9th Jan, 2024
From body doubling to deep work states, this new trend of joining virtual focus club memberships has been growing in 2023 and in 2024 there's more to come, but are they right for you and which ones are the best clubs to join.
Are you stuck at home and struggling to get things done?
This is such a common habit and there's only enough you can do with time management apps to better help you structure or schedule your day until you hit a wall of focus and lack of community around you. There's a growing trend in 2023 where people have joined online communities designed to provide accountability, body doubling, and a way to socialize whilst achieving your goals.
Many of these communities sprouted out from the influx of people remote working and being thrown into the deep end lacking the skills to do focused work in their home environment and many have been thriving as spaces for best focus practices.
Virtual co-working clubs are online memberships joined by a group with the pursuit of focus. Popular with freelancers, employees, and small teams.
Each session is planned and scheduled so that people can focus with the help of a facilitator who designs the session with breaks, focus stints, and social discussion to combat the key things that working from-home individuals struggle with and lack.
They have been popular and very useful for people who want help in the last year.
Costs range from $9.99 to $399 per month, but don't fear, most are within reason.
There are a range of virtual co-working spaces that offer you a premium to basic services and we'll unpack them below and how much each of them offers and which service is typically best for you looking to focus with the budget in mind.
You could probably set something like this up with your co-workers.
The issue is many sessions are structured, and that requires having a leader, stricter rules, and promoting an environment of accountability - if you can do that with people at work, this is worth considering setting up with a group for daily sprints.
Many of the clubs below actually have team plans too.
Flown offer 50 sessions a week in their line-up of co-working club sessions ranging from "flocks" to "awe walks". Flown seemingly have created their own world, but with a focus not all on... focus. There are three types of sessions, focus, re-charge and learn - allowing you to really go from focus to collecting your thoughts.
A lot of the community behind Flown from the testimonials have ADHD and this is something that concepts like body doubling that Flown push, use to better enhance their focus during sessions. Each session is run and managed by a facilitator, trained in how to setup focus sessions and embrace mindful practices.
You will be in a focus session with others, but this is one of the beauties of the concept for co-working spaces to thrive.
Flown has a 30-day free trial and costs a reasonable £20 per month Out of all of the tools, this one has the most brand we feel and a line-up of 5 facilitators seem to be decent with a range of types of sessions not seen across this list.
Flow Club runs 1,700+ sessions a week offering a wide range of sessions to join and commit your goals for. Many people like that the Flow Club is built with a system that allows for you to upload goals, tasks, follow along with music (like lo-fi) and chat too.
Flow Club facilitators or hosts aren't vetted, but they do have a way to start sessions and become a host too allowing you to create more a relaxed bond, that may or may not be good for the overall productivity of those following. It allows for more offerings in sessions, but less focus on mindfulness.
Flow Club is priced much higher at $40 per month, but offers a lot more session offerings, with more wide variety of hosts. So if you're not someone that suits well to the hosts that bring a more structured experience, changing up to this might be a good option.
Caveday is one you'll see a lot on Facebook ads, as of recently, pushing the platform to those who work remotely and want facilitated work sessions. Out of all of the options, Caveday looks most like a cult with its processes like hiding phones in zipped bags before sessions, and celebration sessions, but it also claims to be one of the most productive.
Caveday offers no free plan but gives users a basic plan for $9.99 per month that allows for 4 reservations to get started in that month. Caveday is the most motivation-orientated of all of these so if you're a little more outgoing, this might be the choice for you.
Focusmate focuses on pairing you with a member of the community, so like Flow Club, you'll be paired with another person, versus a facilitator. This experience allows you to book 1:1s with people around the world and get started focusing.
The good thing is that you download the app Focusmate, instead of using a system like Zoom or Google Meet that requires more manual setup.
The pricing is considerably less and they have a free plan allowing you to give this concept a test and see whether it works well for you, 3 sessions a week is a good offering to get started. We'd recommend looking at this for those new to this concept of body doubling.
Co-focus comes with their own theories.
50-minute 1:1 meetings is their system and concept. They want to connect you up with people that can do these sessions with you using their software. This system is something they will teach you as you join the platform, but there's no way to switch coaches or people you are paired with to our knowledge.
The platform started in 2020 during the pandemic and has been growing. Out of the list, this is the most manual of the bunch.
Here's the best options on the market:
This one seems like the most credible option if you wanted a reasonably priced, focused experience with real facilators and a focus on managing your prdoductivity.
The best option for budget focused people is Focusmate at their free plan offering 3 sessions a week, forever. Then $9.99 if you did want unlimited, per month.
Flown is the best for having someone take the reigns and manage your co-working session.
Both Focusmate and Co-Focus seem the best options for organizing 1:1 specific sessions for accountability and body doubling concepts.
In the landscape of remote work, the challenge isn't just managing time but maintaining focus and feeling connected. Virtual co-working clubs have emerged as a solution, particularly for those who miss the social interaction and structured environment of traditional offices.
These clubs offer scheduled sessions, often led by a facilitator, combining focused work with breaks and social interaction. They address key challenges faced by home-based workers, such as isolation and distractions.
Joining such clubs can be especially beneficial if you:
In summary, if you're struggling with focus, need more structure in your workday, or miss the camaraderie of a physical workplace, these virtual co-working clubs could be a valuable resource. They offer a blend of productivity and community, tailored to the needs of remote workers. These tend to work well with a-sync focused work too.
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