The 5 Behaviors that Make you a Co-Working Space Pro

Published: Wednesday, November 5, 2014   /   Categories: Education, Leadership

The nature of the American workforce is rapidly changing, with more of us telecommuting or starting businesses out of our homes than ever before.  It’s no surprise, then, that there’s been a recent surge in people taking up residency in co-working spaces.  Still, co-working might be an unfamiliar concept for many, and may be intimidating if you’re used to the office life (or, even better, the work in your pj’s all day at home life).  But it’s fast become a true microcosm of a new way of working and, perhaps more importantly, living.  Step into a co-working space and you’ll find yourself mixed in between freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers, each one navigating the workforce in a unique way.

1.       Get to Know Thy Neighbor

Let’s face it: “personal space” is a notion that pervades our culture.  We’re living in a world in which “minding your own business” is the holy grail. But what if we all pushed those boundaries?  If not out in the world, we can at least be more open and friendly at work, which could lead to something amazing. 

Put yourself out there and attend networking events, approach co-workers, talk to the stranger at the coffee bar – you’ll be surprised by the results.  Working out of a co-working space is a particularly easy, natural way to meet new people every day.  Your instinct will be to keep to yourself, but try something different.  Make sure not to distract your neighbors, but also make a point of introducing yourself to your tablemates.  A staggering number of companies were birthed between unacquainted members who struck up conversation one day. Don’t limit your boldness to the co-working space…go ahead and introduce yourself to your seatmate on the train or plane.  You might be surprised by how happy people are to have spontaneous interactions with strangers.

2.       Keep an Open Mind

Entering any situation with lofty expectations can be dangerous, but this is especially the case in the world of collaborating.  While it’s important to set goals, make sure to stay open to new (and sometimes scary) ideas.  True success comes when we are open to uncertainty.

3.       Don’t be Intimidated

Co-working spaces are filled with ambitious, motivated, smart people.  But don’t let their level of intellect or experience scare you.  Instead, take it as an opportunity to learn from the best and brightest.  Often, experienced entrepreneurs are actually eager to get the fresh input of those with less business acumen.  Diversity of intellect and success will only increase your odds of a synergistic collaboration.

4.       As for Help

Once you’ve mastered the art of self-awareness in the previous steps, convince yourself that it’s good to ask for help.  You’re not going to be an expert in every area.  Most times, your peers will be pleased to dole out advice.  If you find someone you look up to professionally, utilize their skills and experience, as they are usually pleased to share what they know with you.

5.       Change Environments. Often!

We are creatures of habit, and many of us tend to plop down in the same seat every day.  If given the opportunity to sit somewhere new every day (as you are in a co-working space), try to do so.  Not only will it inspire creativity and new ideas, but it will also increase your chances of meeting at least one new person every day. 

Getting out of your workspace occasionally is just as important as moving around within it.  Work out of a public park or at home a few times a month.  Changing up your environment will keep you happy, productive, and ripe for collaboration.

Excerpts taken from the website www.99u.com


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