One of the most cited advantages of coworking spaces is the ease with which it allows you to network in a more relaxed environment. Traditional networking often involves wearing the best professional attire and attending conferences, seminars and workshops, all while maintaining a polite, friendly, and professional demeanour while meeting and introducing yourself to others. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with this networking method, it can be exhausting to always be on your best behavior and force yourself to shake hands and introduce yourself over and over again.
However, with coworking, people tend to be more relaxed and have natural conversations with others throughout the day. And while coworking spaces are undoubtedly filled with hard-working professionals, it’s a much less “buttoned-up” environment where you don’t necessarily feel like you always have to be in the game to network and meet new people.
For this reason, many see coworking as the new networking and there is probably no going back. Essentially, it allows you to double your efficiency because you can work, socialize and network in the same space. Additionally, coworking spaces often offer many benefits and features that you may not have access to if you work from home or in a coffee shop. It’s like working in a state-of-the-art office with all the best benefits, but in a more relaxed and social environment that inherently creates the perfect space for networking.
Benefits of a Coworking Space
Coworking spaces have become increasingly popular in recent years, but recently, with such a significant shift towards home and remote working, coworking spaces are exploding more than ever. While working from home can provide you with convenience and reduce your expenses, it removes two of the most critical elements of working in an office environment: collaboration and socializing. If that’s not convincing enough, check out these top benefits of working in a coworking space, besides networking:
- It provides a sense of community and belonging. Working from home may be lonely, but in a coworking space you can work alongside different groups of people who work in a variety of different industries, giving you countless opportunities to connect and build relationships.
- It is a culture of support and collaboration. Coworking space has its own vibe and “workplace culture”, but in general West Quay Offices are filled with different people who work hard and try to connect. And since they all come from different backgrounds and fields, it’s less competitive, more supportive and collaborative.
- It allows you to be more efficient and productive. You may think that working from home allows you to lower your head and be more productive because there isn’t an office full of colleagues to distract you, but in many cases the opposite is true. There are many more distractions at home that can take you away from your work, while in a coworking space, surrounded by other workers, you will be more inspired to get your job done.
- It offers numerous benefits and features. Our coworking spaces offer you all the things you would have access to in an office and more. West Quay Offices often strive to emulate an office utopia with the best features and benefits to help you get through the day.
Tips for Networking in a Coworking Space
Whether you’re new to coworking or want to expand your existing network, these tips can help you learn how to create a quality, authentic network:
- Engage in friendly, informal conversations. Unlike traditional networking, networking in a co-working space is often done on a more informal basis. Think of it like starting a conversation with a new colleague or someone at a coffee shop. Keep it light and friendly to get started instead of going straight to professional network mode.
- Share knowledge and offer exchanges: think about collaboration and support. If someone helps you with something you are working on, offer them something in return. This creates a fairer environment and promotes collaboration.
When networking in a coworking space, remember that everyone there is probably looking for connections just like you, so don’t feel awkward or embarrassed when you approach a conversation! At first try to keep it as friendly and informal as possible to establish a connection.
Then, once a connection is established, you can start offering professional insights and exchanges. Keep in mind that while there are tons of tips for successful networking, there’s really no right way to do it. Be social and have fun and the connections will come naturally.