The first step in maximizing your coworking experience is making the right selection.
Coworking spaces offer a variety of benefits for those seeking an alternative to the traditional office. Besides the more evident advantages of reduced isolation and lower overhead costs, joining a coworking space offers unique opportunities and benefits. From expanding your professional network, to gaining new skills, sparking new ideas, or getting connected to resources and support for your projects, these spaces are hosted and curated to accelerate your best work.
However, different coworking spaces offer a different experience, and it can be challenging to pick the right one for you. Nonetheless, we are sharing a few tips to guide you as you discover the perfect workspace for you.
Identify your top requirements- opening times, location & vibe?
We all have specific needs, so it’s important to identify your essentials.
When do you do your best work and is the coworking space you are considering open at that time? How long of a commute can you tolerate and is your coworking space conveniently located and do they have a choice of locations? Does your work require a silent workspace or do you prefer a space that has more of a buzz? Have your essentials in mind before booking a tour at any space you want to check out and ensure to ask the right questions in order to make the right decision.
Match your workstyle to the coworking space design
Your work environment requirements change drastically based on many factors such as your mood, the activity you are trying to accomplish, the time of day, and whether you are working alone or in a group. Unfortunately, many traditional office spaces don’t support varied work styles. Coworking spaces, however, are dynamic in design and offer standing desks, lounges, coffee bars, meeting rooms, terraces, gardens, game rooms, brainstorming areas and so much more.
This allows individuals to work the way they are most productive, freeing us from the confines of the old-school cubicle in order to escape writers’ block, rejuvenate outside in the fresh air or even meditate in a quiet room. Changing your space alone can recharge your energy, increase your productivity and creativity. Before you tour a space, understand your work style and whether it changes throughout the day, and ensure that the space you choose can accommodate you.
Engage with the community
A variety of professionals call coworking spaces their home from freelancers to digital nomads, entrepreneurs to startup teams and even large corporates. Coworking communities can provide an array of connection opportunities that can lead to potential new clients, partners, investors, and even life-long friends! Meeting a new person with only a business card can limit opportunities; rather the key is to learn about one another’s interests and passions which usually takes time, but with the many opportunities to collaborate and connect within a coworking space, this can happen much faster.
Simply make a point of saying hello to the person next to you or have a chat over coffee. You never know who you will meet! When you’re touring a space be sure to notice the interactions happening around you. We also advise that you ask the community manager at the site how their space fosters community and member interactions.
Events can also provide the perfect opportunity to form connections and friendships away from the office environment. Keep an eye out for the events hosted at your space and make time to attend those that interest you. Check out the events board when on tour or ask what recent events the coworking space has hosted!
Make time for wellness
The average workday consists of meetings, emails, traffic, and let’s be honest, a lot of stress! We rarely focus on our wellbeing when at work and we often have to leave work in an effort to focus on ourselves either by going to the gym or using apps like Headspace to meditate or simply taking time to relax!
Incorporating wellness activities into your workday can significantly improve your productivity, focus, and overall happiness. Make a point of identifying what workplace wellness programs the spaces you are viewing offers before joining and make sure to take advantage of them once you join!
Safe and comfortable work environments
To create your best work, you need to be safe and comfortable – especially in our current context. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected how we work and interact, and health and safety at the office is more important now than ever. Ensure to ask questions about the coworking space’s health and safety practices as it will determine how comfortable you feel while at work.
Has the coworking space implemented health and safety protocols? Do they have guidelines in place in case of an emergency? Do they have cleaning practices in place to protect their community? Is there signage around the coworking space to guide safe interactions?
The responses to these questions will reassure you that you are well taken care of and safe while at work – allowing you to focus on creating your best work.
Overall, ensure to ask the right questions when touring a coworking space and once you have chosen one, be sure to engage in the community and take advantage of all the opportunities provided. Signing up for a membership is just the first step. Maximizing your experience is the next!
Ikigai Nairobi is a wellness-focused coworking space in Nairobi, Kenya. We are home to freelancers, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and teams within our community across our locations in Westlands, Lavington, Lower Kabete, and soon, Riverside!
Visit any of our locations to experience Ikigai in person!