The increasing popularity of coworking spaces in Australia and around the world speaks to the changing patterns of work in the digital age. Growing numbers of flexible and freelance workers, as well as entrepreneurs and startups, is a sign of an increasingly dynamic and shifting segment of the workforce. This situation, while a natural outgrowth of advances in communication technologies, offers both opportunities and difficulties for maintaining professional connections.
Whether you are coworking in Melbourne or elsewhere, using coworking spaces as a networking tool is a great way to maximise the time you spend in a work environment. You may be looking for some advice on how to forge and maintain connections when you are working among colleagues and acquaintances in coworking spaces.
Let’s look a closer look at some essential tips to help you to establish yourself in your industry and propel your business to further growth.
Working in a coworking space is a natural and organic way to get to know other professionals, whether they are working in your industry or not. The dynamic group of flexible workers who populates each coworking space will usually be composed of similarly minded and motivated entrepreneurs who are just as interested in succeeding as you are.
Connecting with your coworking colleagues during lunch breaks or downtime is a great way to forge connections that could potentially provide new opportunities for your business. While it can be useful to simply work alongside other people to break the isolation of freelance work, it is worthwhile to leverage some of these connections to get insight into how you can improve or where you might look for new clients.
Bring Something To The Shared Table
To establish and maintain the connections you forge in coworking space, you need to have something to offer. Be open to collaborating with others on their projects and be ready to provide insights and advice into your colleagues’ work-related problems. Being a person who has solutions or good ideas is a great way to demonstrate that you are a serious and emerging player in your industry. Your colleagues will notice this and will be interested in helping you succeed, especially if they see that you are taking your work seriously. You will meet all sorts of different people in your coworking space and maintaining connections with each of them can bring unexpected benefits to your own business. Just be prepared to assist others in the same way as they help you.
Practice Good Coworking Etiquette
Part of being someone who your fellow professionals want to be involved with is practising good etiquette in the coworking space. Whether you are at home in Melbourne or abroad, be aware of the etiquette and cultural norms that are appropriate for your location. Beyond that, a healthy dose of common sense can keep you in your colleagues’ good graces. Try to be friendly and polite with your colleagues and make sure to keep your phone calls in quiet areas to a minimum, the same as you would expect in any office environment. Treating your colleagues with the same respect that you expect to receive from them is sure to assist you in maintaining professional connections.
Keep In Touch
Coworking spaces are ultimately what you make of them. If you go into work in a communal space every day with a positive and motivated attitude, you are sure to attract like-minded professionals into your network. Make the effort to socialise with your colleagues in a formal but also in an informal way. Keep in touch with people outside of the office but be courteous and respectful. By following these tips, you are sure to stay connected with a vibrant and insightful cohort of coworking professionals.