Sharedesk's top 7 blog posts of 2017
Guest contributor Kirby Israelson of LAX Coworking shares her tips for keeping your workaholic tendencies in check so they don’t overrun your life.
Read it here.
|LAX Coworking & Office Rentals||
LAX COWORKING HAS PEOPLE TALKING
Sharedesk's top 7 blog posts of 2017
As 2017 winds to a close, it seems like the perfect time to reflect on the content we published over the last twelves months here on the ShareDesk blog. From articles exploring the digital nomad lifestyle to actionable tips for coworking managers on everything from coffee shop partnership opportunities to fostering community, it’s safe to say we explored a wide range of topics. Join us as we revisit the best of the best — ShareDesk’s top seven blog posts of 2017. In no particular order and with no further ado, let’s get into it.
It’s notoriously difficult to maintain a healthy work/life balance when you’re self-employed. Everyone from freelancers to coworking managers often find it difficult to put down work and relax. For some, those workaholics bursts are fleeting. For others, they’re a hard habit to kick.
Guest contributor Kirby Israelson of LAX Coworking shares her tips for keeping your workaholic tendencies in check so they don’t overrun your life.
Read it here.
how lax coworking connects freelancers with a chamber of commerce
First, it is operated by a nonprofit organization, the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, which serves Westchester, Marina del Rey, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey, Del Rey and surrounding beach cities. Users become honorary members of the CoC and get some of the benefits of membership there.
Second, LAX Coworking positions itself as a more traditional business environment. You get the flexibility of coworking without the beer kegs. They provide meeting space and flexible offices to freelancers, remote workers and solopreneurs.
Overall, this Los Angeles coworking space is an interesting example of the growing gig economy and new ways of working are being recognized by traditional institutions like a CoC. It’s interesting to see how they are innovating to include freelancers and consultants.
Kirby Israelson, Creative Director and Coworking Manager at LAX Coworking, answers a few questions.
tell us about your services and your community
LAX Coworking is your unpretentious coworking space, built with the modern owner in mind. We like to say we are “coworking with a heart,” as we are a program of the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, a community building and business expanding nonprofit that has been a member of this community since 1953.
We first opened our doors to the satellite worker in 2014, inviting our chamber members and community residents into our office to get some work done and network with their local chamber.
But as the demand grew we realized we needed to expand and elevate our boutique office to better provide for our members and coworkers. We remodeled, relaunched and never looked back, always striving to elevate our members through resources and collaboration — and of course, workspace, wifi and free coffee!
how do freelancers use lax coworking?
We’re smaller than most coworking spaces, covering roughly 2,000 square feet and maxing out at only 20 coworkers. As such, we make sure our community is full of great people with similar goals of growth and engagement.
The majority are remote workers and small business owners, many of whom use our space as a typical office with standard hours.
Some of our coworkers are a little more fluid with their time, coming in a few times a week, mixing it up between working mornings, afternoons and evenings, and all of them use our private office space when it’s time to meet with a client or employer.
what support do they need from your community to succeed?
The coworkers we attract are normally transplants from other coworking spaces who were not able to work in the typical, high energy coworking atmosphere. They were looking for a quiet, simple office with a seat to work — not the happy hour, ping pong table, loud, and overly crowded office that attracts the typical coworker.
Our coworkers are looking for down-to-earth people in a low maintenance atmosphere — at a low price, of course.
We are also a local favorite for the worker who has spent a little too much time working from home and realizing that they missed the collaborative and friendly atmosphere of an office (or just needed an afternoon away from the kids!)
For both of these types of coworkers, the basics of a workspace is all they need — a place to sit, fast wifi, and free coffee. But an added bonus they all said they never realized they needed until they had it is that they also received the support of a community that believed in them.
As a Chamber of Commerce, our only goal is to elevate the local business climate, so we use our resources, influence and positive attitude to make sure that our coworkers succeed. Our coworkers then take advantage of all of the networking mixers, educational workshops and committee meetings that are offered to them as honorary Chamber members, one of the perks of being a member of LAX Coworking.
WHAT’S THE SOLOPRENEUR COMMUNITY LIKE IN COASTAL LOS ANGELES?
Growing, but facing difficulties. While we have multiple coworkers who are starting their own business in our space…
coworking spaces, the modern day chamber of commerce
A little more than 3 years ago, Kirby Israelson and the leadership at the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce were trying to figure out how to spice things up. They were already providing resources to their community and helping local shop owners and freelancers, but they were confronted with a newfound perception problem. The idea of interacting with a Chamber of Commerce simply didn't excite the modern professional. They were looking for something different.
That's when the team heard about a new phenomenon called coworking. A room full of freelancers, consultants, and startups coming together under one roof to benefit from a communal pool of resources. It sounded an awful lot like a Chamber of Commerce! So, they put two and two together and went ahead to form what Christina Davis, President/CEO of the LAX Coastal Chamber, calls a Facebook for business: LAX Coworking.
At first, the space was free. They simply opened up their extra office space for the community and told them to come in and check it out. Once it started to build attention (and sponsorships from local businesses!) they decided to take it one step further. A few months later and a new three-year lease freshly signed, they turned their budding seed of a space into the fully-blossomed coworking space you see today, remodeled and repainted to fit the new mold.
Today's chamber is the best voice for business in the community. It helps the little guys and big guys alike connect to politicians and advocates on their behalf. Local professionals can also discuss and decide on official chamber positions or endorsements. The chamber helps the business climate of the area succeed, too. They testify in court on behalf of members, talk to the right people in government, and help elevate business on a multitude of levels. There's fun stuff too, like ribbon cuttings and anniversary celebrations. They are the friend you go to that has all the connections in the area; your favorite community party that you always hang out with at the block party.
There's events all the time, too. Chamber President/CEO, Christina Davis, recently spoke about the LAX Coworking program at the WACE (Western Association of Chamber Executives) Conference. It was at this conference that they discovered they were no longer the only chamber to open a coworking space.. Each space faced their own challenges, though. Often times real estate can be expensive, but multiple chambers believed that if it was possible, expanding and including a coworking aspect was valuable to their members. Many were also trying to start incubators in order to give their startups resources to help them succeed. Everyone is basically trying to see what works best, understanding that it is important to reinvent yourself as a Chamber of Commerce to better follow along with the businesses you serve.
As you can see, this is the landscape that makes up the modern-day Chamber of Commerce, and LAX Coworking is proud to be a part of it. Kirby, the Creative Director at the LAX Coastal Chamber, is the Manager for LAX Coworking and works hard to make sure all of her LAX Coworkers have what they need to succeed. Whether it’s events, communications, or design, she, and the chamber team, are here to elevate your business and pave the way for other chambers. Stop by sometime!
learn how to curb your workaholic tendencies
Guest contributor Kirby Israelson of LAX Coworking shares her tips for keeping up a healthy work/life balance when you’re a workaholic.
Growing up, my parents instilled family maxims into my mind. Some were fun (“When in doubt, roll with it”), others practical (“Get a college degree”), and a select few held such great power that I hear them in my head to this day, namely “Work before play.”
My interpretation of this maxim has fluctuated throughout my life. As a child, it was harsh – chores needed to be finished before I could watch TV and homework needed to be done before I could play outside. Work before play was the proverbial bane of my childhood existence. As I grew older, however, I noticed it began to imbue me with a sense of freedom. Finishing your responsibilities meant you were free to enjoy the weekend without a sense of dread looming over your head. I slept better, I played harder, and I relaxed more completely.
Maturing from student to professional, I saw that work before play came with a downside. My strong work ethic, sense of perfectionism, and a small dash of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder combined to create my new adult identity as a “workaholic.” With symptoms ranging from answering work calls during date night to responding to emails from bed, the source is still one and the same: I suffer from workaholic tendencies.
And of course, if you’re reading this, chances are you might, too. Your chosen profession does nothing to curb these impulses. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners – also known as the members and managers of coworking spaces – are some of the most common sufferers of this affliction. The adrenaline and passion that fueled you to start your own business, paired with working your own schedule and the ease of 24/7 coworking access, often prove to be a diabolical combination. If you’re in a flow state, what does it matter that it’s already 3 a.m.? What reasons are there really to stop working?
Well… There are a lot of them, actually.
Studies show that working longer doesn’t make you work better. In fact, the Long Working Hours and Cognitive Function study discovered working in excess of 40 hours a week was associated with both lower cognitive test scores and a decline in overall performance. Furthermore, the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center recently discovered that during sleep, the brain removes necessary cellular waste. When you don’t get the necessary amount of sleep each night, this neural chaff can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. That’s right. Working too much and not sleeping enough can kill you. Quite literally.
As a fellow workaholic, I am well aware that working overtime strains personal relationships and destroys any semblance of a social life—wait, who am I kidding, I didn’t have enough free time to start one of those in the first place—and even though I was exhausted and running on coffee fumes from too many nights of only four hours of sleep, I kept working. I wore it like a badge of honor. So while some prefer the term “workaphile” in order to steer clear of any references to addiction, I politely disagree. In fact, I believe workaholism is perhaps one of the strongest addictions in its subtlety, which makes living with it no easy feat. But have no fear, my friend. You are not alone. In fact, if you hadn’t already guessed, you and I are cut from the same cloth.
“Hello, my name is Kirby and I’m a workaholic.”
I, like many workaholics who’ve come before me, have worked hard to channel my seemingly endless amounts of caffeine-fueled energy to discover ways to finally sit back and relax. I am here to tell you there’s hope yet for our kind. So, what can you do to keep your workaholic tendencies in check?
Put a little fun in your schedule
This is not a euphemism. Put it in your schedule. Why shouldn’t your calendar be a mixture of “have-tos” and “want-tos,” rather than strictly work-related responsibilities? It’s time to schedule fun back into your life. For every five business meetings you have, add one Happy Hour. Make Mondays better by taking a personal lunch break on the patio of your favorite restaurant. Jumpstart your weekend by seeing a concert or watching a play.
When extracurricular activities are planned, it immediately makes your limited working hours more efficient (because you have a deadline you need to meet). Furthermore, it helps to satisfy the workaholic part of your brain that is attracted to tasks and project management. Plus, who doesn’t like the reward system? You can’t have “work before play” without, you know, actually having some play.
Pro tip: Finding it hard to follow through on a fun schedule because it is just oh so easy to flake out on your own plans when you’re a workaholic? Put down a deposit. Once you’ve invested money into your plans—such as buying movie tickets ahead of time—you’ll find it harder to bail out. Plus you’ll now have a concrete reason to leave work. (Nobody likes to waste money, right?)
Enlist others to hold you accountable
I try to set deadlines for myself so I know when to stop working, I really do. But the thing about keeping things to yourself is that it’s pretty easy to rationalize your way into pulling yet another all-nighter.
It’s time to call in outside help. Whether it’s your significant other, roommate, coworker, or parent, give them your deadline and urge them to make you stick to it. (Hey Mom, can you call me at 11 p.m. and tell me to shut off my computer? No, don’t ask questions. Can you please just do it?) That way, if you’re in the zone and oblivious to how long you’ve been working, a scheduled interruption will remind you that you’ve done enough and it’s time for a break.
Pro tip: Discover your preferred enforcement method. Do you respond best to negative reinforcement, needing someone yelling at you to stop? Or perhaps you prefer positive reinforcement, such as your boyfriend enticing you away from the computer with a hot cup of tea? Do you require bribes, with a coworker saying they’ll buy you dinner if you walk away from your desk right this minute? Each workaholic is wired differently. Find out what works for you, then use it.
Take a breath of fresh air
I don’t need to go into the health benefits of exercise; we all know about it, and yet so many of us workaholics still spend our days chained to our desk. Go outside, for exercise, or simply eating lunch on the patio, is not only good for your health—and a great excuse to step away from your wifi—it also helps reduce stress and enhance creativity and concentration, making you a more efficient worker (thus reducing the amount of time you need to be at work). Even something as simple as a walk around the block can increase memory and restore mental energy.
Pro tip: Need an excuse to head outside? Move your meeting. From taking advantage of outdoor seating to starting a net-walking movement (think networking meets exercise), there are plenty of creative ways to do business outdoors for those who just can’t seem to rationalize heading outdoors for its own sake.
Build your boundaries (and actually stick to them)
Personally, I feel this tip is the hardest. If you’re like me and have worked with your clients and coworkers long enough to get to know them as people, not just professionals, establishing and sticking to your personal boundaries is often difficult. Oh, lovely client of mine, you’re stressed and frantically trying to meet a deadline by tomorrow afternoon? Of course I will work around the clock to help you, even if it’s to the detriment of my own health and sleep and sanity! Or, look at that, an email just woke me up at 4 a.m. when I was trying to sleep. But hey, look who it’s from! I like them so it’s okay to wipe the sleep from my eyes and help them with whatever it is they need at this ungodly hour.
But actually, it’s not okay. As a workaholic, it’s extremely important to set boundaries for yourself and those you work with. Stop telling yourself that everyday habits are the exception. The truth is, if you’re not taking proper care of yourself, you’ll be of no help to anyone else.
Pro tip: If you find it hard to enforce professional boundaries, remember that everyone you work with is human, just like you, and they probably deserve more credit. Your client won’t fire you if you tell them that you are unplugging for the weekend. Your coworker will still be your friend if you ask them to kindly not call about anything work related after 9 p.m. They work too, so they have probably had the same issues in the past and will understand where you’re coming from. In fact, they might even respect you more for standing up for yourself (and maybe you’ll inspire them to take better care of themselves, as well!).
Fellow workaholics, I wish you luck on your journey toward mastering your work week. When you feel as if you need a little push to infuse some play back into your day, I hope you come back to this blog. Remind yourself that you deserve to live long and prosper, and that you will make a larger difference in this world if you take care of yourself first, and your career second. Yes, you are the parent in those flight safety videos making sure you have oxygen before your child does. (Because, at times, isn’t that just what your business feels like? Your child?) The reality is: you can’t help anyone if you’re suffocating. So sit back, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Just because you’re great at what you do doesn’t mean you need to do it all the time and all by yourself.
About the author
Kirby Israelson is the Manager for LAX Coworking, your unpretentious coworking space built with the modern business owner in mind. Between working as the Creative Director for LAX Coworking’s parent company the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, running her own freelance art business Just Kirby, and moonlighting as a Krav Maga instructor, she is still working to manage her workaholism (but has yet to give up the fight).
40 best coworking spaces in los angeles
Are you looking for a coworking space to grow your business? You're not alone! Rather than work from home or coffee shops, digital workers everywhere are embracing the coworking movement. It has been exploding in LA recently, and now there are plenty of amazing options where you can plop down into a seat and get to work.
With so many spaces to choose from, it can be difficult to choose the perfect space for you and your business. We analyzed all the options out there to help you out!
On Thursday, January 26 the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce opened their doors to the local community in celebration. January 2017 marks the official two-year anniversary of when they first opened the doors to LAX Coworking, a communal coworking space aimed at elevating the local startup and entrepreneur community through providing resources, fostering connections, and providing workspace. They are creating a collaborative community to foster innovation and spur economic development, one coworker at a time.
The idea of coworking first came to the LAX Coastal Chamber in 2014. Always aiming to be a resource for their business community, chamber leadership recognized that the modern professional was evolving. Today’s worker is mobile, more willing to work at their local coffee shop than limit themselves to a single location. So, as the modern worker evolved, so did the LAX Coastal Chamber. It started with simply opening the doors to their board room for the occasional member to have a spot to work, to expanding and remodeling their office to accommodate room rentals, private offices, and even more coworkers. Since then, LAX Coworking has continued to grow in numbers and is truly building a community worth mentioning.
LAX Coworking’s two-year anniversary and open house celebration welcomed chamber leaders, coworkers, and community members alike. Special guest Councilmember Mike Bonin of the 11th District announced his pride in the LAX Coworking mission, presenting the LAX Coastal Chamber with a certificate of recognition for their efforts in elevating the local business community. Attendees not only engaged in networking and camaraderie, but were also treated to samples from local eateries (and proud chamber members) Yogurtland Marina del rey, The Game Sports Bar, Cantalini’s Salerno Beach Restaurant, and Jersey Mike’s. At the end of the evening, chamber staff cut a ceremonial cake in honor of the anniversary, adding the “cherry on top” to a wonderful night.
A special thank you to all of the wonderful men and women who have helped make LAX Coworking the phenomenal program that it is today. From coworkers to supporters to sponsors, you truly are the reason behind LAX Coworking and the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce’s success.
coworking on the left coast
The style of coworking (not to be confused with co-working) allows small teams and lone freelancers to work together in a single, shared office environment. This concedes the opportunity for collaboration with others in the realm of design, law, business, finance, development, and marketing. Coworking spaces have been on the rise dramatically over the past few years. And it is a very commonly practiced work routine within the bigger cities of the United States of America. After scouring the internet, we've put together the following list of some amazing coworking spaces on the left coast.
They provide their coworkers with collaborative working space, high-speed Wi-Fi, private offices, meeting rooms, leather chairs, coffee, tea, coconut water, Just Chill, Monster Energy, smiles, a girl who does cartwheels, ping-pong championships, fitness competitions, the occasional slingshot, and the more-often-than-not treat!
goal setting workshop w/ debra eckerling
I was thrilled to return to LAX Coworking at the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce for what now is my 2nd Annual Goal-Setting Workshop. We had a few people return from last year and lots of new peeps. It was a lot of fun.
We started by talking about the importance of visualization and brainstorming to hone in on what you want to achieve, how to write a mission statement and make sure your goals support it, and the value of a future bio. Then, we got into how to set long-term and short-term personal and professional goals, and how personal goals support the professional ones. Plus, we discussed ways to set yourself up for success.
Watch the video from the workshop on the LAX Coworking Facebook page.
Check out my guest post on CreateWriteNow where I talk about how to use journaling to create goals.
Post and report on weekly and monthly goals on the Write On Online Facebook Page and check out the Jump Into January Contest.
Remember, setting goals is the first step. You need to look at them regularly, give yourself benchmarks and deadlines, and spend the time to complete your action items in order to achieve them. Good luck. You can do it!
9 coworking spaces in los angeles you need to know
If there’s one thing that LAX prides itself on, it’s being an unpretentious coworking space (oh, and the only one with planes constantly outside its windows). The space is a program of the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce so when you become a full-time member you not only benefit from the Chamber’s wealth of resources and connections – they’ve been a voice for small businesses for 60+ years – but you also receive an honorary membership. Plus, there’s an In-N-Out directly across the street (and consistent ping-pong championships inside to help balance that out).
staying fit at your workspace
It’s no secret that the sedentary lifestyle associated with sitting at a desk job from 9 – 5 can have negative effects on your health. Unfortunately, for most office employees this is the reality of their day. Enter the Coworking community! Workspaces have found solutions for socializing, dining and unwinding and now many are incorporating fitness opportunities in their amenities packages to boost member offerings.
If staying fit is essential to you, these Coworking spaces may be a good fit for you:
Don’t have immediate access to these fitness options? We’ve compiled a few easy, sweat-free exercises to do while sitting at your desk...
IN THE NEWS
LAX Coworking is in the spotlight! In our endeavor to elevate your success, this program has gained some well-deserved attention.