So far, the year 2020 has been a year of change and transition and we are yet to understand the implications of those changes or even what they might look like long term.
The phrase socially distant has become something of a refrain but, for Cohere at least, the phrase isn’t entirely accurate. While fewer of us are coming in the physical space to work, as a community we are finding ways to come together socially even while remaining physically distant.
Many of us eagerly await days in which things return to the type of normal that once again includes potlucks, member-led discussions in the conference room, and group lunch outings. In the meantime, we are finding ways to stay connected and remain socially awesome.
As long as I have been a member, Cohere has always had ways to connect digitally—including Facebook, Instagram, and Slack, but the majority of our interactions have occurred in person. One of the changes that Cohere has seen this year is a pronounced uptick in the amount of online communication between members, particularly on Slack. Not only is the general channel fairly active throughout the day, but several other channels get attention as well. You can discuss awesome restaurants and recipes on the #food channel, get a happiness refill at #brightside, and if you need a pet photo fix, you can head on over to the #pet channel to see photos of members’ pets.
Want to connect with us on Slack or check out a Thursday mini-concert? Sign up for your virtual membership today!
A new addition to the Cohere community toolbox is the ability to attend meetings and gatherings online via Zoom. This ability has not only given us the power to harness the wonder of community for scheduled work sprints and cotivation groups, but it also has given rise to our popular Thursday afternoon lunch hours with short music recitals. Most of the time the musician in the spotlight is one of our own Coherians showing off some fantastic new skills, but every once in while we are treated to performances by local artists as well, like Mary Claxton of Trash Cat, a Greeley band that plays “cartoon rock”.
IRL: The Real Deal
Although it has been nice to see the virtual community of Cohere flourish recently, Cohere is not primarily a digital coworking company. This is a community that enjoys its in-person events. There is something truly gratifying about seeing each other face-to-face, even if that face is six feet away and covered in a mask. Our fearless leader and the founder of Cohere, Angel Kwiatkowski, is both an extrovert and an innovator, so it didn’t take long before she thought of several creative ways to interact safely in the real world.
On the first Wednesday of each month, you will find Angel in the parking lot, distributing donuts and coffee to everybody who signed up the previous week. Members drive up around 9:30 AM, are greeted with a friendly face (from the eyes up), given delectable treats through the car window, and then drive off ready to start the day motivated by caffeine, sugar, and a dose of positive human interaction. It is absolutely delightful and one of the few things that has the power to get me out of bed early in the morning.
The 9 AM “Chatio” events are another great option for early-bird members. Twice a month on Wednesday mornings, up to four people get together on Cohere’s outdoor patio and, well, chat. It is a wonderful way to learn more about fellow Coherians and you will start your Wednesday morning invigorated and ready to tackle your to-do list.
*The small group events are open to all Cohere members, but seats are limited. If you want to participate, contact Angel by clicking here, and she will add you to the list if there are any spots left.
4:30–5:30 PM on the second Tuesday of each month is slated as Happy Hour, which is a little more my speed as a night owl. Up to six individuals bring their own drinks, arrange themselves at least six feet away from one another in the Colorado sun, then just relax and talk. It is a restorative way to end a work day.
Humans are social beings and we do not thrive in a vacuum. Right now, physically distancing ourselves is helping to keep society safer, but there is no reason that any of us should live in complete social isolation. We can be physically distant, and still be socially awesome, it just takes a little cooperation and creativity.
Sign up for a free virtual membership today! Upgrade to the $19 per month virtual membership to also accrue 1 future day pass per month, or the $49 per month virtual membership to accrue 3 future day pass per month. Future day passes will continue to accrue until conditions improve.
And if nothing delights you more than real mail during these heavy digital days, Cohere sends every member a postcard that features the events calendar on one side and a fun pick-me-up on the other.
Penny Leigh Sebring is a Cohere member, experienced freelance writer, neophyte speculative fiction author, and gatherer of information and imaginary friends.