Virtual Coworking

The Benefits of (Virtual) Co-Working

Working from home can get lonely…. This was the main reason I sought out a co-working space about 6 months into running my business from home. I was lonely. I missed seeing co-workers and chatting at the water cooler.

As a Virtual HR Consultant & Leadership Coach, a self-proclaimed introvert, and someone who is a huge supporter of remote work for employees’ overall well-being, I still found working from home 100% of the time (sans local client visits) super lonely!

I craved human connection in my workspace. At least some of the time.

I had heard of “co-working” spaces from a friend who has worked from home nearly her entire career. She video-called me once from her co-working space, and in the background, I could see people working on laptops and chatting over coffee.

I was totally intrigued.

And it made me want my own co-working space.

I was lucky enough to find an awesome co-working space, MERGE Iowa City about 30 minutes from my home in Iowa.

What do I love about MERGE ‘s Co-working Space?

  • Connecting with diverse local professionals
  • Feeling motivated by the “buzz” of work happening around me
  • The ability to “co-work” only some of the time
  • And of course, the coffee

And then COVID happened…..

With my need to socially distance, I stopped going to MERGE. At first it was ok (again, I’m an introvert by nature), but about 3 months in without co-working, I totally missed it!

Enter Virtual Co-Working

In collaboration with MERGE, we have started “virtual” co-working!

Virtual co-working features all of the benefits bulleted above (with the exception of MERGE’s coffee).

Virtual co-working enables connection with Iowa City area professionals. With videos on, you can still feel motivated by the “buzz” of work happening around you. Virtual co-working is also very intentional. We set goals and share our intentions before launching into work, which greatly increases productivity.

Here’s How Virtual Co-Working Works

Virtual Coworking Sessions are hosted via Zoom for 3 hours at a time and generally follow this outline (although participant input on the format is welcomed!)

  1. Introductions and Goal Setting: The co-working session starts with each member briefly sharing their intentions/goals for the session (i.e. what you’d like to accomplish)
  2. Uninterrupted work period
  3. Halfway breaktime: A brief fun activity and check-in
  4. Closing and Accomplishment Sharing: The co-working session ends with each member sharing how they did in relation to the intentions/goals they set at the beginning of the session

To achieve the maximum benefit of co-working, “videos on” is a must!

Why You Should Try Virtual Co-Working

  • Meeting and networking with diverse local Iowa City area professionals
  • Increased productivity through facilitated goal setting and accomplishment sharing
  • Accountability to successfully complete your work in a supportive environment
  • To have fun, feel less lonely, and feel more connected

Virtual Co-working is now open to anyone working from home in the Iowa City area, not just MERGE members.

The only requirements are to honor the confidentiality of the people in the session and to maintain respectful, professional behavior toward one another.

Want to Try Virtual Co-Working?

Who: Anyone working from home in the Iowa City area

When: The first Tuesday of every month from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm

Where: Zoom (contact below to get the Zoom link)

Your Host: Skye Mercer, Iowa City area Virtual HR Consultant & Leadership Coach (

Ready to Get Started?

Contact Erin (