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Working Away From the Office

This morning I came across a 2005 conversation with Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point and Blink) about his work habits -- how he writes from various locations around the world, eschewing the traditional home office. I came across this while tapping away on my laptop at a local brewpub -- just one of many nerds working through projects at our neighborhood watering-hole. I can relate to Gladwell's "rotating" schedule, as later in the day I'm likely to move to a coffee shop and then a comfy chair back home (hello, tax deduction!). Here's a bit from Gladwell's interview:

"I refer to my writing as 'rotating'. I always say 'I'm going to rotate' because I have a series of spots that I rotate."

There's one in the lower East Side. "The waiters are all Australian and they play The Smiths all day long which I find so fabulous. I always go there on the weekends. Then there are restaurants in Little Italy that I go to. I often go to these places in the middle of the afternoon, when they'll let me linger."

As many freelancers go beyond "Working From Home," they're seeking social spaces in which to work together. Thus the phenomenon of Coworking arises: it's the notion that people work better in social settings, even if there isn't much socialization going on. Somehow, just having people together in the same space seems to help -- or at least it feels like it helps.

The New York Times ran a piece on Coworking in February, entitled They're Working on Their Own, Just Side by Side. It introduces the notion of formal Coworking coops in which people actually set up an office space and rent desk space by the hour, day, week, or month. Here's a clip:

Coworking sites are up and running from Argentina to Australia and many places in between, although a wiki site on coworking shows that most are in the United States. While some have grown-up-sounding names, most seem connected somewhere between the communalism of the 1960s and the whimsy of the dot-com days of the '90s, like the Hive Cooperative in Denver, Office Nomads in Seattle, Nutopia Workspace in Lower Manhattan and Independents Hall in Philadelphia.

The coworkers, armed with Wi-Fi laptops and cellphones, are in some ways offering a techie twist on the age-old practice of artists or writers teaming up to rent studio space.

Most coworkers say they were drawn to the spaces for the same reasons that inspired Mr. Neuberg: they like working independently, but they are less effective when sitting home alone.

Whether you go to the trouble of paying for space or simply find a group of friends, Coworking is an exciting idea -- at least for people like me who are trying to get work done in a world filled with awesome distractions (TiVo, anyone?). If you don't know about your local group, check out the Coworking Wiki that describes local Coworking setups around the world. Or you can do what I did -- call up your freelancer friends and invite them to hang out at your place, or some mutually agreeable coffeehouse/bar/library/street corner while doing work. In my brief experience with the practice, Coworking has made me feel more productive -- somehow, having other people in the room makes me focus on working and conquer procrastination. Or at least I feel like it does.

Any _floss readers out there care to share your Coworking stories, or tales of getting work done away from the office?

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Here's the Right Way to Pronounce Kitchenware Brand Le Creuset

If you were never quite sure how to pronounce the name of beloved French kitchenware brand Le Creuset, don't fret: For the longest time, southern chef, author, and PBS personality Vivian Howard wasn't sure either.

In this video from Le Creuset, shared by Food & Wine, Howard prepares to sear some meat in her bright orange Le Creuset pot and explains, "For the longest time I had such a crush on them but I could never verbalize it because I didn’t know how to say it and I was so afraid of sounding like a big old redneck." Listen closely as she demonstrates the official, Le Creuset-endorsed pronunciation at 0:51.

Le Creuset is known for its colorful, cast-iron cookware, which is revered by pro chefs and home cooks everywhere. The company first introduced their durable pots to the world in 1925. Especially popular are their Dutch ovens, which are thick cast-iron pots that have been around since the 18th century and are used for slow-cooking dishes like roasts, stews, and casseroles.

[h/t Food & Wine]

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Amazon Will Now Deliver Whole Foods Groceries To Your Door
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Since its acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has slowly been ramping up synergy between the two brands. An Amazon Go concept convenience store in Seattle allows customers to enter, scan their cell phone, and walk out with groceries without having to stand in line; select Amazon products, like their Echo devices, have made their way onto retail shelves.

Now, consumers in Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach can use their status as an Amazon Prime customer to get free home delivery of their Whole Foods groceries. Beginning Thursday, February 8, the market will drop off orders within two hours. (One-hour delivery carries a $7.99 charge.)

“We're happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey said in a statement. “Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier.”

Most everything in the store is eligible for delivery, though we’re not certain they’d deliver a live lobster. “Select” alcohol is also available. You can visit primenow.com to see if you’re in their delivery region. Keep checking, as they plan to expand throughout 2018.

If you’re not near a Whole Foods at all, other regional grocery chains like Wegman’s also offer home delivery on a subscription-based pricing structure.

[h/t The Verge]

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