You made the leap from full-time employee to freelancer and you have joined a great coworking space. Now what? Don’t be intimidated by the new freedom to work at your own pace and to meeting new people; or be overwhelmed by the new ways to get distracted. Check out these five tips for great coworking.
1. Membership has it perks beyond a place to work
Of course, the primary function of your coworking space is for working, but don’t forget about the ‘co.’ Chances are, your coworking space hosts networking sessions, member happy hours, or other special events exclusive to paying members. In addition to usually having free coffee, tea and snacks, you’ll have a great venue for business networking and growing your personal brand. Remember, everyone else in your coworking space is likely a freelancer, founder or side-hustler like you, and chances are you’ll have a few more things in common with them.
2. Set a routine, even though you don’t need to have one
Just because you’re free from the rat-race and 9-to-5 office life doesn’t mean you should revert back to college-style cramming, procrastination and all-nighters. Find a schedule that works for you and when applicable, stick to it. Maybe you’re an early bird and like to be the first to the coworking space to get the best spots, or maybe you prefer to take advantage of your space’s rooftop to watch the sunset while you send those final few emails. You don’t have to have a rigid schedule or feel the need to break one if you do, but trying to maintain some sort of routine will help you achieve productivity in coworking, and not get distracted by your freelance freedom.
3. Invest in a few office necessities
For freelancers who work from different locations throughout the week or are always on the move, it can be easy to show up to your desk and realize you left your charger, headphones, or sweatshirt at home. If you have a dedicated desk or office, by all means make it your own and don’t be afraid to leave a charger, an extra pair of headphones or a reusable coffee mug there so you aren’t tasked with bringing these things back and forth from home every day. If you’re at a hot desk or shared space, like KettleSpace, consider a backpack charger or backpack headphones that never leave the bag you bring to the office in the morning. Or, go one step further and create a coworking productivity kit that you always travel with. Our top items to add to your kit include: phone charger, laptop power cord, notebook, pens, light jacket or sweatshirt, headphones and a few non-perishable snacks for those low blood sugar moments.
4. Feel free to explore
Just because one location is closest to your apartment doesn’t mean it is the one you should always be working from. Explore your coworking spaces’ network to see where else they offer desks. Some of coworking options in New York City like KettleSpace offer spaces to work from all over the city; so grab your bag, load up a podcast for the walk or subway ride, and go see what some of the other members in your community are up to.
5. Get to know your community managers
Most coworking spaces will have a community manager responsible for welcoming new members, keeping the space in order and overseeing reservations and events within the space. Getting to know these people can be one of your best bets to networking gold, as they have the absolute best sense of who else is in your community. If you’d love to connect with a designer, accountant, writer or coder, don’t be afraid to ask your community manager if anyone comes to mind. These resources can also help you resolve issues or address any concerns you have with using the space, so building a quality relationship with them will benefit you greatly.
What are your personal coworking tips and hacks for success? Let us know!