Coworking spaces are challenging traditional offices. However, you might feel a little challenged in a coworking space, too. While they might provide you with everything you need to grow your business, only you can make the most of them and pour that into your work. Here are five tips to take advantage of your coworking space.
Evaluate exactly what you need
Think about your work as a freelancer or as a startup, then evaluate the coworking space in terms of your work. Do you work best with frequent snacks? Perhaps a desk near the kitchen would be best. The same goes for if you constantly need to use their printer, scanner, or conference room.
Are you more productive when you’re surrounded by complete silence? If your coworking space tends to be a bit noisy, you could use earbuds to keep yourself focused. You can also prepare your trusty cables and plugs if you use several appliances that need charging. If the coworking space lacks equipment you need, bring it yourself so you can still make the most of the amenities they offer.
Some coworking spaces have comfortable seats that you could sink into while you work, but if you feel more productive sitting at a traditional guest, no one’s going to stop you!
Ask your networks for recommendations
It might feel awkward and uncomfortable to break the ice with people you meet at the coworking space, but everyone else feels the same way, too. Coworking communities are composed of both new and seasoned freelancers and startups, so whoever you approach will likely be very welcoming. Occasions to expand and diversify your networkare usually scheduled by the coworking space to let everyone interact. These could come in the form of parties, mixers, or workshops, among others. Once you’ve made friends in the community, you could continue to build on those relationships as an entrepreneur, and this could benefit you later on.
These people could help you learn from their experiences in similar or different fields of work. More importantly, they could help guide you if they’re familiar with what you’re going through. In a traditional workspace, your co-workers might talk to you, but only about the business you’re working for. In a coworking space, your new friends might be able to provide you with ideas or recommendations for your own work, based on experiences you have yet to be exposed to.
Find out who has the best deals and discounts in town
Every coworking space usually has a community manageror someone who can connect with all the members in the office. If you have yet to make any friends in the office, approach the community manager and ask that you be introduced to people who might be able to help you or be interested in your work. You could also bond with other freelancers over a cup of coffee in the kitchen or by striking up a conversation over lunch.
In coworking spaces, the main atmosphere is often one of helpfulness, where each assists the other purely out of sincerity. Through these little chats, someone might just tell you who could print your book for cheap or where you could get team shirts made at a discount.
Others may help you as you help others. However, remember that help isn’t always welcome. Try to be helpful whenever you can, but make sure that someone does need your help first. Being part of a community at your coworking space allows you to get word of your product or service out to a larger group of people, but that doesn’t mean that that should always be on your mind. Similarly, don’t just talk to people in the office when you need them.
Be productive while you’re there
Being at a cool coworking space could distract you just as much as being at home, but only if you let it. Focus on being productive by doing whatever you can to keep yourself focused. This is an opportunity to train your self-discipline.
The first thing you should do to track your productivity is make a list. Write down everything you have to do each day, and cross them out every time you finish a task. Try your best not to head home without completing the entire list. With every task on that list, determine what the end goal should be. Remember why you’re doing your work in the first place, and everything will follow.
However, you don’t need to work on your list every moment of every day. Take a break every now and then. You could stand up and stretch for a few minutes or take a 10-minute nap. Let your brain recharge, lest it give up due to overwork.
If you’re finding it difficult to find motivation to work, you could reward yourself every time you finish a task or reach a goal. Reward yourself with candy if you find that sweets cheer you up, or fancy coffee if you’re tired of the coffee being served in the office.
Avoid procrastination by managing your time wisely. Have a plan for the day, and in that plan, include your list of tasks. It doesn’t hurt to have some structure. Surround yourself with a clean workspace, too. If the trash on your table is piling up and your papers are in disarray, maybe it’s time for a desk cleanup.
It might also help to make use of what modern technology can offer you. Find an app or website that can sync your emails and calendars, save your to-do lists, store your files, and check your grammar to improve your work and productivity.
Lastly, get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can severely hamper your work, keep you from concentrating, and make you resent your job. Sacrificing your health for your job just isn’t the answer.
Learn the space and which areas are the best fit for you
A coworking space presents you with different options for seating. You could sit at your desk and mind your own business, or hang out in a communal area like the kitchen. The energy a coworking community emits is incomparable to traditional office setups. You’ll be able to observe freelancers and startups working hard to make it big, just like you. This can be inspirational, especially when you’re in dire need of motivation.
If you aren’t the type to put yourself in that kind of situation, then don’t. You know yourself best, so choose what you think is best for you and your work ethic.