Less noise, more interactions, better results.
Any number of reasons can attract someone to a coworking space, but when there are more and more that keeping bubbling up, the question is how to choose one over another?
Hint: It’s about the people. But let’s talk about what usually brings people in.
As a student in Brussels, I spent many hours walking through the campus library hoping to find a seat, any seat, as long as there was a power outlet nearby. I would inevitably redirect myself to a cafe usually to wind up tucked in a corner at a too-small table next to the bathrooms.
If you’re one of the modern office-less, I’m sure you understand this battle for space. With more work turning online and more people starting their freelance journeys, the need for these coworking spaces is growing.
As an entrepreneur, your mind doesn’t need that extra stress every morning of simply trying to find a place to start your real work. I certainly don't want to waste anymore time just looking for a place to sit next to an outlet. Whatsmore, in Covid times, who knows when cafes will have to be closed for public health reasons.
A Community of People
It’s more than just finding a seat, though. In my lonely cafe days, I was disappointed that I couldn’t discuss my ideas with anyone. When I came to a difficult situation, I would just keep turning the puzzle around and around in my head. When you’re in a coworking space, however, you can turn to someone sitting nearby and ask their opinion.
After eight hours of silent meditation over your computer at a coffee shop, there’s still no one there to share in your triumphs or push you past your struggles. With group coworking spaces, I can connect with the people around me. These entrepreneurs and creative thinkers break the rules and give interesting insights on the little ideas budding in my mind. They ask the right
questions and know how to give advice. You can usually find some pretty good book recommendations, too. (If you haven’t yet, I give my highest recommendation to Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.)
It’s a support system. Entrepreneurs and freelancers are particularly well-placed to help each other, as we all go through the same ups and downs that come with creating something new.
Networking Events You Actually Care About
The one that feels like the cherry on top of an already great idea: the events.
I, personally, have little interest in events about the newest tips for gamers. I need a coworking space that offers the type of events I like, whether it be social media advice, wellness hours, art workshops, origami holiday gift creation, science experimentation, etc.
This is a huge part though, wherever you find yourself coworking, make sure the events are your type of events. Whatever it is that you like.
Why does this matter?
Well think about how you feel when you’re enjoying what you’re doing or learning.
Open, intrigued, present.
These are the most important parts of being comfortable with networking. As mentioned, I can be quite timid, but get me going about feminist issues and we can talk for hours. This is why I choose WOMADE because the events are the kind where I can learn, but also relax and discuss.
So how do you find the coworking space that suits you?
It’s not about a desk next to an outlet or having enough space to spread out your notebooks and papers (though those are, of course, stellar reasons). It’s about finding your tribe, the co in coworking, and building together. I never imagined myself working in a traditional office space, but I did always think that I would be surrounded by other like-minded people.
A coworking space should provide you with the right ambience, people who align with your values and goals, and events that will help you grow and connect to others. No one can tell you which space will work best, you just have to wait until that moment you step across the threshold and see how the space fits around you.
Maybe it's WOMADE, maybe not. But make sure you ask yourself these questions:
Do you like the style?
Do you like the people?
Do the events inspire you?
Could this be the spot where your next great idea comes?