As we recently discussed, the remote working phenomenon is gaining steam across the country, and almost 4 million Americans now work remotely at least part of the time. Because there are so many people in the remote working boat, telecommuters are now seeking out or building their own communities of like-minded professionals to alleviate some of the loneliness that comes from working solo. Coworking spaces are one way that you can both find your community and increase your productivity, provided that you set yourself up for success.
Know Your Work Style
Your work style is probably one of the biggest factors in determining your daily productivity, regardless of where you work. If you find that something like a particular noise level helps you get in the zone, it’s best to know that before you sign up for a coworking space so you can find the best location for your needs. Things like lighting, clutter, and background noise all impact your ability to concentrate and your ability to generate new ideas.
Pay attention to where you feel the most productive: is it when you’re in a coffee shop and can work amongst the buzz of quiet conversation? Is it when you’re somewhere that is completely silent and clutter-free? Look for these elements when you visit coworking spaces during your selection process.
Another thing to consider is your schedule. Do you like to work during traditional office hours, or are you a night owl? Pay attention to when the coworking space is open (and when staff is available) during your tours.
One of the best things about remote working is that you have more control over these environmental factors than your traditional office counterparts. You can choose an environment that is best suited to your needs, schedule, and work style. Not many traditional officer workers can say that! And if one coworking space doesn’t work out, you’re free to go elsewhere until you find a place that does.
Communication is Key
We all know how important good communication is in our work lives, but for remote workers, it’s an even higher priority. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to over-communicate when on a remote team. Regular video conferences and phone calls are great ways to check in, and chat applications like Slack have made staying connected much easier, too.
All this communication is a necessary part of your remote working day, but you must also be mindful of the other coworking space members around you. If you know you’ll be taking a lot of calls, look for a coworking space with a phone room or other private areas where you can talk without disturbing your fellow members (and without being disturbed yourself).
It’s important to give yourself the tools you need to stay focused while working from a coworking space. This all goes back to your work style that we mentioned earlier. Invest in the type of workspace that will be best for you overall, whether that’s a dedicated desk, hot desk, or a more private space. Bring some headphones with you so you can block out any unwanted chatter if you need to. And make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day to maintain your productivity and stay on track.
Get to Know Other Members
Remote working, for all its advantages, can start to feel kind of lonely. We’ve mentioned it before, but one of the biggest challenges remote workers say they face is isolation and a lack of community. It can be hard to put yourself out there and get to know the people who surround you, but it’s important to do just that. Many coworking spaces host things like happy hours and networking events, which give you an opportunity to get to know fellow members outside of the work environment.
And of course, there’s nothing wrong with striking up a conversation at the coffee maker during your workday. Making an effort to get to know other members will help combat the loneliness you may feel when working remotely. After all, what really separates coworking spaces from home offices is the people.