Sharing With Your Coworkers

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Coworkers are another good group of candidates for sharing arrangements. You see them practically every day, so you can easily hand things off to each other if you are taking turns using them. Magazine subscriptions, portable tools (like a cordless drill or socket set), or camping equipment are all easily shared among people who work together.

Do you work near a wholesale club or outlet that sells things in bulk? If so, you can take a trip during your lunch hour with coworkers, then divide up that giant bag of apples, wheel of cheese, or wall of toilet paper into portions you can actually eat or find room for in your home.

There are also things that you can share while you are at work. For example, sharing lunch has become increasingly popular in workplaces, in part because it's hard to find a good lunch for under $10 these days. And let's face it, at some point most of us get tired of the lunch options near our workplaces. Take turns providing lunch for a small group. If there are ten of you, you'll probably have to cook only twice a month. Not bad, considering it's in exchange for 18 free lunches a month.

Some coworkers share bikes or cars while at work. For example, maybe you need a car while you are at work, but would like to avoid morning and evening rush hour. So you take a train to work, meet your coworker, get in the car parked at the train station, and then the two of you have the car at work all day if you need it. (An alternative is to lobby for a company car.)

You and your coworkers could also pool resources—and perhaps ask your employer to chip in—to improve the office environment. There are lots more ideas about sharing with your coworkers in Chapter 8 (about sharing food) and Chapter 11 (about work-related sharing).

As is true with your neighbors, getting to know your coworkers is the first step. Many companies sponsor email bulletin boards where employees can post non-work-related items like things for sale or where someone's band is playing that night. You can use this resource as a way to find others who want to share—or just to propose a potluck lunch so people can get to know each other. Most workplaces also have an actual bulletin board where you can pin up a notice.

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