In 2019 alone, there were approximately 19,000 coworking spaces worldwide and it’s becoming a major industry with a market value of around $26 billion, attracting customers from different markets and demographics.
As shared office space becomes the norm of today, more and more people are looking into how they can maximise the full potential of joining a coworking space.
Gearing up to have a fulfilling work-life balance in a coworking space is definitely worth it. Not only will working in a coworking space allow you to collaborate with others from different industries and learn from their unique skill sets, but it will also give you more control over your schedule and create a work structure that motivates you to be more productive.
The open atmosphere of a coworking space also encourages members to network with each other, expanding your circle of connections and increasing business opportunities.
The mindset needed to transition successfully into a coworking space
While transitioning from a traditional work environment can be overwhelming at first, it can also be a refreshing and rewarding experience if you have the right mindset.
Before you move to a coworking space, you need to assess whether you’re truly ready to move from a private office or if there are still a few things you need to work on.
The following questions will help you determine how coworking-ready your business is:
- How much space do you need? You need to have adequate space for all your staff to work separately while ensuring that they also have room to collaborate when needed. Think about whether you plan to expand your team and how much additional space you’ll need in the future.
- How long is the commute? The distance from the coworking space to you and your employees should be taken into consideration.
- How long should my membership period be? While a longer membership term is more cost-effective, consider potential growth that may occur within your business, there may also be flexible contract options.
- What are the benefits of joining this coworking space? A coworking space isn’t just a place of work, it’s also a place to decompress and reset. Does this coworking space offer the facilities and amenities you need for workplace wellbeing?
Once you’ve found the answers to these questions, you’ll be ready to make the move to your brand new coworking space!
5 tips for working in coworking spaces
These five tips are key to being productive and successful in a coworking space.
1. Put yourself out there and network
A coworking space gives you community and collaboration. In this environment, it’s common for people from different companies to come together and socialise.
Forget about being a wallflower, coworking spaces are natural hubs for networking opportunities because of the diversity of their members (from their backgrounds to their industries) and the welcoming atmosphere of the shared office space.
Consistently networking and improving your interpersonal skills will help you build your authority and self-confidence as an industry expert. You can gain support from like-minded individuals who are on the same journey as you, giving you insider information on the latest trends and updates within your industry. This allows you to develop long-lasting relationships with them as you help each other achieve your goals.
Networking in a coworking space is easy: Just introduce yourself and start a conversation. From there, you can invite them to grab a coffee and learn more about them and what they do. To assist with this Waterman hosts its own regular community events like Breakfast Club, Coffee Collab and Friday Drinks.
2. Be sociable and engage others
Socialising is built into the coworking space culture, so be proactive and extend the invitation to get to know new people. Eat with others when you can so you don’t miss out on the bustle in the lunchroom.
You can break the ice by chatting about something that’s not work-related (like their hobbies, recent movies they’ve watched, etc.). This lessens the tension and makes it easier to catch up and interact in the future.
Coworking spaces also offer networking events outside business hours, which encourages members to get to know one another on a deeper level and build more meaningful connections. Socialising can be mutually beneficial to you and the people you connect with. It gives you the chance to share the challenges you’re facing and find solutions together, alleviating the burdens and feelings of stress each of you are carrying.
Constant socialisation between members also promotes a sense of belonging and unity within the coworking community which can boost your overall productivity and motivation to work.
3. Attend coworking space events and activities
Coworking space-wide events are similar to team-building activities as it allows people to build trust with one another, better communicate with each other, and work together, but these are catered to all coworking space members from different industries.
Participating in space-wide events can help you feel a deeper connection to the business community because it gives you opportunities to form connections with other coworking space members.
A tight-knit community is an important aspect of a coworking space. It allows you to partner with other people and feel a sense of belonging within the group, which creates an inclusive and diverse environment for the entire business community.
4. Build business relationships
The relationships you build in your coworking space can take you to the next level in your business or career journey. This is especially important when you’re just starting out; when you have limited time and resources, your most important asset is a strong network of business relationships.
Depending on the type of work you do, your business relationships can include long-time customers, outsourced service providers, suppliers, and even competitors. While you might have different points of connection, they should all have a foundation of trust for the relationship to work.
Here are some tips to build long-lasting and productive business relationships:
- Diversify your networks to develop connections in different circles.
- Practice reciprocity in your relationships (i.e. take only as much as you’re willing to give).
- Be strategic in spending quality time with key relationship partners.
- Reshape and renew your network regularly, reviewing connections that may no longer be mutually beneficial.
5. Be respectful and considerate
Because a coworking space includes a diverse range of members that operate on different work structures and schedules, it’s important to be mindful of any rules and regulations and observe proper etiquette, especially when using the communal areas.
By honouring the schedule of usage for meeting rooms, desks, and equipment, you can represent yourself and your company well and show that you know how to follow the rules and get along with others.
Learning to adapt and be considerate of others you work alongside can help adjust more quickly to the energetic atmosphere of communal areas and make you feel more included in the coworking community.
Coworking spaces have a lot to offer, and it’s important to make the most out of the experience to achieve a dynamic and successful work life. If that’s something you want to achieve, book a tour of the Waterman Business Centre.