Working Solo, Working Smart, Working in a Community
Most independent and telecommuting professionals have a preference for working “solo” and they focus on bringing an individual approach to their client and project work. But is the “solo” working model adequate? Can the independent worker compete just working “solo”? In today’s uber-competitive marketplace (with expectations of higher levels of cooperation with virtual teams and with customers), going it alone may limit your individual success and impact as a sole practitioner. In order to complete a client project or company initiative, it is likely that multiple professionals, vendors and resources will be needed. In today’s marketplace, organizational ecosystems are “interconnected” with virtual teams, multiple client locations and peer employees (and vendors). While an independent professional can still go “solo”, it is likely that this approach can be limiting, both in terms of client services (or lack thereof) and the ability to complete projects for clients and/or the company in a timely manner.
Let’s step back and look at the project management side of work. How can the independent worker and telecommuting professional best fit into the new dynamic “interconnected” work and related client or company support? Specifically, how does the solo worker and independent professional leverage relationships, peer professionals, strategic partners and business opportunities?
This is a challenging question, as the very nature of an independent worker or remote telecommuting professional is to work solo and “on their own”. And while this “sole practitioner” approach may be adequate for some projects and companies, it is becoming a less effective model in today’s economy. Enter coworking, shared work platforms, coopetition and virtual teams. Then add team ware (such as MS SharePoint, BaseCamp http://37signals.com ),shared file storage (Drop Box), web-based time tracking (Clicktime, Harvest) and other web-based resources. The combination of these web resources provides the opportunity for independent workers and “location neutral” professionals to leverage virtual resources and peer professionals to land larger projects and expanded work opportunities.
Depending on what part of the business and client development process the independent worker or “location neutral” professional is involved in, the business dynamics will determine the degree of “solo” working and leveraged virtual teamwork. Selling a project or idea to a client (or to corporate or organizational headquarters), is referred to as “finding” the business. In essence, this is the sales and client acquisition process. The next step is “binding” the project, client work or sales implementation together. The binding phase (which is generally referred to as project management) lends itself to virtual teams, multiple professionals and shared resources. This is a part of the client services and virtual team process where “working alone” or just “going solo” may not be adequate. The bulk of the “work to be done” is called the “grinding” portion of the project. In other words, grinding out (doing) the work, implementing the sale, installing the equipment, doing the research, and delivering the training. The “grinding” phase is most likely to be done by “solo” workers and independent professionals.
So what does this have to do with your work? At DurangoSpace, we have created a community of coworkers, which is a mix of independent professionals, solo professionals and telecommuters that work for “off-site” companies and/or clients around the world. By working smarter (“solo” professionals supported by shared resources) and combing the advantages of a coworking community, the members of DurangoSpace are experiencing better results and a better work environment. Give us a call to see how DurangoSpace can help you leverage your solo work and independent approach to effectively compete and deliver services in the competitive marketplace. Why are you waiting? Call us or e-mail our coworking support team at DurangoSpace.