How London Coworking Assembly Is Supporting Its Community While Practicing Social Distancing

In these unprecedented times, online communities have become something of a lifeline. Here’s how London Coworking Assembly took its community online.
  • To support its community during these challenging times, London Coworking Assembly is hosting quick, daily meetups. 
  • The coworking operator is also hosting weekly hour-long virtual roundtables where people can find support and also share their expertise. 
  • The meetups and virtual roundtable are open to everyone and you can join the call through London Coworking Assembly’s website. 

In these unprecedented times, online communities have become something of a lifeline. To say there’s been a surge in the use of videoconferencing platforms like Zoom and Skype is an understatement, and video chat apps such as Houseparty have gone viral. 

In the normal world, London Coworking Assembly runs a smorgasboard of in-person and online events for the coworking community, from monthly breakfast meetups and summer BBQs to webinars and workshops on how to succeed in what can be a challenging sector.

And now that our world has temporarily changed, they’ve really stepped up.

London Coworking Assembly is running a 30-minute call every weekday at 12pm GMT. This daily call acts as both a “check-in” for members to chat through the latest Covid-19 developments and a general space for support – a virtual hug, if you will. 

The group is also running a more in-depth hour long call every Tuesday at 12pm GMT. 38 people joined the inaugural COVID-19 virtual roundtable earlier in the month, and there’s still a lot of room left for more people to attend. 

As well as being a space for seeking support, the sessions provide participants with an opportunity to help others by sharing their expertise for free. Earlier in the week, Jason Pelham and Sara Chegwidden of Opem Security took to the virtual stage to offer free advice on security and safety for workspaces in the midst of the pandemic. 

Points for thought included:

In the potential instance that you and your clients need to vacate your property, do you feel secure enough to prevent intruders?

How much equipment are you insured for, and what are the implications to loss of property? 

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To give you an idea of the other key areas up for discussion, here’s a loose agenda from a previous session. (Note: once you’ve signed up to the mailing list, you can add questions and resources you think others will find useful to a dedicated Google Form.)

Topic examples:

  • Mental health
  • Landlords
  • Rates
  • Insurance
  • Members 
  • Cash/Forecast  
  • Communication 
  • Team
  • I.T. 

Coworking Assembly call etiquette 

The assembly requests that anyone joining the call uses headphones and a microphone to ensure the sound is as optimised as it can be for everyone. Those not speaking should mute their microphone. Eyeson’s “hands up” feature is being trialled to help ensure everyone who wants to gets to participate. 

Given the circumstances, it’s all quite laid back. As facilitator Bernie J Micthell puts it: “Please don’t break a sweat if your child makes noise or dog barks; we are all human here!”

How to join the calls

Firstly, request to join the London Coworking Assembly via their website. Once approved, you’ll be added to the mailing list and will receive information about how to join the daily meetups (including the longer session on Tuesdays). 

Essentially, you’ll be sent a link to the eyeson video conferencing platform (which is the same for every meeting) and a link to the Google Form where you can share ideas and useful resources for others to see. Coworking Assembly London also runs a Slack channel – contact [email protected] to sign up.

If you’ve got any questions prior to signing up, feel free to contact Bernie directly on LinkedIn. In other news, London Coworking Assembly will be launching its new membership website very soon so watch this space, and in the meantime, keep safe!

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