Coworking can be greatly beneficial for professional growth and productivity, but it can also be a major change for people used to working from offices. In our first set of coworking tips, we discussed productivity, preparation and location. Here are five more tips to make the most out of your coworking experience.
1. Get to know your neighbors
Even though you are a freelance worker or self-employed does not mean you need to go through your workdays without checking in with those around you. Not only is this a great networking opportunity, but you will also find a little socialization with your like-minded freelancers helps keep the work-life balance at a comfortable equilibrium. This can often be lost when working for yourself when you lack the social interaction that comes with office work, diverse staff and team lunches or coffee breaks. One great ways to get to know other members of your coworking community is by taking advantage of the events offered by your coworking space. Happy hours, guest speakers and networking events are fairly common in coworking environments and attending them can be full of benefits. Of course, remember that everyone is trying to focus during the workday so take a hint if it feels like people are not in the mood to talk at a certain moment. But, capturing a few contacts when the moment is right can lead to the preverbal opening of doors.
2. Get up or get outside
Freelancers and remote workers sometimes do not have meetings or other reasons to get up from their desk and move around like an office employee would, but that does not mean you should stay seated for your entire workday. One of the best parts of a coworking space is that there will be many places for you to bring your laptop to and set up shop. Some of the restaurants in the KettleSpace coworking network have great outdoor seating options or bars that make for great standing desks.
3. Be mindful of your surroundings
One of the primary causes of distractions while coworking can be a nearby phone or video call taking place and drawing your attention. As a coworker, see if your location has a booth meant for phone calls, or different rooms that are more or less loud. Phone calls can also be a great opportunity to get up from your workspace and take a short walk if you do not need to be at your computer while you work. Ultimately, just like planes, restaurants or any other similar place, you will just need to use your best judgment when deciding where to take a call from and where to maintain the quiet. Being part of a coworking space means being respectful of your fellow members.
4. Make sure you have room for your team
A lot of start-ups and small companies like coworking spaces because they allow for an affordable option to renting a private office. However, not all coworking spaces are created equally for small teams. Some coworking spaces have private office spaces meant for teams of ten or less, but for a lower-priced option look for a space that has large tables as opposed to individual desks if you want to work near your team members. At KettleSpace, which offers coworking locations in restaurants, you’ll find lots of large spaces great for working with a team or for a working lunch.
5. Take time to eat
This is a classic piece of advice for productivity that everyone from college students cramming to coworkers finalizing a presentation or report need to remember. Losing track of time while coworking is common, and lunch can be easily overlooked. Unlike at a coffee shop where you may need to make an unhealthy chocolate croissant your lunch, you can have a proper meal while coworking, whether it is something you brought from home or something you order from the special members-only menu at at KettleSpace location. Some coworking spaces include kitchens with various amenities as well as refrigerators that you can leverage for your own food items.
Ultimately, successful coworking comes down to a mix of best practices for productivity and the ability to adapt to an atypical working environment. Coworking spaces are all different and the only way to make coworking work for you is to try out these different spaces and learn what your personal preferences are that will lead to productive, healthy work habits.