Tips, tricks, and tech to make the most out of your coworking experience
Make Coworking Work
After speaking to owners and employees of eight different coworking spots across the country, one thing is clear – we’re all forgetting our chargers.
We also gathered plenty of tips on what to pack, how to make connections, and what’s considered poor form – we’re looking at you coworking nail clipper.
What should I pack?
The before mentioned chargers are just the beginning. Our experts also suggested water bottles, sweaters, snacks, and a good set of noise canceling headphones.
Zoltan Szalas, the cofounder of coworking membership platform Croissant swears by JBL Everest 700 headphones. “They have an amazing noise cancellation function when you turn them on,” he told us. “Once you put on some music you won’t be able to hear any noise around you.”
What tech do I need?
Erin Gifford the marketing director at Cove, with coworking locations in DC and Boston, suggests myNoise, a site that allows users to customize your noise machines. (Read up on myNoise on the Cove company blog.)
“If your coworking space has a communication tool (we use Slack) USE IT!!,” says Sarah Coker of Vessel Coworking, also in Austin. “It’s fantastic for networking, helping each other out with specific trades (‘help I need a lawyer/designer/UX person/writer etc.’).”
How can I meet other members?
Head to the pantry. Almost every coworking employee we spoke to said the pantry or kitchen was the place to meet other members. You’ll know for sure that the member isn’t busy at work if they’re grabbing a snack or a cup of coffee.
Take your business cards out. Shana Glenzer, the CMO at MakeOffices, which has multiple locations in DC, Philadelphia and Chicago, told us.”Business cards are crucial. You’re constantly meeting new members, who may have the insights or connections to help move your business forward.”
“Make sure you know the community manager,” suggested Felicity Maxwell, a partner at fibercove, another coworking space in Austin. “They facilitate lots of events and generally know everyone in the space, so when they know you, you’ll know everyone else.”
How can I be most productive?
“Move around in the space,” said Gifford. “Cove provides a variety of seating options, including group desks, individual desks, lounge sections, standing desks, and quiet versus social sections. Depending on the task at hand, discover the seating area that works best for you.”
“Be consistent,” said Vessel’s Coker. “Make a plan with a coworker friend that you’ll meet for coffee there every morning at 9:00 or something. You’re on your own, so the temptation to use a coworking space as a supplement is real, but we see the most success with people doubling down and making this their work home.”
What shouldn’t I do?
“You never wanted to be that college roommate who left dirty dishes in the sink for days, and you don’t want to be that kind of coworking member,” said MakeOffices’ Glenzer.
Another faux pas: “Sleeping on communal couches!” said Lisa Skye Hain, a co-founder, of health and wellness focused coworking space Primary, in New York City. “Unless it is clearly marked ‘nap area/room’, it isn’t cool to curl up on random couches in coworking spaces.”
The most common coworking sin is speaking loudly on the phone, we were told. “Spaces have phone booths for a reason,” said Croissant’s Szalas. “Chances are no one wants to hear your sales pitch for the 20th time. You need to make calls–a lot of them? Get a phone booth for a few hours and pitch away.”
And we think this one should go without saying, but Chang over at BLANKSPACES said, “Please don’t clip your nails here.”
Our Coworking Experts:
Zoltan Szalas, Co-Founder, Croissant
Coworking passports in NYC, DC, and Boston
Erin Gifford, Marketing Director, Cove
Locations in DC and Boston
Jerome Chang, Founder, Architect, and Owner, BLANKSPACES
Three locations in LA
Sarah Coker, Co-Founder and Manager, Vessel Coworking
Located in Austin
Shana Glenzer, CMO, MakeOffices
Locations in Chicago, Philadelphia, and DC
Stormy McBride, Community Manager, Link Coworking
Locations in Austin
Felicity Maxwell, Partner, fibercove
Located in Austin
Lisa Skye Hain, Co-founder, Primary
Located in NYC
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