You are working among the some of the most talented people in your industry and in others. Plus, your plan offers you entrée into numerous networking events. More significantly, though, the place hosts a happy hour, and better yet, a barista that serves late night coffee.
The perks of this office format have done wonders for your concentration levels, as the telly and your mobile make for numerous distractions at home. However, while you do enjoy co-working, you are not maximising your co-working community in a way that helps with business growth. For many Australian professionals, co-working spaces transform their businesses simply because of the types of workday interactions.
Continue reading to find out how you can parlay your co-working space into a solid business network.
One of the major advantages to working in this space is, while you work in a business atmosphere, many of these offices are set up to encourage social interaction, especially if working at a hot desk. The hot desk is the hub of much activity and social interaction. At many of these desks, it is not unheard of to see professionals working but also engaging in conversation, some of it idle, useless chatter and much of it the stuff that builds collaboration.
Use this space as a first contact connection you make with professionals within your industry and in other industries as well. You might find that small conversation regarding the weather can be the first step toward your next major referral. Check out Servcorp Australia’s Co-working space at http://www.servcorp.com.au/en/coworking/ to see how co-working spaces might be organised to promote social interaction.
Do not be afraid to let your hair down. In an atmosphere where supervisors often socialise with their subordinates, where it is common practice to swear in the office, and where happy hour is an office meeting in and of itself, Australian professionals should get to know some of their co-working professionals on a personal note. Whether griping about a client, bragging about clinching a contract or just out and out sharing gossip about a neighbour (nothing too risqué), connecting with others in the office on a personal note again can be entrée into building your network.
Plan to make a certain number of office connections a week. Because co-working spaces usually are comprised of professionals from a diverse array of industries, you can meet people across industries, which widens your network and raises your profile. Whether it means staking out the coffee shop or attending each and every workshop and networking event, plan to collect business cards, shake hands and meet other professionals in the workspace.
Another way to connect with others in your co-working community is to host events yourself. Whether it is a simple breakfast, a themed meeting, barbecue or movie night, take part in the community that makes up your office by reaching out to others. Not only will you bring people into your circle of friends, these events can be the conduit for building your network.
When searching for a space, find a community whose values align with your own brand. Australia’s co-working landscape is comprised of different spaces, some that cater to general industry and some that are industry-specific. Niche co-working spaces that cater to startups, tech companies or green businesses often have a mission that can help promote these industries. Likewise, while you do not necessarily have to go with a niche specific co-working community, finding a space whose mission supports your brand can go a long way in building your network.
Networking With Confidence
By virtue of the fact that the co-working space is a social one, professionals have so many opportunities to connect with others. Furthermore, the format of these offices creates a prime opportunity for social interaction. For you, though, your network begins with the first conversation.