Phlex Fridays Are Here. Coworking and network while you learn.

So what’s that I hear you cry? I’ll tell you!…..it’s ‘nosh and know’ and its coworking and networking whilst you learn.

Phlex is all about its members – we want to support and look after each other because it really is very hard working on your own sometimes.

So you lot have loads of knowledge that we can all share – we could put on events and have someone you don’t know stand and talk at you but we think we can all do better than that.

We’re therefore looking for volunteers with whatever expertise you have that you think we might all benefit from – even just with our initial membership so far we have loads of stuff we could teach each other – social media, CRM systems, ergonomics, music therapy, team building, project management, gmail, Trello etc etc – the list of skills between us is endless.

You are, therefore, all cordially invited to come and be part of our knowledge sharing events so that we can all get cleverer together!  Sign up, come along, and have a think about what you could share with everyone else in future events.

We’re going to kick these off with 2 venues in April:

Friday 13th April (if you’re brave enough?!) – Becketts Southsea – breakfast & co-working

If you’ve never been to Becketts then you really should – it’s a lovely restaurant and bar with a newly opened deli on the side, where we can start our Friday off with coffee and croissants and knowledge.  You’re then free to stay and work alongside each other for the rest of the morning, so bring your laptop and get comfy.  Just £5 – pay on the day.

Friday 27th April – Village Hotel – lunch & co-working

We really do like the Village – a modern hotel with a great business club to work from.  As many of you know we’ve negotiated a corporate rate for Phlex members there and they’ve very kindly agreed to provide us with a bit of lunch while we learn whatever’s on the Phlex Friday menu that day.  If you’re already a Phlex/Village member then this is a free event.  If you’re not then sign up to be a member on the Phlex website to get your discount, and you can then pay on the door and spend the entire day there co-working for £8 (non members £10).

Check out our events page for more information and for details of the sessions.

If you’re thinking you’d like to put yourself forward for one of these slots then do just shout as we’re putting a programme together now so would be great to hear your ideas.

We’re planning 1 in each venue every month and will obviously do more if there’s a demand.  If you need a screen for whatever you want to talk about then pick the Village.  If you’d like to keep it simple with no screen, then Becketts will work fine for you.

Please do let us know if you have any other ideas, because this only works for us if it works for you.

See you there!

Jill & Caroline

10 reasons why coworking benefits you and your business

coworking venues

For me the benefits that co-working has brought to my business have been huge.  I first joined a co-working space in January 2015 after I had spent a year and half working from home.. and going slightly crazy.  It might not be for everyone, but here are 10 reasons why you might want to consider co-working:

  1. Increased productivity: It is true to say that working in an office environment with others around you can increase your productivity. In fact a recent Global Co-working Survey by Deskmag found that members of co-working spaces were 74% more productive. Who doesn’t want to be more productive, right?
  2. Improve your mental health. Working at home all day every day can be lonely, especially if you live alone too. Humans are basically sociable creatures and if it is a choice between seeing people everyday or having to nip to the local Co-op to have a conversation with someone, then I know which I choose.  A 2017 study showed that there was ‘an elevated risk of poor subjective health among freelance workers who are exposed to adverse psychosocial work conditions’ and this Guardian article highlights the ongoing issues as well.  By working in a co-working space and having that human contact, mental health issues, feelings of loneliness and isolation can be significantly reduced – and the Co-op staff get less visits too!
  3. Networking without the networking: I don’t know about you but personally I hate the forced nature of networking, but in a coworking space you are doing this naturally every day without even trying.
  4. Professional office space: Having a professional space to invite clients for meetings can give you that professional edge over your competition.
  5. Avoid home disruptions and distractions: Working at home means that your home and work space may merge and its all too easy to get distracted with the house chores, TV or even the dog.
  6. Collaboration and support for other small businesses: It’s just human nature to want to support your fellow workers and so you find yourself supporting and promoting your colleagues business. Thats a win win for sure. And did you know Jill and I actually met and formed Phlex as a result of working in the same co-working space? …. so you never know what will happen!
  7. Switch off from work: By physically going to a place of work it makes it easier to switch off at the end of the day or at weekends and it means you can better separate out these two aspects of your life.
  8. Flexibility:  Because co-working spaces will almost always offer full time desks as well as hot desks, it is easy to flex your requirements up and down with your business. The Phlex App ( in development) will make this even easier for you.
  9. Better for your physical health: Before deciding to move into a co-working space, most people that work at home will work from their living rooms, kitchens or even bedrooms (in their pyjamas.. Jill!). The unfortunate truth of this is that most people don’t sit in a way that is good for their posture and this is when injury can occur.  In co-working spaces, you are much more likely to be sat at a desk with an appropriate chair, therefore reducing the possibility of health problems. But if you are working from home, don’t worry, you can do loads to work in the best way possible. You can check out Jill’s tips for Agile Working here. 
  10. Increase your social network: OK I know you may have 500+ friends on Facebook but by working in a space you will soon find yourself with new friends to go for coffee.. or wine with.
  11. …….. OK I know I said 10 reasons but.. ….don’t forget perhaps the most important reason of all….. the office Christmas Party. Its a bit tough to have a Christmas party by yourself!

What do you think? Leave us a comment and tell us how you have benefitted from working in a co-working space.. and if you are not ready to go into a full time co-working space, then maybe come along to one of our popup co-working days. We would love to see you.

Caroline xxx

Introducing The Phlex Membership

Team

So Phlex membership eh? What is that exactly? Why are we doing it? What do you get? And why should you join?

Those of you that know us well will know that Phlex is still very much ‘work in progress’. The goal has and is still getting the app going, to connect disparate spaces and locations. Take a look at this great article on the future of the workplace, so, whilst that is still in development  we also want to build and support our community locally, because that’s what co-working is about for us.

Yep you need a space and bits and pieces of practicality within that space, but if you don’t have community and support then you don’t really have co-working – well we don’t think so anyway.

So as you, our early adopters and supporters are mainly entrepreneurs yourselves, we figured you’d appreciate us just being honest about where we’re at in our journey, why we’re doing what we’re doing, and how we can help each other do great stuff.

It would be lovely to launch the app all brand spanking new and with our entire business model sorted and ready to service you lovely people, but in reality we all know that isn’t how businesses grow. It’s a far more messy trial and error process til you find out what works and what doesn’t.

And even then – we need to keep adapting and learning to survive.

So…. we’ve been given a bit of funding and are hoping to work with the big brains at the University of Portsmouth to sort out our financial modelling, and although there are allsorts of options for us going forward, the membership model will probably play a part in that so it makes sense to start some preliminary trials on that now.

We’ve launched our membership just to formalise our relationship and start to work on benefits for you to start enjoying now. For founding members we’ve priced this at just £10/year – a tiny nominal fee that will keep our accountant happy, and give us some traction in terms of ‘trading’ status when
we look at funding in the coming months.

You’ve supported us so far and we want to be able to support you too.
We hope you’ll agree that £10 is great value as we’ve already secured ‘corporate’ rates at the Village Hotel business club so you’ll easily get your £10 back within 2 months if you join there. It’s really not about making money out of the membership right now – I really don’t ‘do’ maths, but even I can
work out that that there’s no millions to be made from a £10 membership fee – we’re passing on all the discounts we negotiate directly to you, so that we can build our membership and really hit the ground running once the app is launched. We’re working on more member benefits as well so will
let you know as they come on line.

So why should you join?

Well obviously to get access to the reduced rates. But we hope that more importantly than that it’s to be part of our Phlex community, and help us on our journey so that the Phlex community can help you in return. The more there are of us, the stronger we’ll all be. Sounds a bit cheesy doesn’t it but
it’s true.

Any of you that have spoken to Stef from Shaping Portsmouth recently will know that he has loads of horrifying figures on entrepreneurial failure rates in the City of Portsmouth – and some of those failures will definitely be down to lack of community and support.

Caroline and I have both been ‘home alone’ and struggling in the past so we know how difficult that can be.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far – come and join us in the journey.
Jill x

PS I think I’m generally OK at writing but this is definitely not my best work so please don’t judge me on this blog alone! Caroline will nag me if I spend time faffing with it though so it will have to do for now, so I’m going for raw, honest, but definitely not eloquent! :-0

You can find out more about the membership here  or head right on over and Join by clicking here Yes I want to join Phlex

3 Simple Steps to Agile Working and Getting You Comfy on the Move

best agile working tips

Are you sitting comfortably?????….mmmm….maybe, maybe not…..so here is our 3 simple steps to Agile Working.

It’s great all this flexibility in our working lives that the technological revolution now affords us.  No longer necessarily tied to our desks Monday-Friday for 8 hours a day, we can now work wherever and whenever we please.

But the traditional desk and adjustable office chair does have its benefits in terms of our physical comfort because we can adjust them to our needs.  So how do we begin to replicate that and remain comfy when we’re working here, there and everywhere??  Well actually it’s not that difficult really – a few simple things to think about and a pragmatic approach to your physical ergonomics is all you really need.

  1. Move, Move, Move, Move Move

Yep this really is our top tip – everything that comes after this is secondary really.  Just keep moving.  Change your position at least every hour – go for a walk, chat to a colleague, go to the loo, go get a glass of water….. any excuse to get you moving – just don’t sit in that same position for hours on end – even the so-called perfect position will do you no good at all if you don’t shift ya’ bum!  Little and often – at least 5 minutes every hour – off you go!  I also wrote a blog about this as well – check out Are you Sitting Comfortably?

  1. Lighten Your Load

It’s so easy to keep lobbing stuff into your bag and never ask yourself if you really need it or clear it out.  Maybe that’s just me????  No I don’t think so – many of us are guilty of it, so take a long hard look at your bag every day and if in doubt leave it behind.  Phew!  Feels better already.

  1. Separate Your Keyboard and Screen

The problem with laptops is that it’s impossible to get into a decent working position, because if the screen is at the right height, then the keyboard will be too high and you’ll be hunching your shoulders, and if the keyboard is at the right height then the screen will be to low and you’ll be leaning forward.  Neither are great for your neck/shoulders and posture generally and you’ll definitely start to feel it if you do it too often.  So do yourself a favour and get yourself a small, lightweight (see number 2!) keyboard, mouse and laptop raiser (recommendations coming soon), and you’ll feel the benefit straight away.

Easy!

Well there is more to it than that but that’s enough to get you started.  We’ll cover some more detail in future blogs, but if you’ve got any burning issues or questions then please just shout and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Jill xxx

Pop up coworking in Portsmouth is here!

coffee at our coworking in Portsmouth pop up

Yesterday was our first day of popup coworking in Portsmouth and it was truly fab! Though we say so ourselves! ? and so Phlex is now officially up and running!

A great turnout for our first day – thanks so much to See Change Happen, Art2Arts, Peas in a Pod Consulting, Audazzle, Jorge Bergasa, Natalia Michalska, Beat The Seat, Kim Wilkinson, Mona King, Gethin Jones, Martin Holwill.

Coffee, tea, mince pies from our friends at Mum and Dads Kitchen (don’t expect those seasonal treats every time folks!), chat…..oh and a bit of work…!

It was a very lovely feeling indeed looking round and seeing people do exactly what we hoped they’d do – work of course, but also get to know each other and start to build the relationships that will support them in the future.

Some came on their own, some came with colleagues and used it as a meeting and catch-up day, and that’s the whole point – use it however suits you.

Personally I did very little work apart from the 1st half of this blog (because Caroline told me I had to!….and I always do as I’m told?!), and generally swan around, eating mince pies and feeling pretty chuffed with it all.

So the whole point of these popups is to find out what works, what doesn’t, what you (the co-workers and space providers) want and need so that we can make our service everything you want and need it to be.  If you have any feedback or suggestions for us we’d really love to hear it – please don’t think you have to only tell us nice things because although the nice stuff is obviously lovely to hear, it’s the not so nice stuff that really helps us grow and improve, so don’t be shy – let us know.

2017 has been pretty crazy.  It’s been a very busy few months getting us to this point and we have lots more still to do to get the app up and running and working for you in the new year, but we’ve loved every minute of it so far and can’t wait to really get going.

Come and work with us in 2018 – see the website and facebook for more details as we list them, but for now it’s Kings Street Tavern every Wednesday 10-4 in January and many more in the pipeline.

See you there! Jill xxx

And we are live… plus a Christmas party!

Any excuse for a party…

and it’s that time of year….

and we have some exciting news…..

It’s that time of year folks…..we’d love you to join us for lunch on 20th December – we all deserve a party, and just because you are self employed and don’t have any colleagues, why should you miss out?

12pm – Weds 20th December – lunch at King Street Tavern – full details to follow

And we’re very excited to be growing our entrepreneurial community in Portsmouth – we think that physically working alongside each other is key to our business development, success, and (let’s face it) our sanity!

So to get us going while the Phlex app is in development we’re going to be hosting a series of popup coworking events in the New Year – we’re working on the schedule at the moment and will let you know times and dates as soon as they’re finalised – hopefully in the next week or so.

But we also want to celebrate our launch, Christmas (sorry to mention the ‘C’ word in November but needs must!), and for those of you that have just completed Espark – let’s celebrate that as well.  And let’s keep the momentum of Espark and the energy of our growing community together going forward eh?…..how great would that be?

So on the 20th December we’re having our very first popup co-working event – just a couple of hours in the morning 10am-12pm, followed by lunch and general merriment.

Please do come and join us – we’ll have full details in the next week or so and everyone is welcome.  Even if you don’t want or need to join us for the co-working in the morning – please come for lunch anyway – it’s Xmas and we deserve a party just as much as any ’employee’ does – maybe more!

See you there!

Jill & Caroline

Want to get involved?

Let’s make this co-working community happen, and let’s make it great!

Phlex gives you the power to create your own space – wherever/whenever suits you.

Find it, list it, and Phlex will do the rest.

Phlex gives you the power to find a space and way of working that suits you.

Search it, book it, and Phlex will do the rest.

Come and join us – whether you are a space, or in need of some Phlex space.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Want to Join our Advisory Board?

So we think we know a lot about co-working, and what makes co-workers and space providers ‘tick’.  

But we clearly don’t know everything, and this is a fast changing world, with fast changing needs to be met.

So we plan to host a series of ‘events’ – let’s face it, we’re really talking lunches!  These events will bring together a variety of our contacts in the co-working world with providers and their potential clients to discuss the wants and needs on all sides, develop a steering group for best practice, identify future trends, and very importantly – help us develop the perfect app and service for our future clients.

Our first event is planned for November 2017. Contact us to find out more.