How to Cowork Remotely With Friends—or Strangers

For reasons that As we all know, working from home is far more common today than it used to be. This brings many benefits, but also some challenges, such as B. the need to stay motivated and on task when co-workers aren’t around and so many distractions are just a click away.

To address this problem, some people turn to online strangers — strangers who sit with them and are connected via a video call while both parties study or work or do whatever needs to be done.

It might sound like a bizarre solution at first, but it works better than you might think. It adds a small level of accountability without much additional effort. If you share your focus session with someone else, albeit quietly and simply, you’ll be a lot less tempted by a nap or an hour of binge-watching.


Focusmate connects you with another user to help you focus.

Courtesy of Focusmate

Focusmate is one of the leading services in this specific field and it connects you with another user of the same service so you can get things done. You can get up to three free 25-minute or 50-minute sessions per week by registering an account with Focusmate, and unlimited sessions are available for $5 per month.

All you have to do is tell Focusmate when there are free slots in your schedule and it will match you with a random partner. There’s no small talk or collaboration: once you’re connected, all you have to do is share the task you’re working on and get started.

According to internal user surveys conducted by Focusmate, 93 percent of people who have used the service say it has improved their productivity. Even if these users are a bit biased, that’s still a high number – it’s at least worth trying for free to see if it helps with your particular way of working.

As long as you have a camera and microphone on your device, you can use Focusmate. It works with Chrome on desktop and Android, and Safari on iPhone and iPad.

living in rooms

Life At Spaces allows you to invite other people into your workspace.

Courtesy of Life at Spaces

Life At Spaces takes a slightly different approach, and the coworking video session, which works similarly to Focusmate, is just part of what Life At Spaces does. Other productivity aids are included here, e.g. B. Desktop areas to control your mood, ambient music to help you stay focused, and a to-do list tool too.

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