Companies and knowledge workers are finding incredible success from the unique workplace that coworking spaces provide. Increasingly, startups like Uber, Spotify, and Instagram are being born out of such workspaces, and it’s no surprise. The blend of open-space and private office fosters an environment of collaboration while still promoting deep, focused work.
But it’s still on you to fully take advantage of these benefits and the resources that enable such work. If you come in just to use it as an office, you’re missing out on 80% of the benefits that coworking spaces have to offer. Here are some of the ways you should be taking advantage of your coworking membership beyond using it as office space:
1. Master the Art of Discipline
The cost of signing up for a coworking membership is itself a commitment to your work and Harvard Business Review even showed that people that use coworking spaces find their work meaningful. But you can take the results of your membership to another level by consistently showing up every day.
A huge benefit of coworking is the flexibility it provides, and many spaces even advertise as an office you can “use when you need it.” But the focus and productivity you can achieve with coworking warrants using it as a daily workspace. And even if this means going in for a few hours each morning, or after lunch to wrap up your workday, consistency is what matters most.
Times Best Seller Darren Hardy puts it perfectly in his book ***”The Compound Effect”***. He said, “It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.”
Consistency has a compounding effect. Showing up every day, even if it’s not for as long as you would like or if it might be a little convenient, can result in 10x results down the road.
2. Connect with the Community
Coworking spaces that thrive do so due to their people, which means when you sign up, you’re investing in that community. A community of talent that supports each other is mutually beneficial and will even attract other talent. It’s worth your while to get involved because not only will you make great connections that could benefit your business, but you’ll also contribute to and additionally benefit from the growth of the community.
3. Respect your coworkers
Having touched on discipline – the first step in connecting with the community is by being a great coworker. Coworking spaces are great for collaboration and fostering serendipity, but they’re also meant for deep work and productivity, which are difficult in a distracting environment.
In a shared space it’s your shared responsibility to maintain that distraction-free environment. I’m sure you hope others will do the same for you.
So watch your noise levels. Keep your space clean. Respect meeting space schedules. In general, just be kind courteous to others.
4. Engage with Events
If you spend most of your time in privacy, the best way to get to know the community might be from the slew of events coworking spaces are known for hosting. They invest a lot of time and resources into organizing high-value events (we certainly do!), which are great opportunities to make yourself and your business known. Spontaneous opportunities are much more likely if everyone’s aware of who you are and what you do.
5. Take Initiative
Another great way to connect with the community is through putting together an event yourself. Organize a workshop, plan a happy hour, set up a monthly mastermind group. This is a phenomenal way to introduce yourself (or your company), get to know your neighbors, and potentially find a new client or gain a referral. Work with your community manager and get it organized.
6. Get to Know the Community Manager
Speaking of community manager, have you met yours? The manager that takes care of your space is an invaluable resource, and knowing them can amplify your coworking experience. Not only can they be helpful if problems arise, but they also know every business in the building and could easily connect you or help to make an introduction.
7. Know Your Resources
When debating between coworking spaces, it’s important to consider the partnerships and intangible resources they have available. Part of the appeal of coworking communities is that they can mitigate some costs of other business resources. Some spaces have great discounts for other businesses nearby, events, and conferences. They might have discounts on or include memberships to services like commercial printing, fitness, business applications, and even health care.
Coworking is quickly becoming the new way to work as people search for flexibility in where and how they work. It’s been happening. As of Q2 2020, the coworking footprint has nearly doubled since 2017. Then Covid accelerated this shift in work culture, radically changing the notions around work from home and challenging the necessity of the traditional 9-5 office commute.
If you’re not already working at a coworking space, it’s very likely you could be in the near future. But why wait? If you think you could benefit from the above, or you find it’s hard to focus in your current work environment, it’s absolutely worth trying out some of your local coworking options. If you live in New Jersey, we’d be happy to introduce you to the benefits of coworking!