Coworking is on the rise, and it’s challenging the workplace status quo. There are many benefits of joining a coworking space, but it’s also up to you to make the most of the community, the space, and the networking events.
While coworking spaces provide the support and amenities needed to take the busy work out of growing a business, we want our members to feel empowered to take advantage of the offerings—even if that means stepping out of their comfort zone. Here are 8 tips to help you make the most of a coworking space and boost your success:
1. Put yourself out there (even if it’s scary)
The most rewarding experiences almost always result from overcoming an initially uncomfortable situation and really putting yourself out there. While it’s difficult for some people to go out on a limb to talk to strangers, the great thing about coworking communities is that everyone is in the same position. Even seasoned veterans are constantly meeting new faces and remember what it’s like to be the newbie. If another member company looks interesting, say hello! They might be able to offer up some helpful advice on how to integrate into the community.
We promise it’s worth it. Erin Richardson, SVP Product of Lookbk , agrees. “We are a very small team and this space has given us a place where we can feel much bigger,” she says. “We have made both social and business connections that we otherwise wouldn’t have made.”
2. Get to know your Community Management Team
Each of our locations have dedicated Community Managers and Front Desk Associates who are there to make sure members feel connected, are informed about events, and deal with any issues that arise. Especially for freelancers or consultants, it’s a great to have an advocate and a friendly face to chat with every day. Grant Leonard, Founder of The Grant Leonard Group, a social media consulting firm, building relationships with the team has been “the most impactful aspect of my time at MakeOffices,” and has allowed him to experience a great company culture even as a solo entrepreneur. Don’t be afraid to ask the Community Management team for help if you have questions—that’s what they’re there for!
3. Work in the bullpen area-yes, even if you have a private office!
With so many interesting companies in almost every industry, our coworking spaces have an undeniable energy – something that can’t be replicated at a traditional office environment. Take advantage by working in the common areas like the kitchen or coffee bar, even if your company has a private office. The energy of a coworking space, according to Shy and Eman Pahlevani, Co-Founders of HUNGRY, a fresh-cooked meal delivery service, is “an invigorating place to work.” Not only does this put you at the center of all the action, it can be a welcome change of pace during a long work day.
4. Schedule coffee dates
We offer premium local coffee at our coworking spaces, which means our members can get a jolt of energy in the morning or meet with other members over a cup o’ joe. Coffee dates may not be as expensive as lunch, drinks, or dinner, but a few dollars here and there can certainly add up. Set up quick meetings with other members who share similar challenges and who might offer solutions to your business problems at the coffee bar. It’s a way to save a little money while building connections and getting that mid-day caffeine fix.
5. Join in on happy hours and networking events
Take advantage of networking events and happy hours for yet another opportunity to meet fellow members. These after-hours events allow you to mingle in a more relaxed, laid-back environment. Since you’ll be meeting members when they’re (hopefully) unplugged, you’ll have their full attention and will be able to focus on conversation and building relationships. Have an open mind to opportunities for learning, developing new skills, and gaining insights during these events.
6. Impress clients by taking advantage of conference rooms
Coworking spaces allow members to be professional when meeting with clients, prospective employees, and business partners. Coffee shops or other public spaces can easily become distracting, but meeting in conference rooms available as part of coworking membership show important stakeholders that you take them seriously.
7. Get familiar with the neighborhood
It’s easy to get stuck in the daily grind without taking the time to explore the surrounding neighborhood. Our coworking communities are right at the center of downtown areas which boast a wide variety of vendors, shops, and local restaurants. We partner with local businesses, allowing our members to engage with the neighborhood and feel like part of something bigger than themselves.
8. Take the time to relax every once in awhile
Racing against fast-approaching deadlines can be stressful. Take advantage of the massage chairs available at many coworking spaces for a quick pick-me-up. You’ll only need about ten minutes to watch the tension melt away, and after a relaxing massage it’ll be much easier to focus on the task at hand.
Coworking spaces have areas that cater to every need – whether you need a quiet nook to catch up on some reading, or you thrive with some background noise, or you need complete silence to put your head down and focus. Regardless of your workstyle, use these tips to make the most of your coworking experience and accelerate your success!