larger scale in a cross-cultural setting.

What is a fun fact about you?
As a teenager, I lived in the Amazon jungle for a month teaching English.