Coworking spaces are a game-changer when it comes to freelance work and small business. With their increased flexibility and affordability, many people are now choosing to use shared spaces long-term instead of renting or buying an office. If you are looking at switching to a coworking model, here are five tips to help you make the most of it:
1. Try a shared space before going private
Many coworking spaces offer private and shared workspace options. If you’re new to this environment, definitely start off with a shared space ‘open desk’ option where you can choose to work from any available desk. For one, it’s significantly cheaper, but more importantly, it allows you to try different seats so that you can make a better-informed decision if you want a dedicated desk later. This way, you will also have the chance to get to know the community that uses the space which is what coworking is all about!
2. Make use of the on-site facilities
Your coworking membership can potentially help you cull other expenses from your budget. For example, having access to meeting rooms means your client catch-up no longer needs to be at cafes and at your expense! If your package includes on-site gym facilities, shower, and laundry areas, then why continue to pay for your gym membership? Sometimes, people are so quick to choose their space based on the location that they overlook all the inclusions of their plan. Don’t make this mistake. Select a shared office that comes with perks designed to help you get your money’s worth.
3. Consider a virtual office add-on
If you want to further enhance your professional image or are still missing certain aspects of having your own base, a virtual office is a great way to do this. While you are physically working from your coworking space, a virtual office can provide you with a professional business address, mail management, a dedicated phone number, and even a virtual receptionist to take care of the calls for you. This way, you can focus on your business and never miss a business opportunity again.
4. Maintain a routine
A lot of coworking spaces are open 24 hours for their members, but you should be wary if you find yourself staying back longer than you planned and burdening your mental health. To avoid this, it’s best to work out your schedule in advance. This could be as simple as promising yourself a time limit when you go in or writing yourself a weekly roster. Doing so will equip you with the ability to maintain a work-life balance. It will also help you get accustomed to how busy the workspace is during your chosen times, so you can plan your visits better.
5. Attend the weekly events
It can be easy to dismiss your ‘coworkers’ since you don’t work together directly. However, a lot can be gained from getting to know people in a coworking space. While mingling during work can distract from your productivity, attending events hosted by the space can be a great networking opportunity to learn more about your coworkers and perhaps open up future connections and collaborations. Even if all you get out of your first events is learning a few people’s names, having someone to say hello to when you come into work helps create a better sense of belonging.
It may require some adjustments at first, but with these tips in mind, your coworking space will become an asset to your business as it blossoms into your professional community.