Do you remember your last 9-to-5? The commute you dreaded. The meaningless trips to the watercooler to gripe about bosses. Wasted time hovering around a co-workers desk discussing the latest Netflix binge. You talked about everything except why you liked your job. And that’s common. In Gallup’s 2018 State of the Global Workplace survey, 66% of employees are disengaged in their jobs. This doesn’t mean that employees hate their jobs, rather, it’s an indicator that passion for their jobs is lacking with no no desire to do more than the bare minimum.
But what if there was a workplace where you looked forward to going to work each day? Where the watercooler conversations are about ideas and collaboration. A space where you have the freedom to work independently, be happy, and succeed. Welcome to co-working, and it’s where freelancers, at-home workers, and entrepreneurs go when they want to build a thriving business. If this sounds good to you, here are three tips for how you too can thrive in a co-working environment.
- Write a Manifesto.Similar to your business plan, your co-working business manifesto outlines how you want to conduct business and what your core values are in business. It can also demonstrates ways in which you want to manage time while using your co-working space. It’s the document you’ll use to govern your brand much the same way your former employers had mission statements or job description guidelines within their company. If you want to read a heartfelt manifesto, check out the most memorable, The Things We Think and Do Not Say. Fictitious character Jerry Maguire wrote it as he set out to create a sports agency built on principles and integrity.
- Build a Power Team. Unlike a traditional office, co-working spaces are full of people who do what they love and love what they do. When you work from a co-working space, you build meaningful and fruitful business relationships. Depending on your profession and those professions around you, the opportunity exists forbuilding power teams—clusters of complementary businesses who aim to refer their own clients and other businesses to one another. An excellent power team in a co-working space may comprise a web designer, a graphic designer, a marketing and public relations professional, and a content writer. Each of you serves clients who have a need for the services of the other, making it easy to refer business to one another.
- Help Build the Culture.Co-working spaces give you the change to offer your input on how things within the environment are run—and your input is valued. With most co-working spaces, you’ll find there are opportunities to influence those around you. You can teach workshops for co-workers and the business community at-large, sponsor evening networking socials, and be that guy or girl who brings in coffee and donuts on a random morning. Being someone who helps influence the culture not only feels good, but can also help your bottom line. In the New York Times Bestselling book, The Go-Giver, Bob Berg writes, “All things being equal people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.” Participation shows you’re invested and investment invokes trust.
As Grant Cardone says, “You’ve got to show up to blow up.” Thriving in co-working requires you to be present. Set governing guidelines for how you’ll conduct your business, collaborate with others around you, and be all in. When you do this, you’ll find your co-working experience to be more fulfilling and happier business owners do better work.