Article: Are you co-working the right way?


Are you co-working the right way?

As people adapt to this new style of working, it is critical to embrace new ‘rules’ or tenets for the new workspace.
Are you co-working the right way?

In today’s times, agile workspaces are redefining the way people work. These socially dynamic energy zones are dramatically changing how offices function, and with whom and why one does business. What is leading this transformation is that young workers today do not covet the corner office, but yearn to work in a community that fosters learning, growth and collaboration. Hence, the focus is shifting from traditional offices to spaces that enable productivity, efficiency and flexibility, among other things. 

Today, coworking spaces are all about inspiring and cohesive design, adopting the latest technologies and ensuring customer delight. It’s no surprise that currently there are more than 15000 coworking spaces across the globe, from a mere 75 in 2007. In India alone, more than 13 million people are expected to work out of coworking spaces by 2020.

As people adapt to this new style of working, it is critical to embrace new ‘rules’ or tenets for the new workspace.

Empower yourself in the co-working universe by implementing these seven tips on how to be a better co-worker:

Be disciplined: Coworking spaces are becoming the norm and for good reason. They provide the flexibility that today’s workers need to juggle various responsibilities and tackle the challenges of the fast-paced world. With flexibility comes a larger need to stay disciplined and focussed. Ensure you work during reasonable hours as it will help you interact and bounce off ideas with people that matter. Try not to get distracted by things happening around you. Work flexibility will give you peace of mind and equip you to focus better. As per a survey by Office vibe, 64% of people who co-work are better able to complete tasks on time and 68% are better able to focus while coworking

Share your expertise: While you learn from people more experienced than you, remember there are others who could also benefit from your expertise. A good co-worker is one who takes the time and initiative to help others as well. This is your time to give back for all the advice and mentorship you have received in your journey. Enable others and accommodate whenever help is sought out. This will indirectly motivate yourself and push you to work harder. According to Deskmag’s 2018 Global Coworking Survey, 84% people who cowork are more engaged and motivated. Help others in the community and you will excel at what you do.

Be open to learning from co-workers: An open, cohesive work environment that a co-working space provides is a great opportunity for you to pick up skills and ideas from your co-workers. Just a normal conversation with an equally driven person can light that bulb in your head. Working alongside energetic, ambitious, motivated individuals will throw open many learning opportunities and help you grow both professionally and personally. There’s something you can learn from everyone. A community-driven work environment and a sense of belonging is a big shift from being siloed in cubicles in traditional offices. This is one of the core reasons people thrive in coworking spaces, according to Harvard Business Review.

Networking Opportunities: One of the biggest perks of coworking spaces is the opportunity it provides to network with people from different industries. Leverage networking events to mingle, share ideas and find opportunities to partner with other entrepreneurs. Interact with new people on a day-to-day basis and broaden your horizon. The Officevibe survey reveals that 91% people have better interactions with others while coworking. 

Collaborate with like-minded people: In a coworking space, you are part of a tight-knit community. You will meet people who share the same interest, ambitions, values and goals. You will also meet people with different perspectives and insights. Use this unique opportunity to build relations and collaborate with co-workers from all walks of life. This will help you partner with the right people, thread innovation into your company and diversify your thinking. As Scott Belsky, Founder of Behance, famously said, “It’s not about ideas, it’s about making ideas happen.” What better way to do that than by collaborating!

Leverage the wide array of facilities: Coworking spaces today come with brilliant facilities to enable productive working. They are fitted with gym, crèche, yoga rooms and nap zones among others. Few leading coworking spaces also come with engaging amenities such as pet therapy and live music! These community events provide personal branding opportunities, so just make yourself and your business visible. At the same time, remember coworking spaces are just that – working spaces. Don’t get swayed away and use them as chill zones. While you should utilise the facilities there, do so to unwind from a hard day’s work or to channel your creativity. It is very easy to get distracted with all the shiny nice things around you. Remember why you are there and use your time effectively.

Follow unspoken co-working etiquettes: Like in any social setting, there are certain etiquettes that you must follow. As this is a shared space, you need to be mindful of other co-workers and ensure they are not disturbed or inconvenienced. If looking at a video or listening to music, ensure you have your headphones on. If you need to take a call, step outside or go to a conference room. Respect all the facilities provided to you, and share them appropriately. Do not hog the gym or game consoles or other amenities. Be respectful of the management. Keep the premises clean. Be considerate of others and do not polish off the pantry!

While startups and small businesses are leading the coworking revolution, it is expected that 50% of large corporates too will have some form of coworking by 2020. This means there is a good chance you will find yourself working in a coworking space if you are not already doing so. Embrace this new style of working as it is beneficial for your own growth and the industry at large. Gear yourself up with these tips and get ready for a great ride! 

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Topics: Diversity

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