Coworking spaces are a boon for location-independent workers. Students, freelancers, remote workers, and employees with telecommuting arrangements can all use this type of space. For a minimal fee, anyone can use a desk at one; a monthly subscription lets you reserve a desk or access members-only seating areas. These places also have electrical outlets, an internet connection, snacks and drinks, and other conveniences.
However, it’s still different from a regular office, where you see and interact with the same people every day. At an office, you get to form meaningful connections with colleagues, mainly because you have no choice but to be together. These spaces have a wide rotation of customers, so it is possible to be subscribed to one and not get to know your fellow office-goers. If you would like to make a smoother transition to these coworking spaces, use our tips for settling in.
1. Get to know the managers
Staffers and supervisors are there to assist you with your needs. Whether these are technical like finding an adapter for your particular laptop model, or about scheduling and membership options, a host will be able to answer your questions about the space. They are also usually people who like interacting with others, so you are probably okay asking them a question or two.
If you are looking to network with people in your space, you can ask managers to connect you. They hold the subscriber list, after all, and would have an idea which workers would pair well with whom. Staffers would know what industries people are in and can make an introduction for you. When you see the manager, chat them up. They might know someone interested!
2. Look at the community board
See if there is an event coming up, or a class on a topic you like. Join these after-work meetups, as they can lead you to interactions with people in your industry or in a related field. A large benefit of being part of a shared office is getting first access to events like these. Though networking can happen naturally, you are boosting this if you attend community events.
At these meetups, try not to be a wallflower. You do not have to be totally extroverted if that is not your style, but do offer your skills and knowledge in discussions. Networking is an exchange of benefits. If you are an accountant, for example, you can help someone manage their books. In return, they can teach you code, or help you with your speaking skills.
3. Behave like you’re in a regular office
One of the biggest perks of these coworking spaces is that you get to choose your own hours. However, do not take this to an extreme, and clock in at 7:00 A.M. on one day and 4:00 P.M. on the next. Unless you have a very good reason not to, sticking to a routine will help you make the transition to this arrangement. It also gives you a way to track your progress for the day, which is important for when you don’t have the usual markers like your supervisor checking in on you or the person in the next cubicle standing up for their usual afternoon snack.
Sticking to a routine will also help other people remember you, and see you as part of their own routine. They will be more likely to interact with you if they know that you frequent the place as well. Furthermore, use communal break rooms or tables. Try not to eat at a solitary desk; join other patrons and share your thoughts on casual topics.
Working remotely or studying is easier these days with the help of shared offices. If you are looking for coworking spaces in Charlotte, visit CoCoTiv. We have flexible desks, dedicated desks, office space for small teams and other options for remote work.