I signed up to Google Campus a while back. A friend told me how you can go sit in their cafe for free and just crack on with your work. Ideal if you're a digital nomad with no place to call home. But I was yet to try out this prime piece of cafe real estate in central London.
This is partly because I'm fairly content working from home. Im no more or less productive sat in my flat, +/- clothes, where I have easy access to coffee, a toilet and hopefully a steady supply of food. But I suppose that variety is a good thing - particularly for creativity - so I packed my laptop into my bag and headed off to Old Street.
I've been to Google Campus several times before - mainly for health/med-tech related events. This time I was actually taking advantage of another event - a workshop on design for non-designery people like myself. It was a good talk, delivered by a guy called Barney, who knew his stuff and could give a good presentation. He had a friend filming him on a DJI Osmo, so you can be sure he'll have some super stabilised footage to show off from the event.
As I was there at Google Campus, I thought I may as well see what all the fuss was about with this workspace/cafe. It was packed. Chock full of people. All available workspace taken up by MacBooks. There was even a guy perching his computer precariously on the edge of the football table, cracking on with his emails. Seems like you need to set up shop at 9am sharp if you want to bag yourself a place.
In the bathroom, a strategically placed poster above the urinal drew my attention to the weekly 1-to-1 mentoring sessions held on Friday mornings. Book a place and get 30 minutes with a google employee to talk shop on a certain topic. This weeks theme - visual content. To say it was currently Tuesday and the slots were first come, first served, I wasn't hopeful as I hurriedly filled out the form on my phone. (I had finished in the bathroom at this point btw).
So it was to my surprise that at 10:00am on Friday I received an email inviting me to a mentoring session. Win! Having talked visual content with a nice chap from Google for a good half hour, I bought a flat white from the ever-packed cafe and reflected on my campus experience. Everything I had the opportunity to see and do there during that week was free. Absolutely free. A place to work, workshops to attend, one-to-one mentoring to make the most of. All of it for not cost to myself.
Kind of amazing when you think about it. Especially in a town where you have to pay a lot for most things (mainly rent, pints and travel). So yeh, I don't really know what the conclusion is of this entry. Probably just that variety in your working life and schedule is good, and that i'm glad I have a place to work if I need it. Surrounded by similar minded people, cracking on with their ideas and giving something back in terms of knowledge and advice.
It may be busy, but there are worse communities to be a part of.
'til next time
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