You’ve done your research. You’ve picked the perfect spot. And you’ve made the decision to work from a coworking space. That’s a smart choice!
Studies show that people working in coworking spaces tend to thrive more than those working in regular office settings.
Whether you’re new to coworking or you’re a veteran, we want to help you thrive to the greatest extent possible. So, we’ve created the list of tips below, garnered from our years of experience in the industry, to help you get the most out of your coworking experience.
Tips for the Novice Co-worker (and Reminders for the Veteran)
1. Know Your Options.
Working in a private office allows users to have more privacy, which may be ideal for people working in certain professions like law, while having a dedicated desk might be right for you if need a semi-private environment but feed off the energy of others.
Know the options available to you and pick the option that will allow you to work best and that will provide you the level of privacy you require.
2. Use the Amenities.
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 solutions to help you work your best, such as meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment for presentation use, and/or printing and copying solutions. Your coworking space might also provide complimentary items such as coffee, water and snacks.
Make sure you take advantage of the space, solutions and items available to you – they are there to provide you with the best work experience possible.
Reacquaint yourself periodically with the available resources – your coworking space may add services or items that you don’t want to miss out on.
3. Be Social.
One of the unique benefits of coworking is that it provides opportunities to interact and make relationships with people that you otherwise would not meet.
Take advantage of this – 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 without worrying about the bureaucracy and hierarchy that can often stifle communication in a standard office setting. You may just end up finding your next client or collaborator.
When interacting with others in your coworking space, make sure to do so in a non-intrusive way (the focus of coworking is work after all). Limit most casual social interactions to areas dedicated for this purpose, like lounges or the water cooler. (Psssttt… at iQ’s 250 University Avenue location you can practice your putt while making a new connection).
A great non-intrusive way to meet your fellow co-workers is to participate in events and social gatherings organized by your coworking space. We host “Happy Hours” once a week for just this purpose.
Another great way to get connected is to reach out to the staff at your coworking space. If your space is small enough and efficiently staffed, they likely know all of the other people onsite and will be able to make connections based on your field of interest.
4. Participate in the Online Community.
Many coworking spaces use an online platform that allows members to connect with one another. This can take the form of an online forum, a Slack community or a members area on the coworking space’s website.
Making use of this online community will allow you to get to know other co-workers better and keep you up to date on the solutions and benefits offered by your coworking space (which feeds into tips 2 and 3 above). It can also help you to feel more a part of the coworking community in general.
Tips for the Veteran Co-worker
5. Dust of Your Presentation Skills.
Coworking spaces are filled with hard-working, creative individuals that are eager to learn.
A way to benefit your coworking community, while also widening your social network, is to give a presentation to your fellow co-workers.
Maybe you are an expert in retirement planning. Or maybe you are an amazing designer. Whatever your area of expertise, educating others about your field can help to create a richer community, provide learning opportunities for others and could be just the thing to help you find a new client or gain a referral.
Consider talking to management at your coworking space to see how you can set up and promote your presentation.
6. Be Even More Social.
As a veteran co-worker, it is likely that you have started to develop some relationships with your fellow co-workers (if not, check out tip 3 above for ways to start).
Once you have begun developing your coworking circle, a way to leverage these relationships and optimize your coworking experience is to begin a “mastermind” group.
The concept of the mastermind group was created by author Napoleon Hill back in the 1920s and, at its core, is a group of individuals that get together to discuss and solve business issues in a form of peer-to-peer mentoring.
Mastermind groups often benefit when their members include people from different industries or backgrounds whose diverse experiences allow them to see and tackle problems differently. Coworking spaces that host an array of people working on different projects non-competitively side-by-side are the ideal setting in which to develop your mastermind group.
The tips that will be most helpful to you, and the ways in which you implement them, will depend on your desired level of involvement in your coworking community and the length of time that you have been a part of it.
For even more tips, and for information on the options and benefits available to you at iQ, talk to our knowledgeable, friendly staff today!