So you’ve taken the leap and joined a coworking space?
First off, congratulations! You’ve just joined a community that is projected to reach 5.1 MM members worldwide by 2022.
According to Harvard Business Review, “people who belong to [coworking spaces] report levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. This is at least a point higher than the average for employees who do their jobs in regular office.”
We here at WacoWork absolutely adore our members and we want them to get the most out of their memberships. That being said, here are three ways you can maximize your coworking membership:
1. Cultivate relationships.
Here’s the deal: you probably joined a coworking space because you’re tired of staring at your laundry and dishes while you’re working.
You want a change of pace and scenery.
Sure, it’s nice to lounge around in your pajamas, but you’re trying to take your life and your career to the next level. Plus, you can only hold so many one-sided conversations with your pet before you start feeling a little cuckoo. You’re craving human connection and to feel apart of a community again.
When you start coworking, you’ll probably feel like the new kid on the block on the first day of school. It’s intimidating and overwhelming. You’re not sure if people are busy and you don’t want to just walk up to someone and start rambling. After all, everyone there is trying to “Get Sh!t Done” (which is the mantra we live by here at WacoWork).
The first thing you need to do is brush up on your elevator pitch.
This is going to be crucial when you’re connecting with other coworking members. You want to share who you are, what you do and what you’re up to quickly so you don’t turn your speech into a Shakespeare soliloquy.
Here’s a very basic example:
“My name is LaTisha. I am a Master Life Coach and I help people create the life of their dreams. Gardening is my personal passion. If I’m not here, I’m probably at the house chasing my toddler around. I just joined WacoWork. What about you?”
Be prepared to listen intently to what the other person has to say. Make it a point to remember the person talking to you. From now on, when you see him, smile and say, “Hey, Dave, how’s your Fixer Upper coming along?”
If you introduce yourself and the person you’re talking to is super busy, don’t fret. Ask for his or her e-mail and follow up that way. Which brings us to my next point:
Schedule coffee dates.
The best way to get to know people is to carve out time on the calendar. Whether it’s chatting in the designated talk space, grabbing a quick lunch or enjoying a cup of the delicious gratis joe, you can spend 15 to 30 minutes getting to know some of your fellow coworking members.
If you’re nervous, you can even prepare questions beforehand. It shows that you’re thoughtful and really trying to maximize your time together. You can look at their Instagram feed and LinkedIn profile for inspiration. You might find that you both attend the same church, have similar interests or just naturally click. Make sure to keep the tone professional since ya’ll technically are office colleagues.
I know this can seem overwhelming (any introverts reading this?), so I encourage you to think of it this way: a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.
Remember you joined the coworking space for a change of pace and scenery and part of that is getting outside of your comfort zone. Tap into your inner five year old (who bravely made friends on the playground) and go for it.
Attend coworking events.
Coworking spaces love to put on events. At WacoWork, we host happy hours, book clubs and other events for our members. It’s an opportunity to grab a beer and connect with your community. Feel free to ask the Community Director to introduce you to some people during the event.
Have your elevator pitch handy and ask people questions such as, “What’s the last book you read?” or “What’s one thing you’ve recently learned?” to see where the conversation takes you.
2. Share your expertise and your passions.
A coworking space is only as strong and unique as its members. Therefore, it’s really important to add to the vibrant community in only the way you can.
Contact your Community Director and share your ideas.
If you are a Social Media Manager, perhaps you can put on an hour long lunch and learn for members and share your top five best practices for Facebook. Or you can host a weekly coffee break where members engage in some speed networking.
Or let’s say that you are super passionate about the environment. You can organize a volunteer tree planting outing for your coworking space. Or volunteer at a Career Day where you talk to high schoolers about what you do for a living.
You can offer to write a guest blog post on the website (I know we here at WacoWork are absolutely stoked about reading what our members have to say) or perhaps take over their Instagram Stories for a day.
The sky is the proverbial limit when it comes to sharing with your community.
3. Check out the amenities.
I may be stating the obvious, but please be sure to make the most of your coworking space’s amenities. Whether it’s hosting a client meeting in the posh conference room or enjoying the free coffee from a local coffee shop, make the most out of your coworking space. Also, be sure to find out if you get discounts from local businesses for being a member.
One of the things that I personally love about our coworking space is the photo studio. So many local photographers take advantage of this amenity and create magic with their photos. It’s definitely one of the things that make our spot one-of-a-kind.
You may also find me early on a Saturday morning using the WacoWork phone booths for client sessions and recording my podcast, From the Front Row with LaTisha Cotto (after checking that I’m not disturbing anyone, that is).
Now it’s your turn. Comment below and let me know how you make the most out of your coworking space.
Want more goodness? Click HERE to join the WacoWork Community. It’s absolutely free.