Upcoming Co-Working Retreats

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Topsail Island, NC. March 15-19, 2023

As we began to emerge from the pandemic, the concepts of ‘work-from-home’ and ‘remote work’ increasingly decoupled. Being location-independent means you can work from pretty much anywhere, allowing you to travel longer and more frequently. But hitting the road with your laptop can be lonely if your friends and family don’t have the same arrangement. That’s why we started doing co-working retreats.

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    What is a co-working retreat?

    In a nutshell, it’s an opportunity to fully take advantage of your remote status to maximize travel AND join a terrific community. You can take an awesome trip without using any vacation days. But it’s more than just a chance to travel and party (though we will do plenty of that!). For the duration of the trip, you’ll live and work alongside other remote professionals (usually in a big vacation home), getting work done when you need to, then enjoying the destination and the company of your ‘co-remote workers’ the rest of the time. You’re free to work as much or as little as you need to, but most will usually work in a common area during weekday working hours, taking calls and Zoom meetings in private rooms as needed. Then in the evenings and weekends, we let loose and really enjoy one another’s company and our surroundings.

    We’ll do activities at the house like games, karaoke and skill-shares (AKA, things we each share with the group, like tea tasting, yoga, meditation, a crash course on balloon-animal making, a presentation on how to make the perfect TikTok reel, etc). Other times we’ll venture out around town for destination-specific activities like hikes, wine tasting, bike rides, bowling, sightseeing or pub crawls. Activities are all optional, so if you want to take some time to enjoy the destination on your own, that’s totally fine too!  You can expect around 10 to 15 people to be on a given retreat.

     

    But will we really get any work done?

    Yes! You’re not going to a hostel surrounded by 18-year-old backpackers partying and traipsing around town all day, giving you FOMO. While those accompanying you on the trip will come from a very wide range of personal and professional backgrounds, the one thing you’ll all have in common is that you’re location-independent professionals – AKA, people who also have work to get done. Being surrounded by others in the same working mindset can not only facilitate a good environment for being productive, it can also give you motivation while offsetting the loneliness and isolation that long-term remote workers all-too-often fall into.

    Furthermore, part of the idea of a co-working retreat is to get you doing your normal work in an abnormal environment. Studies have shown that the novelty associated with travel can boost creativity, motivation, learning and exploratory behavior. By integrating your normal work habits into this environment, it promotes new ways of thinking as it relates to your work. Hopefully, by spending a few days surrounded by new, interesting people in a beautiful and novel new environment, you can begin to look at your work with fresh eyes. 

    Recommended reading: ‘Workcations’ Aren’t an Escape. They’re Practice. -The Atlantic

    Who should come?

    NC Triangle Remote Workers is a group of productive professionals who also like to get out, be social and have fun. If that sounds like you, then odds are you’d have a blast on one of our retreats, while also building meaningful friendships. We span the professional spectrum with backgrounds in tech, design, media, education, healthcare…you name it. Most of us range in age from mid-20s to mid-40s, but we include everyone from college students in their early-20s to well-established professionals in their 60s, with origins that span the globe. 

    One of the cool things about our events in general is how well people with totally different backgrounds tend to mesh, united by their location-independence and desire to mix life and work in a healthy, optimized way. Bringing together people with diverse backstories and at different stages of their lives and careers can benefit everyone – both at a professional and personal level  and that’s part of our mission. Our retreats turbocharge that mission. Living, working and playing alongside others for several days allows you to rapidly get to know one another and establish relationships that might otherwise take months to build. 

    So if that appeals to you, you have a good attitude, and are open-minded, easygoing and respectful, then these retreats are for you.

    What are the accommodations like?

    This will vary trip to trip. Sometimes there will be private rooms available, some rooms will have 2-3 people of the same gender, and occasionally there will be bunk rooms with more than that (though this will rarely be the only option)  and rooms will be priced accordingly. But since these are mostly high-end vacation homes we stay at, your room will be comfortable, regardless – and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into ahead of time, usually with photos of the room. Of course, most people would prefer a private room, but if one isn’t available, don’t let that dissuade you. These trips are primarily about community, and there’s no faster way to get to know people than being roommates.

    Alright, I'm sold! Can I just book already?!

    I like that enthusiasm! But we need to talk first. We’ll live in close quarters for several days, and these trips are about forming a good group above anything. So we want to get to know you a little bit first and give you a chance to ask any questions you might have, which lets both sides make sure we’re all on the same page and a good fit. The best way to do this is to attend one of our regular events around the Triangle (which include daytime co-working at a cafés or evening happy hours), which you can find on our Meetup page. If you’re unable to make it to any of those in time, we can also set up a video chat. 

     

    When should I sign up?

    As soon as possible, as there is a very limited number of spots on each retreat and yours is confirmed only when you’ve signed up, been approved and paid. Furthermore, when there are multiple room-type options (ie, private, shared, bunk, etc), they’re divvied out on a first-come-first-served basis, so signing up early gives you a better chance at getting the room you prefer. If you’re interested in a retreat that’s already full, you can still be put on the waiting list to join in the event someone has to drop out.

    I've been accepted and have booked. Now what happens?

    You’ll need to sign a liability waiver and agreement to abide by our code of conduct (more on that below). Then a few weeks before the trip, you’ll be invited to a private channel in our Slack community with all the others going on your trip. There, we’ll discuss logistical points as well as introduce ourselves and chat, so you’ll have an idea of who the people are that will be joining you. If you’re able, you’re also encouraged to attend some of our regular meetup events around the Triangle, where you’ll likely meet at least a few people going on the trip.

    How will I get there?

    Our trips are within a few hours drive of the Triangle area, and usually the only way to get there is to drive. But whether you’re unable to drive yourself or just want to split gas costs and have a more sociable trip, you’re encouraged to car-pool with others in the group, which can be organized in the Slack channel. If you’re coming in from outside of the Triangle and won’t have a car, contact us about other possible arrangements.

    What will I eat?

    This will also vary slightly from trip to trip, but generally, your trip facilitator will provide ingredients to make simple breakfasts and lunches (included in your costs, which will include vegan options), as well as some snacks that will always be available. Some meals we’ll plan to eat out for. Then you’ll likely be asked to sign up for one meal that you organize and prepare with a few other guests (not included in your costs–so you can decide how fancy, or not, to get with this meal). If you decide to just order in pizzas for this meal, that’s fine. But most people take this chance to make dishes that they particularly enjoy to share with the group. And liaising with your meal-prep tag-team partners before the trip is a good way to get to know them and chat a bit before leaving. There will be a meal calendar provided beforehand for your specific trip, and we’ll do our best to let you know what cooking instruments (ie, grill, oven, air fryer, etc) will be available.

    Conduct

    • Any sort of harassment, bullying or otherwise inappropriate behavior has no place on these retreats. Nor does any discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, gender expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, physical appearance or sexual orientation.
    • Alcohol can be part of a fun retreat. We’ll usually enjoy drinks in the evenings and do activities like winery/brewery visits or bar hops. But you’re expected to always drink responsibly (ie, not to the point that you become a problem for anyone else, in one way or another).
    • You’re expected to treat the house we stay at as if it were your own home, as you will be responsible for any damage you cause.
    • Since we’ll be living in close quarters, it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure they’re being extra respectful and kind to all. If anyone is making you or any other guest feel uncomfortable or unsafe, please report it to the trip facilitator immediately. We reserve the right to take any necessary action against behavior that crosses a line, including expulsion from the trip without refund and a ban from our Meetup group, Slack community and all future events.
    • We’re happy to say we haven’t yet had any problems with any of the above. Let’s keep it that way!

    Other policies

    • Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate pets on our retreats.
    • All guests must be at least 21 years old. 
    • If you are a couple or friends wanting to share a private room, or a group of 3-4 wanting to share a double room, we can most likely accommodate that. Just contact us to ask about specific accommodations and special rates for your situation. 
    • If you have to cancel for whatever reason, we’ll do our best to give as much of a refund as possible, but also bear in mind that once you’ve booked, a certain amount of planning and costs go into your planned attendance…and you may have taken a spot that’s become too late to allot to someone else. So we can guarantee a 50% refund if you cancel more than 30 days before the trip. But if it’s within 30 days of the trip, we cannot guarantee a refund. 

    Other questions?

    If you have any other questions not covered here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at durhamremote1@gmail.com. 

    Past retreats

    Yadkin Valley wine country retreat, November 2022