You may have heard of coworking but still be a little unsure of exactly what it is and what it is all about. Coworking is a phenomenon that is changing the way in which modern work is being done. It is essentially a group of professionals working alongside each other in a shared office space that they rent out from a coworking space provider. A quick internet search for ‘coworking space near me’ will likely show you quite a few results, maybe even more than you might expect.
In business the old saying goes ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ and with that in mind, networking and making connections is still the name of the business game. Shared workspaces offer a huge advantage because by effectively networking with other like-minded professionals who share the space, you have the opportunity to create long-lasting business connections that will be inherent to your success.
Keep reading for some tips if you are struggling to make connections and effectively network in a shared space or coworking environment.
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Strike Up A Conversation
This is simple, tried and tested and a straightforward networking strategy that you can implement right away. Strike up a conversation with a fellow coworker by asking them how long they’ve been a member of the space or if they would like to go and grab a coffee at lunchtime or even better, a beer at the end of the day. Keep in mind to stick to small talk initially and try not to jump straight to your elevator pitch or handing out business cards as this could be seen as a little bit of self-promotional desperation.
Attend Networking Events
Premium coworking space providers often host community events to promote networking and collaboration between members. Use this opportunity to your advantage and attend these events if you truly want to make connections with others. Often shared workspace providers will offer access to an online community of like-minded driven professionals around the globe as well. This means that you can take your networking efforts international through your laptop or perhaps even in real life if you travel for work and your coworking service provider is a global one.
If a coworking colleague comes to you with a problem or dilemma that you can help them out with by sharing your expertise, skillset or knowledge, jump at the chance to help them out. They will remember your efforts and be forever grateful. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved and this kind of collaboration breeds creativity. Also, if a coworker feels like they owe you one then who knows what collaboration opportunities that might be open up in the future?
Collaborate With Creativity
If you are open with your coworkers about your skills and can offer them as a trade to help them out from time to time, then they may return the favour. Even if you don’t think that you’ll necessarily ever need their services in the future, they are more likely to recommend your services to others if they have a positive impression of you and you did a great job for them.
Network Your Way To Success
So, networking in a shared office space is as simple as being open and genuine, making conversations, putting your passions to the fore, showing up to events and using what the platform is providing you with to your advantage. By making connections with your peers in a coworking space you are sure to be on the road to business success.