Growth in flexible workspace use (coworking) isn’t driven by remote workers’ need to get out of the house. It’s driven by the need to get out of their head.
Nine out of ten Suite Spotte shared workplace tours start off with some version of their need to get out of the house to find a place to focus on their work. The real story emerges by the time we finish the 20-minute tour. When at home on their own, they’re stuck in their head.
Their thoughts spin like laundry in a washing machine. The same old thoughts, often negative, circling around in their head with no diversion to break the vicious cycle.
The Case for Coworking
Take the case of Rodney. He recently toured Suite Spotte, our Chicago suburban coworking workplace, because he’s too distracted at home and needs to be more productive. Yet he described a beautiful new home office he carved out for himself that sounded like an office featured in WIRED.
His home workspace has gig-speed internet, three top-of-the-line monitors, two on a convertible standing desk and one on the wall. His desk chair alone is comparable to the investment he made in his Peloton; and the recently installed studio quality lighting and sound system rivals the cable networks. Yet Rodney can’t seem to get anything done.
I was honest with him by explaining that the most amazing, outfitted office in the world will not on its own make him highly productive. Rather, what Suite Spotte offers that his home office does not is exactly what Rodney needs. A community of people working independently, yet collectively.
Ask Forbes contributor and clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, Todd Essig, Ph.D., about the value of human connection. He’ll tell you that,
When you open yourself to others, growth happens.
Even one day a week working at Suite Spotte has won over many of our initially skeptical coworkers. It works for Rodney. Now see the value of coworking for yourself.
Buy a Suite Spotte flex desk day pass during April, and if you don’t see an improvement in your productivity and mood, we’ll refund your money.
For the price of a day pass, you’ll reap the benefits of an energized productive workspace with smart friendly people. I’ve heard it many times before, “I get more work done at Suite Spotte than I could ever get done at home, and in much less time.” Get out of your head, experience the value of coworking and come visit us today.
Suite Spotte’s Go-To-Grow Community membership features many coworking resources, one of the most popular being The HOT Seat. It’s here that members go for a weekly dose of camaraderie, motivation, answers, wisdom, laughter, and friendship. Work from home isolation quickly diminishes and true community connection happens because you are with people who get it and get you.
What is The HOT Seat?
Each week Suite Spotte members put aside whatever they are working on to jump on the one-hour virtual HOT Seat. Pre-pandemic we gathered in the conference room. Post-pandemic, The HOT Seat will be a hybrid of virtual and small group in-person gatherings. Either way, magic happens.
New ideas bubble to the top and take shape as budding opportunities. Tough challenges find viable solutions. Wins are celebrated and the pain from a recent failure soothed. Trending topics are explored from every angle, perspectives shared and debated.
This time for connection and sharing has been happening weekly at Suite Spotte since 2015 when members John Ryan and Mike Lambert launched the first HOT Seat. Although John has since moved on to new adventures in sunny Florida, Mike continues as a driving force behind The HOT Seat.
On any Friday at noon, you may find the courage to face a challenge, the answer to a problem, a vote of confidence, a new direction, or simply the reassurance that you aren’t alone. As a Suite Spotter, you not only have access to our coworking resources; you have the good fortune to belong to a community of smart, diverse, and supportive people who care as much about your success as their own.
After an hour you return to your work rewarded with a valuable “nugget” (as coined by Suite SpotterMark Akerley), and a welcome sense of belonging. All it took was for you to show up and be you.
Your small business has an office. You go there every day (probably for too many hours), get what you can done, and then leave wondering if you actually accomplished anything. You read an article about coworking and think it sounds pretty amazing, but know that you’re doomed to stay in the same office rut forever.
Or are you?
Now, more small business owners are freeing themselves from their offices a couple of days a week to reap the benefits of being surrounded by other successful, inspirational business owners. Like one visitor to Suite Spotte said, “It’s like a never-ending, no-pressure networking event. Plus, you actually get tons of work done!”
If you have ever been curious about using a coworking space as your second office, here are 6 benefits to leaving your office behind every once in a while and embracing coworking.
You could go to all the live conferences in the world and it still wouldn’t beat working closely with a group of other business owners and entrepreneurs day after day. Working this intimately together builds trust and confidence in each other, which in turn could lead to an infinite number of business partnership and referral opportunities.
Distractions can run rampant in an office. If an employee comes running in with an “urgent” yet simple question, any focus on that truly important task you were working on before that moment is lost.
There’s something to be said about working alongside a group of like-minded, driven and focused members of a coworking space. They are there to provide just the right amount of inspiration when you require it, yet know that when you’re in “work mode” that they need to stay away. Coworking members know this because they are all in the same productivity boat, creating a one-of-a-kind industrious environment.
Opportunities for Learning
Many coworking spaces hold events for members to help them grow and accomplish more in their personal and professional lives. Often these seminars are given by members of the coworking space, such as the Suite Spotte workshops. Not only is it a great way to get a new perspective or skill, but you also get to learn more about your fellow coworkers and their businesses.
Human beings are social creatures, so when we work in a solitary office, loneliness can set in. In coworking spaces, that never happens. Everyone gives you privacy when you need it, but you can go seek out social interaction during work breaks. Taking frequent breaks to socialize with others can even fuel creativity or inspire a different way to approach a problem.
Meeting Places for Clients
Where are you meeting your clients? If it isn’t beautiful yet rife with any technology you could ever need, you’re in the wrong place. With a coworking membership, you can book an hour or two in a state-of-the-art conference room and instantly impress any client. Not only does having your own meeting space look professional, it will also show your client that you’re innovative and a strong part of the entrepreneurial community.
See the Big Picture
Do you ever have big plans for the day but, when you sit behind your desk for the thousandth time, you seem to fall into the same pattern of chugging away at the details? You work hard all day, but wonder what you actually accomplished. Coworking is the antidote to this phenomenon.
It’s hard to fall into a rut when things are always different, moving, and getting stirred up. Innovative ideas are thrown around, others’ accomplishments are announced, and discussions about big plan are happening all the time. The energy practically forces you to look at the big picture, and take steps towards those big plans you are working toward.
No other work situation gives quite the community foundation and networking potential that coworking does. Leave your office behind and begin to embrace all the benefits coworking has to offer!
Do you have an office and also work out of a coworking space?
You got a coworking membership to really get some work done. You figure that you can’t help but be productive if you are surrounded by others who are busily working on their own projects. So, you put in your ear buds and get in the zone. You are a one-person powerhouse of productivity. And you’re doing coworking all wrong.
Coworking isn’t just about the work you can accomplish alone. It’s about connecting and collaborating with your fellow coworkers. It’s about bouncing around ideas and getting new perspectives. And while keeping your head down and concentrating is something every coworker has to do occasionally, networking is an essential part of the experience.
Here are some simple tips to successfully navigate the social atmosphere of your coworking space.
It all starts with one word….
Saying just one word can open up a realm of opportunities to you in your coworking space. If you’re an introvert, it’s understandable that this might be hard. Remember that if you’re new to the coworking space, there’s a good chance that most of the people there would like to get to know you; after all, networking is what a coworking space is for.
Start with greeting just one person. Once others see that you’re making an effort, they’ll start to initiate contact with you. As you’re conversing with people, let your passion shine through and others will start to believe in your business as much as you do.
Use the break areas wisely and strategically
The break area in a coworking space can prove as a great way to get to know people. While others are waiting for their food to heat up or stirring their coffee, you can initiate a conversation about current events or the coworking space in general.
However, you don’t want to start selling your business to a fellow coworker eating his lunch. Unlike a traditional networking event, a coworking space is not the place to hand out as many cards as possible. It can easily turn people off from any further communication with you.
Instead, ask questions about their business to get the conversation going.
Go to coworking space events
You don’t have to go to all the events offered, but going to one or two social or professional events during the month will show others that you want to be an active member of the space. This could be the time to take a stack of business cards with you so as you’re conversing with people, you can easily provide your contact information. You can even converse about the event afterwards on the coworking space’s social media pages. It will carry on the conversation for a long-term professional relationships.
Suite Spotte offers several events each month to help you connect. From Suite Symposiums to workshops, there are several ways for you to keep in touch with other coworkers.
Pay attention to where you can help
Does someone in the coworking space need a skillset that you happen to have? Speak up and offer your services to that person. Does someone need a good recommendation for a Thai place and you just happened to know a good one down the street? Forward them the menu.
Speaking up and helping another person gives you good credibility in the coworking space as a go-to person in your area, and you get to help someone else in the process. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Perhaps you’re starting up an event-planning service and a person sitting next to you does press releases. You might need a press release done for a client’s event, and you can potentially trade a press release for planning a press release workshop for someone. Bartering work is an easy way to get services that you need while “trying out” your coworkers before recommending them to your clients and customers.
Getting your work done is important, but it’s also valuable to network within your coworking space. The new friends you’ll meet and the collaborative projects that come out of those conversations will be well worth stepping away from your desk every now and then.