A professional work environment is crucial for the growth of any startup. It helps bring teams closer together, achieve maximum productivity, and establish the legitimacy of your brand to prospective clients. Due to the rising costs of office rents, more companies are now turning to shared, coworking spaces to reduce their overhead costs. According to Research Done by Ooma, the number of coworking spaces ballooned from only 1,130 in 2011 to 13,800 in 2017.
Unlike traditional offices, most coworking spaces emphasize the convenience of its tenants by providing benefits such as free coffee, snacks, open lounges, and game rooms. It also gives them the opportunity to connect with likeminded individuals who can potentially become partners or even leads.
But despite these advantages, coworking also has a few downsides. For example, if the coworking space has an open floor layout, then you have little control on the amount of noise generated by others. Looking for a location that’s accessible to every member your team is also a big challenge, especially if you built your startup with remote workers.
If you need to make coworking spaces work for your startup, then you need to adopt a few simple strategies.
1. Take Advantage of 1-Day Coworking spaces Rentals
Ideally, you need to look for a coworking space you can commit to. This allows you to forge deep connections with other workers, take advantage of any existing membership benefits, and avail long-term discounts.
But before you jump the gun and sign up for a full membership, inquire first if the coworking space offers one-day rentals. If they do, plan a visit to see firsthand if the space suits your startup’s needs. To aid your search, you can use shared office space finders like ShareDesk and Coworker.com.
2. Participate in Events
A lot of coworking spaces organize events for their community — ranging from knowledge sharing events to acquaintanceship parties. Some of which are sponsored by tenant companies, while others are planned by the management itself. Either way, attending these events is a great way to quickly associate your team with co-workers.
3. Incorporate Cloud-Based Tools
Since every single day in your coworking space is paid, you might as well make every hour count. Rather than discussing everything face-to-face with your team, make communication a constant component in your company culture. This can be done with cloud-based collaboration tools like Trello, Slack, and Basecamp.
4. Emphasize Professionalism
Another issue with coworking is that the spaces typically give off a “casual” vibe. Rather than focusing on their tasks, co-workers may find themselves frequently chatting, using social media, or walking around the facility due to the lack of strict house rules and supervision.
To make sure your team makes full use of productive hours, implement the use of time-tracking software like Toggl. This is a good replacement for timesheets, which most — if not all — coworking spaces lack.
5. Unwind as a Unit
It’s not unusual for teams to feel fragmented despite collaborating in a coworking space. Sure, professionalism and productivity are important, but if you want your startup to grow, you also need to invest in the relationships between team members.
Whenever you get the chance to do something non-work-related, such as having lunch or de-stressing with tea after work, do it together as a unit. Such opportunities may be hard to come by, but even an hour of bonding outside a professional environment works wonders for your startup’s culture.