Coworking

"Working From Home: For Better Or For Worse"

As the workforce is evolving to catch up with rapidly developing technology, and office spaces are attempting to become more environmentally and economically friendly, working from home has become an appealing solution for employees and employers. More and more workers are taking advantage of efficient technology and choosing to work from home, but few consider all the resources at their disposal before setting up their home office. This said, while the thought of working from your couch is certainly tempting, there are a variety of factors to consider before making the transition.

Pros:

Aside from working exclusively in comfy clothes, there are many obvious appeals to working from home. You can set your own hours, work when you’re most productive, in a space where you feel comfortable and confident. There’s complete autonomy over how you want to spend your day, without the stress of a commute to work, or the hustle and bustle of a potentially very busy office. There’s the option to choose what you want your work environment to look (or sound like), crafting your chosen workplace to suit your individual, professional needs.

Cons:

Although working from home may seem ideal, there are some unspoken disadvantages to take into consideration. Seemingly lovely perks, like setting your own schedule, also mean maintaining your focus in a realm of distractions and keeping your productivity levels up without support from your coworkers. Further, difficulties focusing can be accompanied with anxiety about one’s worth as an employee, and pressure to make oneself available at all hours of the day, so as to appear busy. The “out of sight, out of mind” mentality can result in loneliness, which can eventually lead to career burnout. There is a lot to juggle, with little of the support that coworkers, a set routine, and a communal space provide, leaving many once optimistic workers feeling isolated and defeated.

So, is there a way to have the best of both worlds? To take part in the growing trend of working remotely, while also maintaining a supportive, productive, and functional environment? Avoiding isolation will make the transition all the easier, especially if you’re choosing to work in a motivational, supportive space. Coworking is the “healthy medium” between working from home and working in a traditional office space. It offers the flexibility of working remotely, but you’ll be working amongst other professionals, providing the support, encouragement and motivation that a traditional workplace offers. In short, coworking offers all the benefits of working from home, without isolation and distractions, and the added benefit of being a part of a supportive community.  You’ll become acquainted with likeminded professionals who offer unique networking opportunities, and personal and professional support. Coworking offers you an environment that separates work from home, but offers the option to blur those lines, should you so choose. It combats isolation, offers free coffee, and still has a positive impact environmentally and economically

"Working Hard or Hardly Working: Searching For Productivity"

When it comes to productivity, there are so many factors to take into consideration. The smallest things like motivation, distractions, or the environment in which you’re working can have a monumental impact on your productivity but can be taken care of once you find a space that offers the support you need. This said, here are three important things to consider when trying to find the perfect space to get stuff done:

  • Distractions

If you’re a freelancer or remote worker without a set office, the comforts of home will soon become the distractions of home. It’s difficult to find a balance between work and play in a setting that you associate with play, or offers enough temptations to convince you not to work. A coffee shop offers a similar problem. Oftentimes, a coffee shop offers a lounge setting that many people will take advantage of to catch up with a friend, talk on the phone, or meet new people. While this is certainly nice, it’s far from a distraction free environment. In a coworking space, you’ll not only receive all the comforts of home, but you’ll be surrounded by people who are also working hard. Better still, in a coworking space, casual chats with your coworkers can spark new ideas, new connections, and create networking opportunities: you’ll be productive without even knowing it! Comfort, no distractions, free coffee: what more could you want?

  • Generating New Ideas

Hubs of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers are all an incredible asset to your work. While home offices and coffee shops are certainly nice short term, the coworking alternative offers the interaction with other entrepreneurs, freelancers, and professionals that can increase your productivity and business connections.  Coworking not only provides community and relationships with likeminded people, it also provides an endless amount of resources and support. It has a special way of connecting people you never would have expected to meet.

  • Other People Being Productive = You Being Productive

Finding the motivation to be productive, or that spark of inspiration, is something that many professionals strive for, and something that is heavily influenced by where you choose to work. Working from home is certainly appealing, but there’s also little external motivation to enhance your productivity. The same can be said of the coffee shop. Although there are fewer distractions, there’s little of the support that’s essential for professional growth. In a coworking space, you’ll be surrounded by other working professionals, encouraging you to keep your focus. Better yet, a room full of likeminded individuals can offer advice, support, and business connections: resources that are incredibly beneficial to professionals.

When in search of a place to work, it’s all about what your workplace has to offer you, considering what you need to be productive. Not only does everyone work differently, but every space prioritizes different things, or has a specific purpose. All you need to do is find a space that motivates you or caters to your needs as a professional, whether that be in a home office, a coffee shop, or a coworking space.

"Keeping Your Office Organized: 3 Organizational Tips From Someone Who Interned For Lawyers and Business Owners"

When you work in a bustling office setting, keeping everything organized can become difficult, especially if you don’t quite know where to start. After interning for both lawyers and business owners, I’ve come to understand the many benefits of staying organized, as well as the uncertainty of not having the structure that organization brings. With this in mind, here are three tips that will make life at the office easier for you, and your coworkers:

  • Label everything

The first thing to note when organizing your office, is that labels are your best friend. Make sure that they’re visible, easy to read, and if possible, detailed. An unclear label defeats the purpose of having a label. For example, a file reading “disclosure” is not as effective as a file reading “completed disclosure forms”. Small changes like these will save you, and your coworkers, a lot of time, stress, and confusion, and will make sure that nothing important gets lost in the shuffle.

  • Create a system that anyone could follow

Having everything organized in a way that’s best for you is certainly nice, but if you want to ensure that it stays well organized, consider a system that is easy for anyone to adapt to. Should your system become too complicated, you may find it becomes innocently disorganized in other’s attempts to help or find what they need. To avoid this chaos, always remember that someone completely unaware of how you’ve organized something should have your system figured out at a mere glace.  Organizing something alphabetically or by date are means that are both common and effective. Consistency is also important. Once you commit to an organization strategy, follow through with it. For example, if you’re filing member agreements alphabetically by last name, make sure that all the member agreements are filed this way. This will help you avoid losing something important, and help you find something quickly.

  • Communication is key

Much like anything, communication is the key to maintaining organization in an office space. Be sure to inform your coworkers if you’re borrowing or moving something and put it back where you found once you’re done. In the case that you are reorganizing, keep your coworkers in the loop, and be sure to work together to create a system that works best for everybody. Everything will be more likely to stay organized this way, and you’ll ensure that the new system is something everyone can maintain.

Organization is far from universal. There’s a different system in every office, at every desk space, perceived differently by each individual. While it’s certainly difficult to find a system to please everyone, it is important to take the majority into consideration, to make everything easy and accessible.  It will not only make your life easier, but it will also improve efficiency, and moral, at everyone’s desk.

"How To Have Your Cake And Eat It Too: Being A Tenant With All The Amenities Of A Coworking Space"

Being a tenant in a coworking space means that your surroundings entertain two extremes: either the isolation of an office space, or the hustle and bustle of the coworking space. But how can you enjoy both to their utmost? Is there a way to enjoy the solitude of your office while also experiencing the community aspect of coworking? Explore these three tips, and see how you can have the best of both worlds!

  1. Come to events

If you’re someone who needs to work out of their office but is enticed by their coworking community, participate in events! They allow you to get the most out of your office, while also interacting with your coworking community. Because you may not be working alongside your fellow coworkers, events are a great way to stay grounded in the community, relax, create connections, and enjoy your coworkers’ company in an interactive setting.

  •  Have a presence

By using communal spaces, you can take time to dabble in the community when you’re comfortable, and then recede to your office space when you need to. Have a presence in the coworking space by taking a few moments every day to interact with others in the building. Even saying a quick “good morning” before you start your day will give you some engagement with the community! 

  • Coworking vs Office Space: Why Choose?

The great thing about being a tenant in a coworking space is that you have options. You can choose whether you want to work in your office, or in the communal coworking space. Don’t be afraid to use that option to your advantage! Take some time to explore both working environments; you certainly don’t have to be confined to your office. By using communal spaces, you can take time to dabble in the community when you’re comfortable, and then recede to your office space when you need to.

The incredible thing about coworking is that everyone does it differently: there’s not a “right” way to approach coworking. If you’re a tenant with an office space, engage with your community in a way that feels the most comfortable. For example, if you’re someone who loves working around lots of people, your fellow coworkers will be more than happy to see you in the communal spaces, but if you prefer working alone, you’ll be greeted with equal enthusiasm when you choose to resurface. Creating an environment where you can have your cake and eat it too is subjective. You’ll only feel like you’re getting the best of both worlds if you’re enjoying your coworking experience, regardless of what that may look like.

"3 Ways To Break The Ice At Your New Coworking Space"

Coworking spaces often discuss the beauty of the communities they’ve built, but when you’re about to join that community for the first time, those first introductions can be intimidating. Although you certainly don’t have to be nervous, there are three important things to remember when you’re the new kid on the block and looking to connect with others at your coworking space.   

  • Sit in communal spaces for the first few days

Something important to keep in mind is that you’ll be more likely to meet new people if you’re around people. Take some time to sit in communal spaces; you’ll become more familiar, more approachable, and appear as if you’re interested in engaging with your new coworkers. Further, you’ll also become more familiar with the pace of the coworking space, perhaps giving you more confidence to introduce yourself or interact with the space itself.

  • Mix personal and professional conversation

Coworking is so much more than sharing an office space, it’s about building relationships, making connections, and growing both personally and professionally in a shared space. This said, you can’t build well rounded relationships with your new coworkers if you are keeping your conversations one-sided. When meeting someone new, try to present an honest picture of yourself. Discuss your job, your hobbies, and be open and engaging in the face of new conversation. The relationships you build while coworking are invaluable, so be open minded; the beauty of coworking is that you never know who you’ll meet, and what they can offer.

  • Participate in events

Because so many coworking spaces are passionate about building community, they often offer events that are a great way to connect with new people. You’ll not only learn something new, but you’ll be sharing an experience with other coworkers. Events create opportunities to have a conversation and meet new people, so when you participate in events and workshops, it shows that you’re interested in being a part of the community.

Each coworking community is unique. Every space will boast different professionals, different events, and different dynamics. While it may seem intimidating at first, the beauty of these invaluable spaces is that they all have something special to offer you, including the relationships you make while you’re in that space. Further still, remember that your new coworkers will learn something from you as well. Coworking is a learning experience for everyone, and you get to contribute to that.

"5 Things You Should Know If You’re Considering Coworking"

In recent years, coworking has become increasingly popular, attracting people from countless professions who are looking to experience more engaging, creative work environment. Each coworking space is different and offers unique experiences to their coworkers, so it’s important to know what you’re hoping to get out of your coworking space. There’s a lot to consider, but there are five important things you should know about coworking whilst searching for your perfect coworking space.

  • Does the vibe of the space suit your needs? (Louder and more conversational/ quiet and individualistic/ a mix of the two?)

Always keep in mind that a coworking space is where you’re going to need to be productive and comfortable. Pick a space that has a vibe you’ll be able to work to your utmost potential in. For example, if you’re someone who likes a lot of background noise when they’re working, choose a high energy coworking space with lots of traffic and communal space. However, if you’re someone who likes complete silence when you’re working, be sure to pick a space with quieter coworkers, and a nice space where you can work alone if you need to. If you’re uncomfortable and unproductive in your coworking space, it’s probably not a good fit for you. Take a good look around, be observant! Most coworking spaces have a drop-in rate, so you can experience the space and see if it’s the right fit for you before you purchase a membership. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all!

  • Can the coworking space accommodate you professionally?

If you’re work requires you to be on the phone frequently, or meeting with clients, then these are things you need to consider when scoping out a coworking space. The right space for you will meet all your needs and allow you to work with ease. If you’re meeting with clients, make sure that they have a conference room that can be available, and have a quiet space to make calls are all things you should take into consideration. Your coworking space should be someplace where you can work with ease, and if it can offer you everything you need, it’ll just make your coworking experience all the better!

  • What does the space offer to create a sense of community?

Every coworking space approaches community differently, so all you have to do is find one that matches your needs. Some spaces are not community oriented at all, whereas others are very focused on networking and connecting. If you’re someone who craves community, try to look for a space with lots of events and activities that you can be apart of. However, if you’re someone who prefers a more subdued environment, find a space where your social obligations are limited to friendly conversations with your desk mates!

  • Do they have space where you can choose to work comfortably (couches, lounges, etc.) or at a desk?

Being able to work comfortably is important, so when looking for your perfect coworking space, see what they can offer you in terms of comfort. Do they have couches, lounges, or cozy chairs? Are there lots of different places where you can sit and work? Places like these are not only great for productivity, but they also create an awesome setting in which to form personal relationships with your fellow coworkers.

  • What do they offer besides a place to work?

The special thing about coworking is that each coworking space offers something different. Sometimes their offerings are something included in the price, such as free coffee/tea and snacks, but other times, they might offer an engaging community, a welcoming environment, or kind, likeminded people. If there’s a coworking space that you’re interested in, see if you can drop in for the day. Engage with some of the people coworking there and try to imagine yourself working there everyday.

When it comes to coworking, every space offers something unique. There’s no “right way” to cowork, just like there’s no “perfect coworking space”. Everyone’s experience with coworking is inimitable; everyone works differently, and each coworking space offers them a unique community and environment. Regardless of where you choose to cowork, coworking is an incomparable experience. It offers a whole new level of support, encouragement, and professional engagement that you truly cannot get anywhere but a coworking space.

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