In our blog post, “What Makes for a Good Flexible Office Environment,” one of the things we talked about was community. Part of the reason coworking has taken off is because of the sense of community it offers; remote workers and entrepreneurs can miss out on the chance to build a work community because they are rarely in a traditional office setting. Working alongside other professionals in a coworking space fills the community gap, giving remote workers, freelancers, and business owners the chance to create an awesome community and build connections.
What makes a great community? The people in it. Just like a regular office, coworking communities depend on their members to make it what it is. We already answered what makes a good coworking space, now lets see what makes a good coworking member.
This one might seem like a given, but it’s important to mention. Office etiquette can make or break a coworking community. Talking too loud, listening to music without headphones, or taking up more space than you need are just some of the things that can result in a negative experience for your coworking peers. A good rule of thumb — if you wouldn’t do it in a traditional office, don’t do it in a coworking space. Of course, there are exceptions, but making sure you make the space you’re in welcoming for all members is key to being a good coworking member.
Replace What You Use
One of the awesome perks of coworking spaces is the many amenities they offer. Most coworking spaces provide unlimited coffee, free office supplies, and even things like ping pong tables for those much needed brain breaks. Making sure that you refill the creamer if you use the last of it, or break open that new box of k-cups really makes all the difference when it comes to being a great coworking member. Environments thrive when everybody does their part, so make sure you’re doing yours.
Coworking spaces give individuals the incredible opportunity to network. Surrounded by like-minded business professionals, you can get some serious insight into your industry or best practices from the person sitting next to you. While it isn’t a necessity, reaching out to your fellow coworking members and networking is one of the best ways to immerse yourself into the community.
Don’t Try to Sell
Networking is different than selling. It might be tempting to work on your sales pitch to members of your coworking community, but it’s important to keep things professional — that means keeping the sales to a minimum (read: none at all). While coworking spaces are a great place to ask for feedback and collaborate with other professionals, trying to sell your products or services to people while they’re trying to get some work done. If your coworking peers are interested in your business or services, trust that they will approach you.
Coworking communities are great because they are diverse and flexible; unlike the traditional office setting, coworking spaces are home to countless different businesses and innovative thinkers. Joining a coworking community not only gives you connections and a chance to socialize at work, but also can lead to serious business growth!