Coworking 101 - Top tips for coworking newbies
So you’re embracing hybrid working. You’re enjoying the flexibility of working between the home and the office. But you want to try something new - a more inspiring space than the four walls of home, a means to mix things up mid-week and boost your productivity, or a place to meet and work around a diverse mix of people. In short: you want to try coworking!
But how does it all work? How do you find a space, what do you look for, and how does it work practically when you’re there? Don’t worry as the experts are here to help. With a combined 20+ years of coworking experience under our belts, and over 150 spaces visited between us, we’re here to share the top tips for finding your flow and feeling comfortable, productive and excited to spend some of your work days coworking.
Step 1: Finding your ideal coworking space
The easiest starting point is the starting point of all things: Google. You’ll instantly see how many spaces are close-by, and whether you’ve got a range to choose from or just one or two. When deciding on which space could be good for you, consider: what the space looks like from their photos; whether their website mentions anything about day-passes or drop-in hot desking; and if you think the vibe you get from their social media will fit what you’re after.
If you want a more streamlined, hassle-free search option instead, where the quality filtering work is already done for you, you can use a platform like One Coworking, either by app or online. We’ve already found the best spaces with great work environments, and you can even refine your search within the app by the amenities offered in a space and the general vibe.
Once you’ve found your space, it’s good to get in touch in advance to let them know you would like to visit. You can do this by emailing them, or directly via the One Coworking app using the desk reservation feature. This gives you comfort knowing that they will be expecting your arrival, and gives the space the chance to send any info you might need about your visit..
Step 2: What to expect on arrival
Step one might still be finding the space - some are very clear buildings or shopfronts, but sometimes coworking spaces do a good job of being tucked away. Look out for any specific instructions from the space either in their booking email, on their website or on the listing in One Coworking. If all else fails, do some Google detective work based on photos of the space. Or just give them a call if you’re a bit lost!
When you arrive there will likely be a host on the front desk to let you in, register you and welcome you to the space. It’s their job to make you feel comfortable and well-provided for whilst there, so don’t be afraid to let them know it’s your first time - both at their space and coworking generally! They will get you checked-in, give you a tour, let you know how you can you use the space and which areas or zones are best for which specific type of work. Plus they’ll give the all-important wifi details and how to get coffee.
Don’t be afraid to ask the host any questions throughout the day, no matter how small or silly they seem. They are there to help and they will want to ensure you’re getting the most out of their space. From where the toilets are, to how to get the coffee machine working, to local lunch spot recommendations - ask away!
Step 3: Dos and don’ts in the space
Now that you’re settled into the space, you might need some basic dos and don'ts from working in a shared workspace.
- DO say hi or introduce yourself to the people working around you 👋
- DO make use of different areas in the space throughout the day 🏃♀️
- DO check with the host where you can make phone calls 📞
- DON’T talk loudly or for hours on the phone in the open space - even if it’s allowed, you still need to keep it to a conversational level 📢
- DON’T leave your dirty dishes at your desk or on the sink 🍴
- DON’T spread yourself out across two or three desks 🎒
- DO have a look around at all the space on offer, find your most comfortable spot, take photos for your Instagram (make sure you tag the space!) and enjoy being in a beautiful inspiring space for the day. 🤳
Whilst you might not find your perfect coworking space first go, these tips should hopefully help you feel more comfortable breaking the ice when visiting a new space for the first time. There are lots of different work spaces with different features, design, feel, people and vibe, so you might need to try out a few spots before finding what fits you best.
Ultimately a coworking space should help you find some focus and productivity; improve your mental health and wellbeing; give you the chance to meet some new people and connect with a community; and get you out of the house into a workspace which excites and resonates with you.
This article was written by Samantha Hulls, operation manager at One Coworking.