No home alone for Christmas colleagues

Colleagues Christmas party  MORE than 80 home-based business owners got to party without the politics at a joint office Christmas party today (Wed Dec 11) – thanks to an innovative business support network.


Colleagues on Tap allows those who work from home to enjoy going into ‘the office’ for the day with fellow small business owners at venues across the North East.


Today, (Wednesday) the organisation held its Christmas party at Clavering House, Newcastle Business Village, which meant the home workers could enjoy the best of the annual office festive party without the office politics.


Launched in 2010, Colleagues on Tap is the brainchild of Jayne Graham, 48, a business coach and the former chief executive of Business Link County Durham.


Colleagues sign up for co-working days and bring their laptops to work; have ‘On the Spot’ topical conversations, enjoy lunch and the usual office banter so they can enjoy the best bits of office life many miss when they run their business from home.


Today, the venues have grown to include Durham, Stockton, Newcastle, Consett, and Benton with business owners typically joining around 10 colleagues in an office for the day.


The network is proving so popular, Jayne has more than 150 businesses regularly attending her events and is putting on two more Colleagues on Tap co-working days at Alnmouth and Redcar in January, which will be run by designated hosts. Even the Christmas party had a waiting list after all 85 tickets sold out.


Jayne, who runs Colleagues on Tap from her home in Low Fell, Gateshead, has had inquiries from across the UK to set up more co-working days.


“I love working from home, it’s flexible and you have cheaper costs, but it’s great to have a network of people I can see regularly who aren’t my customers or suppliers,” she said.


“When you’re working on your own you don’t have that same opportunity for personal development or those serendipitous conversations and it can be quite isolating because you’re just getting on with your work.


“People can feel like they’re not even ‘proper businesses’ because they’re not employing anyone or in lavish office premises and yet they’re running really successful businesses.


“My quest is to help those who work for themselves recognise that they’re doing a great job and for them to feel like they’re not on their own.


“Holding a big office Christmas party for everyone is one of many ways of making those who run their businesses feel part of a bigger community. It’s about enjoying the best part of being in an office – but without any nasty office politics.”


For more information log onto

< Back to News

Comments are closed.


“Stride’s creation and delivery of the PR campaign for Rosie: Note to Self was truly outstanding. Stride's contacts, relationships and creativity ensured the product launch reached several million people, through both national and local media. Its impact on sales was incredible"

Mark Finnie, Authentic Media

“They are problem solvers, able to cut through media red tape and get you results. Media services don't get any better than this."

Hugh King, Thorn Lighting UK Ltd