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Discover the joy of coworking

Tribe Porty brings good people together and makes good things happen. This year for European Coworking day we want to shout about our Tribe, celebrate the joy of coworking and invite you to join our Tribe. 

Why coworking?

Do you remember the first coworking space you entered? How many coworking spaces have you tried or been a part of? What makes you stay? A question we ask every year to our coworkers is why do you choose Tribe? A simple question, but it always proves that we are achieving our mission as a community coworking space. 

Coworking spaces are fantastic at joining communities together. Personal and professional growth is closely linked to coworking. One thing that coworking spaces all have in common is the desire to bring people together and create a community of like-minded people. Furthermore, when spaces are great at doing this, it can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. 

Surround yourself with good people

Don’t get us wrong, we can’t beat a day in your PJS in the comfort of your own home on a rainy, windy Scottish day. But at times working from home can feel lonely and isolating. Coworking statistics show that 89% of independently employed people feel happier after joining a coworking space and 83% of people feel less lonely. 

Not to mention, you’ll be surrounded by the best and most interesting people that you’ve ever met. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve said and thought “what, I had no idea that job existed!”. Studies found that 69% of coworkers say that they have acquired new skills or upgraded their current skills due to the people they have worked alongside in a coworking space. It also gives the opportunity to share and develop your work with a fresh set of eyes and ears.

Boost your productivity

As well as the extra social contact, coworking spaces offer a more productive and focused space to work. The same study found that 84% of people feel more motivated and engaged with their work whilst at a coworking space.

Community is important to the way we work. At the heart of our ethos lies a deep commitment to community values, shaping the environment of our coworking space. Tribe’s design is thoughtfully crafted to foster creativity, promoting the collision of diverse individuals and ideas that spur innovation, knowledge exchange, and meaningful connections.

All of this makes coworking spaces an indispensable environment that allows you to balance work, wellbeing, productivity and socialization. Did we miss anything? Not convinced yet? Here’s what our coworkers have to say about coming to Tribe:

 

“Tribe feels like such a community and it was a really easy environment to get to know people. The vibes were always good and the added social events (Thursday lunch, coffee mornings etc) actively encouraged people to get to know each other. I’ll be honest, a shared office I went to twice a week was the last place I thought I would make friends when I moved to Edinburgh. Upon leaving I can say that I’ve made some excellent pals! I don’t think there’s a single co-working space out there that could hold a candle to Tribe”

 

“I’ve worked remote for 7 years and coworking spaces keep me sane – and productive! When we moved to Porty, I ditched my place in town within the week and haven’t looked back. It’s just a lovely place to work. Everyone’s super nice and getting to see loads of different jobs, companies and perspectives is inspiring.”

 

“I moved up to Portobello from London and was looking for a place to work as my new role is fully remote. I followed Tribe’s instagram page before I moved and heard only great things about Tribe from everyone I met here. I love the people, the working space (especially the garden), the sense of community, the opportunity to chat to people with interesting work and lives while hanging out with the many cute dogs. It is a joy to work here!”

 

Choose Tribe

Beyond the workspace, we remain deeply connected with our community through various activities such as coffee mornings, social lunches and our monthly free Tribe Talks. At Tribe Porty, community is not just a concept; it’s a lived experience. We look forward to the continued growth and vibrancy of our community.

To our current coworkers, you guys rock and make this place what it is. Thank you for being a part of our Tribe. To those who are yet to visit us, hello! Pop in for a tour and meet our team. You can keep up to date with all of our social events and Tribe Talks by subscribing to our newsletter.

You can view our day pass options and membership packages by clicking here. 

We can’t wait to meet you.

Thanks for reading,

Alice


 

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A warm welcome to Ellie

Exciting news, our team has grown! We are welcoming Ellie to our team and we wanted to take the time to give her a warm welcome and introduction.

 

Hey, I’m Ellie!

I first came across Tribe when Dani hosted TedxPorty here in 2016 and I volunteered to capture the event. I’d recently moved back to Edinburgh after living in London and it was one of the first community events I was involved with and I loved it. Since then I’ve attended other Tribe events and spent some time co-working. The community at Tribe is so welcoming and inviting that when a role came up it felt serendipitous. 

Things that make me smile are a good cup of coffee, spending time with friends and family, hosting Soapbox events, time spent on the beach, dogs in clothes, working at Tribe! I love the community and the environment at Tribe. The way Tribe feels when you come in – everyone is friendly, I really enjoy the art on the walls, it’s a space that breeds belonging and my creativity flows here.

 

My working life & creative practice

Most of my working life has revolved around connecting with people; as a photographer having the opportunity to meet new people and discover what drives them, what their story is and how they express themselves is what I find endlessly fascinating. 

I love, and have spent many seasons, capturing street style at London Fashion Week because I love seeing how people express themselves through personal style. My favourite personal project was one I undertook in 2021 called Love Stories; where I spoke to, and captured, over 100 people about someone, or something, they loved. 

I’m currently in the planning stages of my next personal photography project, which I think will revolve around kitchen tables, dinner parties and portraits.

Creating community

My connection to the creative scene led me to CreativeMornings, where I volunteered with the Edinburgh Chapter for a number of years before starting my own event, called Soapbox, last year. We gather on the last Wednesday of every month to blether and meet like minded folk who freelance and are employed in the creative, cultural, tech and digital industries. It’s so lovely to see people come along who are brand new to the creative scene but also have attendees who have been doing it for 20 years. Everyone has something to offer and are there to connect. 

Knowing how much being part of a community helped both my personal and professional life was the driving factor in starting Soapbox. Bringing other people together and helping them with their own journey is something that brings me a lot of joy.  I’m currently working on the evolution of Soapbox and developing what events, along with our current monthly event, we might host.

I’m really looking forward to hopefully hosting some Soapbox events in collaboration with Tribe, but mostly I’m really happy to be part of Team Tribe and the community that exists here. I really like being part of organisations that are bigger than myself, and that seek to bring community together.

 

A quote that I love:

 

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”- Brené Brown

 

Thanks for reading,

Ellie

 

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International Women’s Day 2024

 As International Women’s day approaches we wanted to dedicate a blog post to all the fantastic and accomplished women here at Tribe.

 

Women’s work whether it is paid or voluntary is often hidden or at best undervalued. Not to mention that we are simply far too humble to even consider self promotion. We wanted to take a moment to share and shout about some amazing achievements and work produced by some of our members over the past year. 

 

International Womens Day 2024-Anna MoffatAnna Moffat- Photographer

Anna Moffat is a photographer based in Edinburgh (and beyond). Her style revolves around capturing authentic moments with creativity and attention to detail and providing emotive and engaging images. Recently, Anna has photographed amazing individuals such as Dr. Merritt Moore who recently conquered her dream of being both a Quantum Physicist and a professional ballet dancer.

Anna has worked with Holyrood Magazine and recently picked up an award from PPA Scotland for her portrait of Labour MSP Pam Duncan.

 

“Thank you PPA Scotland for the award – I still can’t quite believe it! Also thanks to @holyroodmagazine for the opportunity”

 


Olivia Furness- Executive Director, Oi Musica International Womens Day 2024- Olivia Furness

Olivia Furness is a firm believer in music’s power to make change.  She has designed and delivered a wide variety of projects and programmes that have brought benefits to both the community and people involved. In April 2023 Oli was awarded professional development funding to spend 2.5 weeks in Cuba studying various styles of Aforcuban percussion.

In 2023 Brass Blast took home the Community Award from Creative Edinburgh.

“We’re still buzzing after scooping the Community Award for our youth project Brass Blast at the Creative Edinburgh Awards in November! The project is a proactive response to the disproportionately low numbers of disadvantaged young people taking up instruments in East Edinburgh, so we are over the moon to be recognised for the change that Brass Blast is making in our community.”

 


 

International Womens Day 2024- Jo Tennant

Jo Tennant-Photographer & Founder, 20 photos

Jo Tennant is an award-winning photographer and founder of 20 Photos, a creative service that curates hundreds of digital photos into 20 beautiful fine-art prints.

In 2023 Jo had two family photographs shortlisted for the Scottish Portrait Awards:

“One photo was shot on my phone and the other on a 1980s film camera. Our own personal photos have importance  and meaning and should be seen. We should photograph those we love and their idiosyncrasies which we want to remember. This is why I took those photos. Not for the awards- I just submitted the two photos I took this year that I loved the most”

Last year, Jo also had a feature in Stylist magazine about launching her business 20 Photos during the pandemic. She spoke to them about upskilling and taking the next steps. Read the full article here.

 


 

Rachel Mulrenan- Scotland Director, Wild fish

Rachel is the Scotland Director of WildFish, an independent charity in the UK campaigning for wild fish and their environment.

A significant area of focus for Rachel is the environmental degradation caused by open-net salmon farming. In collaboration with other like-minded organisations, WildFish calls for an end to this destructive industry. Open-net salmon farming has a hugely detrimental impact on wild fish and their habitats – from the spread of sea lice and disease to the environmental effects of the chemicals and antibiotics used on aquaculture farms.

Rachels work has featured in The Guardian and you can listen to a podcast she featured on about the damaging effects of Salmon Farming here.

 


 

Briana PegadoBriana Pegado- Author

It would be wrong of us to not mention our host for our International Women’s Day event, Briana Pegado. 

Briana Pegado FRSA is an author, fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and festival founder. With nearly a decade’s experience as an award- winning social entrepreneur in the creative industries in Scotland. She works as an anti-racism, governance, and strategy consultant particularly in the creative industries.

Briana acted as a trustee, vice, chair and Chair of the Young Women’s Movement from 2018-2023, then Interim Chief Executive. The organisation supports young women, migrant women, and other marginalised women by providing skills and employability services, advocacy and campaigning, as well as research on the lived experience of young women in Scotland

A central theme in her work is how disrupting systems, processes, sectors, and ways of thinking can facilitate positive change. Her new book Make Good Trouble: A Guide to the Energetics of Disruption launches on 09 April 2024 and is available for pre-order now. Find out more about Briana by clicking here.

 

 


Sandy Brindley, Kathryn Dawson and Niamh Kerr 

Sandy is the Chief Executive Officer, Kathryn is the Director of Prevention & Training and Niamh Kerr is the Prevention Manager at Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS), Scotland’s leading organisation working to transform attitudes, improve responses and ultimately to end rape and sexual violence in all its forms.

RCS works with a network of 17 independent local Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland who provide trauma-informed support to more than 6000 survivors annually. It runs a national helpline with support and information for anyone affected by sexual violence open daily from 5pm – midnight, 365 days a year. They also support the National Advocacy Project to support anyone thinking of reporting or engaged in the system to navigate the justice process from start to finish. Its Prevention work takes an evidence-based approach. Working with young people in schools and communities across Scotland looking at issues like consent and healthy relationships. It also campaigns to change and challenge the attitudes that underpin sexual violence as well as on specific issues like funding for services and access to justice.

The support Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland offer can be truly lifesaving. When a survivor reaches out for that support, they need to receive it then. Not weeks or months later. But this is the reality facing too many survivors across Scotland. In 2021, the Scottish Government delivered emergency funding to tackle waiting lists. But even with this funding, demand for lifesaving Rape Crisis support is outstripping the resources available to Rape Crisis Centres to serve survivors. This emergency funding is due to run out in March 2024. If it isn’t extended, 28 specialist Rape Crisis support workers will lose their jobs meaning survivors will be forced to wait even longer for support. To support their campaign and find out more click here.

 


Reema Vadoliya-Founder,  people of dataInternational Womens Day 2024- Reema Vadoliya

This year Reema joined Tribe as part of the Creative Informatics inclusive innovation working spaces fund. Reema is a tireless advocate for inclusion in data with expertise gained through multiple roles within the data industry and the founder of People of Data. Their mission is to challenge how organisations think about data in order to maximise impact and centralise inclusion. 

You can listen to a podcast with Reema where she discusses the importance of looking at data inclusively. Reema emphasises the power of data by telling impactful stories .Click here to listen.

Reema will also be hosting our March Tribe Talks, this is a free workshop and is open to all. Click here to find out more.

 

 


 

Louise MasonLouise Mason- Presenter, producer & Journalist

Louise Mason is a radio presenter, music journalist and producer. She produces the weekly podcast Changes with Annie Macmanus and regularly hosts music radio.

Last year with her cousin Fran she took on a Tuk Tuk challenge where they raced across Sri Lanka to raise money for Childrens Adventure Farm Trust.

“Between all the teams the donations so far have helped over 5500 families and counting”

Louise regularly interviews musicians and artists for radio and at music festivals. You can have watch some of her work by clicking here.

Recently, Louise also presented a show for a project called Peace Frequencies which she co-produced in a small team with broadcaster Gemma Cairney. It was a 24hr broadcast to mark International Human Rights Day. Louise’s own show gave voices to poets and artists who have contributed to the Manchester to Palestine compilation which raised money for Gaza.

You can find out more about Louise, listen to all her shows and donate to her charitable causes by clicking here.

 


 

Whilst International Women’s Day serves as an important day to celebrate women’s achievements, it is also a reminder that we must all still strive for gender equity in society. We must not settle. In doing so, workplaces and society at large can gain new perspectives, ideas and inspire inclusion. 

 

Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th 2024. We are hosting an evening of poetry and discussion with Briana Pegado. Click here for more information and book your ticket. All proceeds will be donated to Edinburgh Women’s Aid.

 

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Do good, Feel Good

This January, Tribe Porty has partnered with Vintage Vibes, an award-winning project tackling isolation and loneliness in Edinburgh. Volunteering has enormous benefits to our mental health, our communities and our local economy. 

Why volunteering is good for your health

There’s a common misconception that volunteering is a completely selfless act and that you are some kind of superhero if you volunteer. It might surprise you to know that volunteering has some surprising major health benefits. Volunteering is good for your health and community. So it is something you might want to consider adding into your self-care routine.

Studies show volunteering helps improve your mental health and wellbeing.  Helping other people triggers a release of the hormone oxytocin. This hormone has the effect of boosting your mood and counteracts the effects of cortisol aka the stress hormone in your body. When oxytocin begins to flow, blood pressure decreases, reducing social fears and anxiety. 

Giving an hour or so a week can act as a circuit breaker to the everyday stress of work and home life. It can give you a change of scenery, the opportunity to talk to different people, more structure to your week and allow you to build confidence or learn a new skill. It can also help you reset and appreciate what is important in life by giving you more self-awareness when starting to sweat the small stuff.

 

Vintage Vibes

Nicky Shallcross is the Volunteer Recruiter for Edinburgh based Vintage Vibes, a project working to combat loneliness amongst over 60s by creating 1:1 friendships between volunteers.

Nicky explains her motivation for volunteering…

“After starting my own business in 2022, I started to feel lonely working from home on my own. I’d gone from a busy head office environment to working alone and being all departments. I realised that you don’t have to be elderly or living on your own to feel like this, it’s surprising at how quickly this can happen to anyone. I was familiar with Vintage Vibes and their work from their annual Christmas Card campaign. It made sense to help someone else who was feeling lonely too by becoming a Friendship Volunteer.

I completed my volunteer training, the Vintage Vibes team then set about finding me a “VIP” who had similar interests to me. For the past year I’ve visited my 85 year old friend Sheila every week for an hour or so. We talk about anything and everything and are always giggling. My family live down south so there is something grounding and familiar having someone who is older to talk to. She’s warm, caring and dispenses no nonsense advice just like my Grandparents used to. I always come away from our visits with a sense of calm.

Sheila never ceases to amaze me with her constant curiosity on what’s going on in the world. In the summer she went on a girl’s weekend to Blackpool and enjoyed watching the Glastonbury coverage. Her highlight was Elton John, she said she turned the volume up and had a dance around her living room. Aging is natural part of life; I really hope I’m as sprightly as her when I’m older.

I’ve taken Sheila to local places close to where she lives that she didn’t realise were there. She loves the Edinburgh Printworks and Grow Urban plant cafe. The staff recognise her and chat, it makes her feel seen and included. For Sheila’s 85th birthday we went to Maison De Moggy, sadly she had to give up her beloved cat during the pandemic and misses her dearly. Despite personally not being a big cat lover, we had so much fun! I really felt that feel good feeling seeing her so happy.

Volunteering has personally given me a massive boost to my own mental health and was exactly what I needed. I’ve made a friend and got to meet so many amazing people. It’s even led to a part time job opportunity with the charity so you never know what good things volunteering can lead to.”

 

Fighting isolation

According to a 2021 study conducted by Age Scotland, more than 200,000 older people in Scotland are lonely. This study found that 10% of people over 50 feel lonely all or most of the time. Age UKs follow up 2022 study highlights that right now in Scotland loneliness among older people is at record levels. 100,000 older people say they feel lonely all or most of the time. Two years of Covid lockdowns and living under restrictions which prevented older people seeing family and friends have left countless older people feeling acutely alone.

The Scottish Government have identified that social isolation and loneliness are significant public health concerns in Scotland. Loneliness is linked to increased risk of poor health and reduced life expectancy. A Connected Scotland – a strategy for building stronger social connections and reducing social isolation and loneliness hopes to address this. Volunteering plays a key part in the plan to help achieve this. Volunteering at Vintage Vibes can supports both health and community.

 

Community impact

Government funding cuts to services combined with the cost of living and the fallout from the pandemic mean charities are under more pressure than ever. Charities must now deliver critical community support services that local authorities cannot. Volunteers are pivotal to being able to do this.

In addition to the benefits for individuals, volunteering can also have a positive impact on local communities. According to Volunteer Scotland, volunteers contribute an estimated £2.26 billion to the Scottish economy each year. Volunteering can also help build stronger, more connected communities by bringing people of all generations together.

If you’re interested in varying your week, consider volunteering as way to do this as well as making someone else’s. Volunteer Edinburgh is a great resource for finding volunteer opportunities in your area to fit around your schedule and support organisations that align with your values, more information can be found here. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Vintage Vibes Friendship Volunteer, please visit their website here.

 

Thanks for reading,

Nicky Shallcross, Volunteering Coordinator at Vintage Vibes.

 

An evening with Vintage Vibes

For our first Tribe Talks of the year we are collaborating with Vintage Vibes. Join us on 25th January from 18:30 for a fun evening hosted by volunteer coordinator, Nicky Shallcross.

Vintage Vibes is an award-winning project tackling isolation and loneliness in Edinburgh. The project, a partnership between LifeCare Edinburgh and Space at the Broomhouse Hub, started in 2015 as a fresh new way to combat isolation and loneliness among over 60s (called VIPs) in Edinburgh.

Vintage Vibes creates long lasting one-to-one friendships offering support, companionship and the opportunity for lonely VIPs to be more socially connected and active in their local community. Vintage Vibes are looking for volunteers of all ages (17+) from across Edinburgh.

This is a great opportunity to break the ice with Vintage Vibes and find out more about their work as well as how to volunteer. Nicky will introduce you to Vintage Vibes and their work and answer any questions about volunteering or how to refer someone who may benifit from their service.

Join us for a tea and a sweet treat, click here for more information and to register.

 


 

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Working For Progress

We recently took the time to record a season wrap up episode of our podcast, Working For Progress.

 

Reflecting on Working For Progress

Working For Progress was launched with the intention of clebrating our communities and sharing their individual journeys. We are lucky to have a community of creative people, all doing interesting work and who are also interested in the bigger picture. Their health, their communities, their impact on the world. It is important for us to connect through conversations about how we craft our working life and make progress. Each episode sees us ask our communities questions about their working life, the challenges they’ve faced and the progress they’ve made.

It was funny to think back to the initial awkward fears that producing and recording a podcast brings. We are forever grateful to our pals over at Glocast for allowing us to record our trailer episode with them. Perhaps without this as a date in the diary to record we would not now be reflecting on our eleven published episodes! 

We spoke at length about what stood out to us in season one and we really wanted to thank our guests for their honesty and vulnerability. Even recording a conversation with people that you know in a place that you are familiar with can bring nerves. Not to mention that using a mic can initially feel very intimidating. It has been a joy to listen to the intricacies of people’s journeys and without creating the space to reflect there’s so much we may have never known! The podcast has made both myself and Dani feel ever more connected to you all. Taking the time to interview each person has served as a valuable reminder of how important connection and conversation is. 

 

Dani reflects: “Each person brought their unique story to the conversation, a bit of where they have come from in terms of significant life moments which have impacted on what they are doing today. Thinking back, it was often a person or an interaction which profoundly impacted a decision or direction. Sometimes only with hindsight do you notice such influences.”

 

Working at the speed of trust

We also spoke about what we wanted out of the podcast. I really wanted to showcase all of the possibilities your working life can bring and highlight the turning points in people’s career journeys. For myself, I am very early doors. I have spent most of my working life in hospitality. I adore the world of hospitality but always desired something more stable without losing what I value. Before Tribe, I remember having this weird sensation that I was failing or doing things wrong and that I simply wanted more out of my working life. 

Coming to Tribe gave me the term value based work. It’s a privilege to work alongside so many people where value is at the heart of their working lives. At points in my own journey, value based work felt out of reach and at times it just felt like ‘a nice idea’. I wanted this podcast to highlight how many different avenues and directions life could take you. Career journeys are not always a linear path like you are told at school. For me, each episode really encapsulates this as each guest highlighted the journey and risks that they have taken themselves.

It was interesting to note how the support of communities and the right people at the right time came up alot in each person’s journey. Alongside this came trust and putting yourself in the relationship of trust to find trust. These seem to be vital ingredients in both navigating working lives and in taking risks. Here’s what Nasim Forootan said about the importance of trust: 

 

“It’s okay to trust and to open yourself up and be vulnerable sometimes with how you are feeling and what you’re seeing. Sometimes you need to have difficult conversations to explore the nuisance of things. Have faith that things will come out right. If you go into a situation with doubt, you won’t let yourself explore the relationship that could be. Trust is a really strong value for me. Trust is embedded in everything I do. When we work in organizations or when we look at community spaces and governments, it’s one element that is constantly broken. If we had a tiny bit more trust in each other the world would be a better place”-Nasim Forootan

 

The importance of community

Trust and honesty certainly became an overarching theme, both in trusting in yourself and the people around you. This is why coworking is so incredibly important. It’s not often in life you get to choose the people around you and people are such a strong and beautiful part of Tribe. Tribe is not just a desk to work from, it is the people that you’re sitting next to, have lunch with and stop for a tea break and a chat with. Coworking perfectly encapsulates the human need and want for both community and connection. 

During our chat, Dani reflected: “Think of Brene Brown’s saying, ‘It’s hard to hate people when you see them up close and know their story’,  it’s true. Bear with me, I am so far from hating anyone, especially this crew. But in a similar vein, the care and love I now have for each guest has expanded. To know them a bit more, to be trusted enough that they share themselves with us (and everyone who listens) is not taken lightly. We could easily brush it off, quite normal to be on a podcast and chat about your working life. But when people share their values, why they do what they do, what brings them a sense of belonging and awe, it connects us in generative ways.”

Bob Cummins of SODAK amply said during his interview that “Emotional safety is formed with people. If you’ve got others you can take the journey with, it makes risks easier”.  We hope that in listening to each of these stories you may find more confidence in navigating your own journey and not to feel scared of taking the necessary risks. Founder of Good Life School, Lorna Lythgoe spoke of this in such a beautiful way whilst reflecting on her on career journey :

 

“I felt like I had leapt off a cliff, I was falling and would occasionally land on a shelf. It was painful and scary and uncomfortable, which sounds like I’m saying don’t do it. In retrospect, now I know that was the growth and the career path, I started to gleefully leap off as I understood It wasn’t an abyss”- Lorna Lythgoe 

 

Keep working for progress

Most of all, our podcast makes us feel so very grateful for the communities of Tribe Porty and Keystone. We are so lucky to meet so many incredible people through these communities. It is an honour to share your stories. We want to keep showcasing you as the brilliant, incredible and completely normal people that you are. People who are real and care deeply about others and this planet. We hope that our little podcast helps you to stay surrounded by good people, keep true to your values and to keep working for progress. (Too cringe? Nah, we love it!). You can listen to all of our episodes, including our season wrap up by clicking here. Fancy joining myself and Dani in an episode? Drop us a line at: more@tribeporty.org


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Controlling Distractions

How distracted are you by your phone and is it worth your time?

 

A frequent conversation around the coworking table is the nuisance and distraction that technology, phones and social media brings. This stems from doom scrolling, to issues spurred on from social media and questions on how to ‘correctly’ parent technology. It’s a big multilayered problem and it seems the thread of desire is to find a way to detach. We want to remove ourselves from passive connection and stop being distracted by our phones.

Why have phones become such a distraction?

When we use our phones we are selling only our time, it’s often the moments where we want the time to pass that we fall into the trap. We are always wanting to be busy, we always want to be consuming, maybe it’s time to step back and let yourself be bored. Let yourself day dream and be alone with your thoughts. 

 

“Solitude Deprivation. A state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.”Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

 

So what are the real problems we cause ourselves when we take to our phones for light entertainment or to pass some time? A study in 2007 by Dr Martin Hilbert and Dr Priscila Lopez found that the average person is drowned in 174 newspapers worth of information everyday, across TV, radio and reading. It’s easy to assume that this figure is even greater today. When you consider how much information we receive everytime we pick up our phones you soon realise why it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the doom and gloom in the world. Or more likely, you feel yourself becoming ever more detached and unresponsive. We have no time to form any true compassion or understanding as we are always onto the next big news story. 

Time to break from the distraction?

Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics, found that on average an adult working in an office stays on a singular task for no more than three minutes before switching tasks. We are tricked into thinking that we are great multitaskers, we are not- we are however very good at getting distracted and losing focus. Mark argues that especially during computer based work, instead of seeing a new tab, email reply or doom scroll as adding a new task, see it as adding a new distraction. This sounds easy but we have already programmed our brains to shift focus constantly, this is why we always are reaching for our phones. 

After 14 years, I deleted my Twitter account and removed the app from my phone. This was spurred on by the change to X, in a weird way the visual change prompted discomfort but also made it easier to delete and let go, so thanks for that Elon! Since then, I notice myself whilst routinely checking Facebook and Instagram my thumb automatically going to tap the Twitter app. My brain is fully in a trance, it’s terrifying! Another thing I noticed, whenever I think of something funny my brain frames the thought as a tweet. It’s like an ingrained desire and need to tweet it, again…terrifying! 

Make it worth your time

I feel like I do not need to delve into the problems around phones too much as we all experience it daily. I did consider counting how many times I picked up my phone whilst writing this piece but I feared it would be too shameful of a number. However, I do not believe that a complete detox, hiatus or banishment is the answer. Nor is blaming or shaming ourselves. I think it’s more important to consider the good things phones and tech can bring to our lives. Think of how much time has been saved through emails, online banking, google and life admin. We just need to be more aware and purposeful of how we use this tech. 

For me, it’s the small impromptu moments of time where picking up my phone is becoming a problem. The automatic reflex to have a quick look always turns into at least ten minutes of scrolling. It is entirely passive consumption and is the definition of needless. I’m really good at misplacing my phone, something I’m weirdly proud of. It means that it’s not constantly on my mind or in my hand. Now when I lose track of it, instead of hunting it down straight away I purposefully question why I need to find it? What do I need it for? Unless the reason is valid, like calling my nan or if there’s a fire that needs tending to, I do not bother looking for it.

Find the balance

 

‘You want to read a book, but you are pulled away by the pings and paranoia of social media. You want to spend a few uninterrupted hours with your child, but you keep anxiously checking your work email. You want to set up a business, but your life dissolves into a blur of facebook posts that only make you feel envious and anxious. Through no fault of your own, there never seems to be enough stillness.’-Johann Hari, Stolen Focus

 

By detaching from our phones, time alone can become more nourishing, remove the need to compare and focus solely on ourselves. Instead of taking to social media for a ‘break’ try out some meditation, a little day dream, a quick stretch or a wee stroll around. Maybe what you’re craving is in fact a quick brain reset! Choose to feast on your own life, instead of small snippets of others. Rember, tech is designed to be addictive but we can choose to have a more purposeful relationship with it.

 

HERE ARE OUR COWORKERS THOUGHTS, TIPS AND TRICKS! 

 

Don’t forget, habit is key and habits are harder to break than they are to form.

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As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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Step up for Pride

Pride is more than a party, for allies of the community it’s an important time to step up and create inclusive change.

Pride March Edinburgh

 

I found it hard at times to write this year’s pride blog post. I knew I wanted to write a piece about creating inclusive culture and finding strength in community, but it’s hard to write about something that you feel should be an obvious and rightful norm. I’ve always been an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, even as a youngster before the concept of an ally existed to me. So sometimes when I speak of allyship, it frustrates me because my brain can’t see it any other way.

But I have also seen friends targeted by bigotry and hate, I’ve seen friends struggle to defend their identity, I’ve seen the consequences of an innocent person being forced to be someone they are not. Sometimes it is important to remember that you as a person are shaped by the world around you. It can become hard at times to sympathise with the ‘it was different in my day’ notion. That’s why Pride is important and that’s why spreading this message is important. 

 

“I was not and had never been a part of a queer community, how to access such a thing was not just a mystery but an impossibility. The loss of which was sizable. Agony in isolation, the shame and pain that I thought was mine alone.” Elliot Page: Pageboy 

How to contribute to Pride

Pride is a time to celebrate, congregate and highlight the progress that society still needs to make. Pride is a time to spark conversations, collaborations and bring attention to both achievements and injustices all over the world. As businesses, it’s time for us to step up, contribute in meaningful ways and show our communities that we are always a safe space.

To truly be involved with pride celebrations is to contribute in meaningful ways and further the cause of LGBTQ+ rights and equality. The corporate world sees far too many important issues ‘washed’ and pride is not exempt to this. Highlighting issues around consumerism and ‘washing’ shows the growing recognition that businesses have towards actively cultivating inclusion and diversity. Every person deserves to feel safe and whilst progress has been made it’s still not enough. The past decade has seen an ever growing rise in reported hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. We must remember that inequalities and barriers still exist and we must do what is in our own reach to help. 

 

One in five LGBTQ+ people were the target of negative comments at work.

Over a third of LGBTQ+ people feel they need to hide who they are at work.

One in five feel that being LGBTQ+ limits their job opportunities.
-Britain in Work Report

What it means to be an ally

Being an ally is an ongoing mission and is more than putting up a flag once a month, this is at best tokenistic. We often believe in the myth of individualism, that we are independent from each other and the natural world. Whilst we do have individual agency, we show our true strengths when we collaborate and we become stronger when we act together. To move past tokenistic gestures, let’s work together to build stronger communities, safer spaces and secure workplaces. 

Even when you as an individual, an employee or an employer have good intentions, unfortunately there isn’t a button for instant inclusion. Instead it is an ongoing, ever evolving journey. Much the same, there is not a singular template that forms an inclusive workplace. Inclusivity should be seen as a process, not a quick fix. 

The best employers recognise the value in taking proactive steps to create inclusive culture and there is a wealth of information out there, the internet can be a magical place! Starting points can be as simple as developing clear policies against discrimination, diversity training and the most obvious, taking action on LGBTQ+ employee and customer feedback. As an employee, it may at times feel like an impossible task to generate change. As an ally, use your privilege to speak up and have difficult conversations with managers and bosses.

Step up and use your privilege

Being asked to understand your privilege is not an attack, it is simply acknowledging that you feel safe and valued in everyday life and recognizing that not everyone has the same experience. You can put this to work by being an effective ally and advocate for others. 

I often hear people talking around inclusive culture like it’s an impossible and bewildering task. It is okay to feel lost at times in an ever changing world, but do not stand idly by and become part of the problem. It is up to you to educate yourself, it is not someone else’s job to give you a lesson on gender identity. Engage with the LGBTQ+ community, work with other businesses that do it well and stand up for what is right. By networking with other members of the community you will not only show strong allyship, but gain invaluable experience and knowledge. 

 

Not sure how to step up? Start here: 

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Each month, we offer Tribe Talks. A free evening hosted by a Tribe member or friend of Tribe. We are so excited to share that our next Tribe Talk is to celebrate Porty Pride! Our Porty Pride poetry evening will be hosted by the wonderful author and poet, Anne Pia. Click here to find out more and book your free ticket. 

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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Let’s talk about Menopause

 

“Around one in five women report experiencing health challenges relating to menstruation or menopause. Among the 15% of women who report experiencing health challenges related to menstruation, over 40% say they work through the pain and discomfort.”-Women at Work

 

If not now, when?

I am 26, I was not educated about menopause at school. I feel as though I was barely educated about periods at school. And here I am now, writing a blog post about menopause, some of you are thinking, ‘little young to be writing this’. But therein lies the problem. And whilst we’re talking directly, men, you should keep reading too. The only information I have been exposed to about menopause is through mainstream media. Even then, it is at most a joke about a character going through the change and experiencing hot flushes and dryness…

By not educating people from a younger age about menopause, it neglects the notion that it even happens. Like it’s make believe or that you will somehow naturally have the resources to hand when the time comes. I remember hitting puberty and my mum panic throwing books my way titled ‘have you started yet?’ and ‘girls only’. The illustrations on the covers would have teen girls whispering between themselves, this only reinforced the stigma of periods needing to be an uncomfortable secret, never to be spoken openly about. 

Thankfully (hopefully?), we have come away from this. Which as I grow older I see growing importance in. By gendering menstruation and menopause we only gate-keep vital and important information and care from the LGBTQ+ community. It has taken a long time, and I am still in the process of understanding my ever changing menstrual cycle. Thankfully, I’ve always felt a strong attachment to understanding my body’s natural process and hormone fluctuation. I only started to meet and converse with others that felt this way in my twenties. 

I guess the point I am trying to make is that if it has taken 13 years (that’s 156 cycles!) to get to grips with periods, I can only imagine the loss of control one would feel during perimenopause. When we think about menopause, we should think in terms of the time taken to complete the whole process, much like we do with puberty.

 

“The Change” unfortunately still generally remains a taboo subject, even amongst many women. That’s why we need to talk about it, to your mums, dads, brothers, sisters, children – anyone. And for those dealing with this, or about to, it’s so important to learn about it. Do your research and approach your GP armed with the facts and knowledge.”-Menopause Mandate

 

Finding yourself in Community.

The most powerful conversations I have had with friends and confidants have sparked from one person saying to the other an honest or uncomfortable truth. No matter the subject, be it partners, periods or mental health, a friend saying I’ve felt that or I’ve experienced that too can completely shift your mindset. You are no longer alone or alienated in your feelings and experiences. It’s in this scary sweet spot that experiences and knowledge can be shared.

This is also why menstrual health should not become a gendered conversation. How can we gain vital support from our partners and loved ones if they also have no clue or understanding over what’s going on? Being in touch with yourself, at all stages of life is a crucial ally to your wellbeing. Even when looking into the future is a scary prospect, understanding your body’s natural processes and forming a connection ultimately influences your comfort and welfare.

 

“A strong theme coming through from research on this issue is that perimenopausal symptoms ‘can be quite disruptive and distressing, particularly when women do not know why these things are happening to them in the first place’. If their partners do not know either, we have the seeds for an inauthentic challenge to even the most healthy of relationships.” -Richard Hull

 

When we can’t rely on governments and policies to support and educate us, this is when community and allyship becomes a necessity. With that in mind, we took to our community to ask questions about menopause, here’s what they had to say:

 

“When I think about menopause I feel old. I know so little about menopause I cannot answer the question of how we can improve workplaces to support those going through the menopause. I feel that education about menopause should happen at an early age, and we need to integrate healthy conversations into popular culture, to all sexes.”

 

“When I think about menopause I feel unprepared and in denial despite it being inevitable. We need to fully recognise that women’s normal health is very different from mens. In terms of changes that need to be made in the workplace, I have no idea where to start. I am not sure if I would have been open to being taught about menopause when still under the influence of teachers at school. That said, reproductive health education at school (in the 90’s) felt abstract and surface. For fertility and pregnancy there is no end of advice and information backed up from the NHS with information and appointments with health professionals, and even then there are still gaps. I am also not sure medicalising menopause or any aspect of a woman’s reproductive health is empowering. Being able to notice, examine and interpret the clues of one’s own body is probably the best. So how do we teach that? And if so, starting as young as possible is best… a useful tool for both sexes.”

 

“I have lots of feelings about menopause, but ultimately I am trying to rethink menopause like I tried to rethink birthing. It can be a wonderful thing yet mostly what we see are the horrors, the blood, the screaming women. What about the other side? The euphoria, the baby bliss, the overwhelming feeling of awe and love. So although I’m not there yet, I’m trying to think about the potential new wisdom that comes with menopause. The freedom to have some painless and bloodless months. The change in hormones that lead to changes in your body and mind. I’m not entertaining the old, dried up, wrinkled, useless characters of a postmenopausal woman. We need more awareness and research in the same way impotence is given.  There is five times more research into erectile dysfunction, which affects 19% of men, than into premenstrual syndrome, which affects 90% of women. And menopause happens to 50% of the population and 100% of women! We also need more research to combat the Women’s Health Initiative Study confusion over HRT.”

 


 

Each month, we offer a free talk open to the public. Our next Tribe Talk will be delivered by Yellow Empress Acupuncture. Hannah will be offering an evening around self-care for perimenopause with holistic perspectives for a healthy transition. To find out more and to book your free space, click here. 

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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Take a Breath

Breathing is easy in moments of awe.

 

Go on, I mean it. Take a breath with me now. A big chest opening deep breath. Feel good? Thought so…

The nature of this text alone probably reached you through an email, the ritualistic morning check of your inbox. Perhaps you even just got back from holiday and have been swamped with a never ending parade of virtual envelopes waiting to be clicked open. 

We are surrounded by unconscious actions, the most important of these is of course breathing. We take it for granted for the most part, to the point where a lot of us probably haven’t even thought about it for a while…

The only time I take conscious breath is when I see the sea, or a beautiful view. Naturally, times of awe cause us to become conscious of our breath. We feel our lungs expanding, filling with air becoming one with the nature around us. No distractions, just bliss. Interoception is the internal sensory system in which both physical and emotional states are consciously or unconsciously noticed and responded to. Obvious examples of these are sight, touch and smell. Breathing opens up a unique insight into our interoceptive processes as we are able to swap between subconscious and conscious control. 

Take a breath and meet your vagus nerve 

The Vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body. A healthy vagus nerve is integral to forming mindful responses to our surroundings and emotions. It is how you develop healthy stress responses and when you are in tune with this nerve, it can help counteract your fight/flight system. By incorporating breathing exercises into your daily life, you will become attuned to your vagus nerve. In turn, you can become calmer, compassionate and have a greater connection to your inner self. 

Think of how much time in a day we spend in short, shallow breath. These are arguably the times we need to breathe mindfully. However you stimulate your vagus nerve, you are connecting with yourself and tapping into mindfulness. 

“Whenever we turn inward to check in with our true feelings; to check in with our intuitive wisdom; or to find our true expressiveness, we’re lighting up the vagus nerve.” Dr Glenn Doyle

 

It’s as easy as breathing

Our initial response to anxiety and stress is often channeled through deep considered thinking. We play out worst-case scenarios in our minds and drown in negativity. It can also manifest physically through a tight chest and sweaty palms. Breathing offers a different approach to responding to stress or anxiety as it targets the body directly. By breathing deep and slow we can calm our minds and sometimes even gain immediate relief. 

“the vagal tone is correlated with capacity to regulate stress responses and can be influenced by breathing; its increase through meditation and yoga likely contribute to resilience and the mitigation of mood and anxiety symptoms.” Frontiers

 

The vagus nerve is in direct correlation with our capacity to regulate stress responses. This response can be managed through conscious breathing. By stimulating the vagus nerve, your body is calmed and can even activate oxytocin release, this in turn can generate feelings of connection and stress relief. 

“If we’re breathing really shallowly and fast, it causes our nervous system to up-regulate and we feel tense and anxious. If we’re breathing slowly, it actually turns on the anti-stress response.”Elissa Epel 

Humans are complicated, we are often drowned by our own thoughts, feelings and traumas. Becoming attuned to your vagus nerve unfortunately won’t fix everything. But, it may become a helpful friend. There are not many functions that we can choose to control, but we can control how and when we breathe. Next time you feel overwhelmed, overworked or stressed, try out some basic breathing exercises to bring you back to yourself and look after that vagus nerve. 

“In the same way that mindfulness practice isn’t just meditation, breathing as a practice isn’t just waking up every morning and doing 10 minutes of box breathing. It’s also important to be aware of the way you breathe in everyday life (or while you’re checking your email).”Kira NewmanAT

 

Breathing exercises

Take the time now to try out some of these short desk friendly exercises, notice how your breath, body and mind feel. I think it is also important to not overcomplicate the action of conscious breath. Sometimes it is just as powerful to check in with your breath periodically through the day. As always, we would love to hear your thoughts on this, perhaps you already have some favourite breathing exercises you can share with us. 

breathing exercises

Share your thoughts and keep in touch by signing up  to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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Finding Your Ikigai

Is ikigai the ultimate answer?

The Man Who Wanted To See It All

I recently stumbled across a documentary titled, The Man Who Wanted To See It All. It told the story of Heinz Stücke, in 1962 he left Germany and set off on a bike ride touring the world which spanned close to 50 years and covered enough distance to circumnavigate the world 15 times around.

What I found striking about this documentary is that Heinz did not set out to be the best cyclist, or the best photographer and any records that he broke were seemingly a welcomed accident. His soul focus and purpose were set on experience, connection, seeing and being. After leaving his home town in 1962, Heinz decided to not return home as he deemed going home as the end of his adventure. After over 50 years of nomadic living, this is where the documentary found its focus.

The documentary shows Heinz putting his memories in order and sorting through his tens of thousands of photographs, reuniting with family and friends and reflecting on his achievements and sacrifices. Something that has stuck with me since watching this documentary was how his friends spoke of his life journey. Friends from childhood reflected on his journey with great solace, they asked the question “I wonder if he is happy?”. The conversation felt heavy and remorseful. In contrast, the family that grew close with Heinz in Japan spoke of Heinz and his journey with tremendous joy and fascination, they remarked that Heinz had achieved Ikigai. But what is Ikigai and how do you find your ikigai?

 

“I consider myself a treasure trove, what I hope of the day is that it gives me the pleasure of finding something new” – Heinz Stücke: Home is Elsewhere.

 

What is ikigai?

Ikigai roughly translates to, a reason for being. The word itself is composed of two worlds: iki, which means life and gai, which describes value or worth. The word can be used similarly to happiness but ecompasses a deeper nuance. Ikigai is also about discovering your purpose and aligning your actions with this. If you have a clear sense of purpose, you can then align your sense of purpose with your values and goals. 

By thinking of ikigai in relation to Heinz, it’s easy to assume that to achieve it you must do something extraordinary, however the true meaning of ikigai is rooted in the ordinary. Ultimately, this practice allows for moments of happiness in each day, you can find meaning and joy in even the most mundane tasks. 

 

“I found the way of life I enjoy, and what is better than to follow a life which is fulfillment. The journey is my fulfillment.” –Heinz Stücke: Home is Elsewhere.

 

Using ikigai as a tool 

In Western society, ikigai is seen as a tool to achieve a long and happy life. A google search will show you a plethora of venn diagrams on how to achieve it with four overlapping qualities: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

This Western approach includes work and payment which isn’t necessarily the truest adaptation of the meaning. At its core, ikigai is as simple as finding out what makes you happy each and every day. When you ask yourself questions around the principles of Ikigai it is vital to curate answers about you and your soul, not your work.

Of course I agree that you can align the principles of ikigai with your working life in order to achieve happiness and satisfaction in all meanings of the words. Nevertheless, I think it is wrong to consider your work when asking questions around ikigai. Ikigai is deeper than your work, it is about you, your inner being and how to nourish your soul. Once you have answered these questions honestly, you can then apply these to your work practice.

 

“Japanese people believe that the sum of small joys in everyday life results in more fulfilling life as a whole”- Yukari Mitsuhashi

 

Asking the right questions to find your Ikigai

Your life is not limited to your work. It is only possible to find ikigai in your practice if your work’s values and ethics align to your own, your work must also actively nurture your personal growth and wellbeing. There is nothing wrong with the Western adaptation of ikigai and it can be used as a powerful tool to navigate and curate your working life.

Regardless, I think we should break away from ‘Ikigai in the workplace’ and instead keep it simple. It is far more powerful to get in touch with yourself. If you can find something in the everyday that makes you happy, brings you joy or a sense of awe you too can find ikigai. No matter how big or small.

Write down your answers to these questions and actively incorporate the answers into your everyday life. This is how to find and nurture your Ikigai and lead a happier and fufilled life.

“essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” – Hector Garcia, The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.

 

Helpful Links

To read more about awe, click here.

Want to find out more about Ikigai, click here.

To find out more about Hans Stücke, click here.

We post new blogs every month. To see more, click here.

Join us for our next Tribe Talks with Rise of Happiness to help create your path to happiness. To book your free ticket, click here.

Share your thoughts and keep in touch by signing up  to our newsletter below!

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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