Coworking venues are ideal spots to meet fellow homeworkers, freelancers, or business owners. They can be a hive of creativity and talent.
If you’re looking to spend a day or two working away from the home office, discovering your perfect coworking community can be the next best thing to having actual colleagues.
David Bunce, founder of Coworkmo tells us how to make the most of your time at a coworking space.
Do your research
A little research before you go can help you get the best out of your time and the community.
Coworking spaces often run different events and socials, which can be great times to get to know some of the community and meet some new people.
Look up beforehand to see if there are any specific events which appeal and you would like to get involved in.
Find out if they have special offers or discounts, which you can take advantage of.
Signing up to their newsletters and following their social accounts can help you stay informed and get a feel for the place.
Remember to check out what facilities they have and whether they do any partnerships with other local businesses, which could save you money.
Know your budget
Heading out for the day can soon eat into your budget. Make sure you know yours.
Once out of the house, it is easy to fritter away money. When you head out to venues, especially in larger cities, the odd coffee or snack can soon add up. Make sure you plan ahead to prevent overspending.
If you have a budget in mind you will be more conscious of what you’re buying. Remember to factor in the cost of a pass for the time you’re there.
Nothing will ingratiate you more into the coworking community than offering your help or advice when you can.
Not only will it be of service to others, it will help you engage with the people there and quickly develop some good relationships.
This doesn’t mean constantly giving away your time and skills for free, but being helpful and opening up a discussion, which you will often benefit from as well.
Before you leave the house, have a quick checklist of things to take with you so you make the most of your time.
Apart from a laptop and notebook, there are other things you might want to have ready that can help you have a better experience at a coworking venue.
• Headphones: Even if you are there for the buzz and social interaction, you might still want half an hour of quiet time to focus. Some venues will have private booths but for short stints or if you need to listen to audio, headphones will give you some peace. Noise cancelling headphones are great if you need to concentrate and if you like some music while you work, headphones or earpods are something to keep handy.
• Business cards: One of the perks of coworking spaces is the community you become part of. Have business cards with you in case you meet somebody you’d like to connect with. You may even find you gain new clients through the venue.
• Flyers: Don’t be shy to ask if the venue will let you leave a few flyers in their communal space. Some places are happy to let you leave some marketing material to support their community.
• A bottle of water: You will likely to able to drink as much water (and in some places tea and coffee) as you like but having a bottle handy will help keep you hydrated and comfortable, especially if you want to sit down and focus.
• Food: Some venues will have a small coffee bar where you can buy food and drinks but if not, make sure you bring something to keep the hunger pangs at bay. Most spaces will have a kitchenette or area where you can store or prepare a snack or heat up some food.
Know your tasks
To get the most out of your time at a coworking venue, make sure you are doing tasks that suit the environment.
If you know you have a day of back-to-back video calls, it is probably not the day to head out to a coworking space.
Think about your week ahead and what each day will look like. It will help you pinpoint when is best to go.
If you’re focusing on a project or have to come up with a creative solution, a different environment can help spike your productivity and creativity. Those sorts of tasks could be ideal for a day out of the house and you may be able to get support from other members there.
Equally, if you have a face-to-face meeting, it can be an opportunity to book a private room and take advantage of the facilities and be in a professional environment.
Choose your coworking day carefully
To make sure you benefit from a day out at a coworking space, choose your day carefully so it aligns with your own rhythm and how you like to work.
If you like to wind down the week on a Friday with some socialising, it could be a good day to go along to a coworking venue to get together with others in the community. Some even do a Friday evening social where you can enjoy a drink with your fellow coworkers.
It could be that you need a bit of a mid-week pick-me-up and getting out of the house and being around others would be a good way to get that energy injection.
If you like to kickstart your week by seeing new faces and possibly having some interesting conversations, Monday could be your day.
Think about what you need, and how a coworking spot could help you achieve that.
COWORKMO are delighted to offer you 25% off their annual membership so you can take advantage of lots of special offers, discounts, and deals at various coworking spaces.
The venues pictured are all on their database and there are dozens to choose from around the country – and more are being added all the time.
Check out the deal and discount code below.