When it comes to distributed business and remote working, we can’t skip coworking offices. There are specific challenges in a coworking environment that you have to deal with, and apart from the cons, there are many-many pros as well which you should consider.
Coworking offices are hubs for freelancers and sole entrepreneurs. They serve as a fluid community. They are most likely spaces not just for work but events as well. Every coworking office is different of course but they have the same principles, and I tend to agree on the fact that those coworking offices are the successful ones that focus more on their community hub side, than their office setup. What does it mean?
I visited many coworking offices all around the world, and they rarely have a great office setup. Because all the office amenities, including chairs, tables, printers, and meeting rooms are shared among a fluid come-and-go group of people, they tend to be more mediocre. The chairs are OK at best and not designed for long working hours. There is a line to use the amenities. Meeting rooms are fully booked, and it is hard to jump on a call. The noise is almost unbearable if you are in the open shared common space. However, they have great socializing events, meetups and their community are wonderful. You have the chance to meet with other entrepreneurs, freelancers, and even customers.
Here are my go-to tips on coworking offices, so you can make the most out of them if you want to get work done there:
Get a headphone. Seriously, it will save your life. Plug in and get work done. It signals the most important thing: don’t bug me, I’m working. Coworking offices are very casual, and people tend to chat with you anytime, which is fine, except when you want to get work done.
If you can, mix the coworking experience with an actual office: book a separate room at a coworking office to work there. If you are in the room, you are focused and private. If you want to socialize, sit out to the common area and be approachable and chat with others.
Plan your meetings even more carefully and book meeting rooms in advance. The private meeting rooms are the most precious amenities, and busy coworking offices have fully booked rooms days in advance. Some of them have just small call-rooms, you can get meetings done there too. Because of the noise, you don’t want to have a call at the open space.
Check their events. It is the main reason why you are not working from home, to socialize with others and get sucked into a community of like-minded people.
Get social if you want. Coworking office people are open-minded and ready to have a conversation with you anytime. Except when they are wearing a headphone.
Be flexible. If you don’t like the atmosphere, switch to another coworking office. Be ready to move anytime so don’t commit yourself to multiple monthly passes anywhere.
Working at a coworking office can be challenging but also can be very rewarding. You can still keep the social elements of an office and get to know new people all day long. However, make sure you can even get things done too.