Coworking; How to network in your coworking space
It’s no secret that networking is a necessity when it comes to starting, growing, and improving business. Any career-oriented person has dipped their foot in some type of networking agenda. Whether it be a happy hour or an alumni event, This part of business is one that should not, and perhaps cannot, be avoided.
A great advantage of coworking is the ability to network while at work. The open spaces, comfortable work areas, and community-oriented layouts encourage a form of communication that doesn’t necessarily exist in a regular office environment.
Though the ability to effectively network comes naturally to many, for others, it can be the hardest part of the job. Coworking may encourage the activity, but if the benefits are not taken advantage of, the results lie flat. According to Forbes online magazine, the biggest networking mistake one can make is limiting your network, i.e. sticking with those who have similar interests and goals. Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does This closes us off to the people we may not realize are our ideal collaborators. So, to prevent this from holding your business back, we’ve come up with some ways that you and your company can best take advantage of the coworking network perks.
- Attend events - Those emails you receive ever so frequently that are likely ignored more than read? Though they may come across as yet another potentially boring event to foster awkward conversation, they are created with the intention that people will actually show up, hang around, and speak to one another. It seems obvious, but is actually harder to create successfully than one might expect. USE these opportunities. Get to know these companies. Let them USE you and your business to aid their business. You might be surprised with how useful this simple attendance can be.
"The open spaces, comfortable work areas, and community-oriented layouts encourage a form of communication that doesn’t necessarily exist in a regular office environment."
- Host events - Perhaps even more effective than attending another company’s event, your business may want to consider hosting its own. This provides you with the opportunity to tell other people what you do, without feeling that your asserting your network into unwanted places. Chances are if people show up, they probably want to hear about you and your business! So, tell them. Show them. Share with them. And (hint, hint), all of this is more easily accomplished provided drinks and snacks are involved.
- Use the space - This one may seem obvious. However, how often do we really USE the coworking areas. I don’t just mean sitting on our laptops for 8 hours on the comfy couches in the middle of the floor. Picking up a conversation with someone new- asking about their work and what they do. We have this unique opportunity given the space we work in, one that we may not always realize could promote and better our businesses.
- Take advantage of online communication - We have fully entered the age of social media and technology. While old school person to person networking still goes a long way, this new version introduces the “extra mile.” Just as you want your business to gain an online presence, so do your coworkers! Follow them, reach out to them, learn about them! Afterall, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want more likes?
At IgnitedSpaces, we want to help make the process of growing your business as smooth as possible, and networking is not the easiest part of the job. However, with the environment provided by the coworking space, we hope to make it just that much easier.