It is important for you to be aware why you are at a coworking space and its benefits. Whether you’re aiming to be productive without a lot of socializing or trying to build a strong professional community or just want to be around other people in a productive environment, you need to design and have a personalized approach to your involvement in the community. Below is a list of tips based on our around that can help you get the most out of your coworking experience.
Put Yourself Out There
Take initiative to introduce yourself to new members even if it’s straigtht out of your personality. Nothing beats making a good, friendly first impression to a fellow coworker. A hello! will go a long way, either it could land you the next collaboration, get your next client, spark the most inspirational conversation or simply create a new best friend.
A simple smile and ‘good morning’ when you enter the office could be the start of a great relationship. Knowing your co-workers helps build a stress-free environment leading to better work life and productive time! Take a break and invite your coworkers for lunch or for a coffee, bring food or sweets, a great way to know everybody pretty quick, especially if you are shy. I invite our new members to join me for tea at a ‘chai stall’ below Collab House.
A good strategy is to take a break with people in fields that are different from your own and see the ways your fields intersect. Grab lunch with someone in your field and talk openly about opportunities and issues in the industry. Its great to have a few people to bounce ideas off and necessary to be willing to discuss your projects.?
Get Involved in the Community
If you’re not necessarily wanting to go out of your way to talk to others or make connections, at least make yourself and your business is known at community events so everyone’s aware of who you are and what you do! A great non-intrusive way to meet your fellow co-workers is to participate in events and social gatherings organized by your coworking space.
The first step is to participate. Most of the coworking spaces host events, workshops, guest talks, socials and happy hours, and special networking events to give members an opportunity to mingle; sharing upcoming projects, past setbacks, and current successes. A community invests so much of time and money for their members, by being a part of its members will get an opportunity to interact with the coworkers and get the best out of the events.
Socialize Not Just Network
The goal is not to talk to as many people as possible: one meaningful and interesting conversation is worth a thousand business cards. You don’t need to attend them all, if something is not of interest at all, you don’t need to make an appearance. Check your coworking space’s upcoming events calendar, stay updated and if something is remotely on your radar, check it out.
Run a workshop in your area of expertise or organize a pub crawl, or host a table-tennis tournament or monthly community meeting. Speak to your community manager and get it organized. This is a great way to introduce yourself (or your company) and get to know your neighbors and possibly find a new client or gain a referral.
Don’t always look for the opportunities to sell. People who are simply trying to have a light conversation at water-cooler or kitchen are not necessarily interested in the hard sell and so very quickly people will start to avoid you.
Don’t start up long conversations with people when they are not fully contributing to the discussion, most of the time they are just being nice to you. Always ask if they are up for a discussion.
Know Your Community Manager
Many coworking spaces have a community manager who is an invaluable resource. They will have a good knowledge of the people within the space, are informed about events, deal with any issues that arise and are keen to make their service as good as possible. Ask questions, give feedback and share your ideas and your projects! They will be glad to listen to you and to help to find a solution together or introduce you to people who can help you professionally. This will put you on top of their mind and can help refer coworkers who could benefit from your service.
By getting to know the community manager or a well-connected employee of the center, you’ll be poised to make the connections that may ultimately mean business for you.
It’s important to realize your limitations when you work for yourself. Helping each other is an integral part of coworking culture. If you’re a software developer, you’re not necessarily a designer, product manager, or marketer as well. When you work at a coworking space, people with those skills probably work right next to you and are just as interested in building something awesome as you are.
Invest in your community by taking a genuine interest in what they do. Ask questions. This provides both parties with an opportunity to learn one’s strengths and collaborate! Best coworking spaces have the ability where you can look across the room and ask someone for help with exactly what you need! In a true community coworking space, generosity and an underlying spirit of helpfulness are the heart of everything.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask
The great thing about coworking is they get to operate as real human spaces.
Talk to your coworkers, and talk to your hosts. Let them know what you are looking for: they will guide you through the infinite resources of their networks, knowledge, coworking and it will help you to integrate. Be as precise as possible when you ask for help.
Participate in the Online Community
Leverage your coworking community’s communication tool – WhatsApp group or Slack channel or a Facebook group for quick help with relevant asks (‘help I need a designer/UX person/content writer etc.’).
Juice the Offerings
Optimizing your coworking experience is really about putting the resources available to you to full use. Your coworking space may provide you with a number of obvious solutions to help you work your best, such as meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment for presentation use, and/or printing and copying solutions including complimentary items such as coffee, water, and snacks.?
What most of them miss look into is most of the coworking spaces have great discounts for other businesses nearby, events and conferences. For instance, we get a 15% discount at a local Pizza and Sandwich store, free deliveries and more. Sometimes if you ask nicely, you may also get complimentary tickets to various workshops and conferences happening across the city.
Be Organised and Disciplined
Without cubicles, you add more distractions to the mix. It is easy to start random conversations as people are usually friendly. Being organized and disciplined in your place not only helps you boost capacity but helps the coworkers to be productive as well. It is easy to get carried away as you are at a place where a lot will be happening around and it will easier to draw into it.
Set a Routine
The most important thing about being productive is that it can only be accomplished by setting a routine and being disciplined. Prepare a routine and be ardent about following it. Set timers for how long you’re going to work, and have intense focus and maintain breaks to keep your workday on track – take a walk or having a conversation. Be consistent and make a plan with a coworker friend to meet over a coffee every day at a certain time.
Use personal time management apps; they can play a crucial role in increasing productivity and keeps you on top of your time.
Invest In Decent Headphones
It can be hard to concentrate on your work when there are a bunch of interesting conversations happening around. Noise is the main complaint in open-plan offices. Whether it’s digital sounds like ringing phones or computer notifications, or it’s human sounds coughing or sneezing, the ambient sounds of coworking spaces can be distracting. It is easy to get pulled into random conversations with people sitting around you. Sometimes this can be extremely distracting and unproductive.
Headphones are the universal coworking sign that you don’t want to be disturbed. Headphones are a topmost recommendation for staying productive. If you can, invest in a noise-canceling headphones.
Experiment with Different Spots Within The Space
One of the best parts of working in a shared space is your ability to choose your work environment. Many coworking spaces are designed with different “vibes” in mind–from communal tables and lounges to hidden corners and conference rooms.
Speak to the community manager or coworking team and try out which area makes you feel most comfortable. If you’re having a hard time concentrating at your desk, head over to a couch or communal table. There’s likely an area that will make you feel right at home.
This article was originally published in: https://www.entrepreneur.com/