Coworking spaces have made a name for themselves based on a number of proven benefits—ranging from increased happiness and less stress, to more productive workdays, and positive connections made through networking. Those who are familiar with the coworking scene know that one of the most (if not the most) essential aspect to a successful shared workspace is the community created amongst coworkers.
Why is communication so important?
One given coworking space can host a vast domain of teams and individuals alike, not to mention the even more vast domain of industries and knowledge. Unlike a private company office, every individual coworker likely has a different agenda, routine, and objective associated with his or her workday. Interaction in a communal office space promotes a sharing of these competencies and skills, giving coworkers in the space access to a resource (more of a goldmine, actually) of knowledge, and stimulates creative thinking.
Here are some of the best ways to encourage contact in your coworking space and maintain a tight-knit office community:
Introduction and orientation to new members
Just like starting at a new job in a new office with new people can be a bit intimidating, so can joining a new coworking space. Community managers should take time to introduce new members to the rest of the community and acclimate them with the space itself.
Organizing social events like a coworker happy hour is a great way to encourage casual conversation and initial bonding, while making sure the new member feels welcome into the community.
Communal spaces are key
Coworking spaces give their members a pretty awesome power of choice – the option of private desks, two person offices, executive suites for teams, conference rooms, and couches are all at your fingertips depending on how you like to work. When it comes to inspiring the community vibe however, common areas of the space are absolutely essential.
Design areas of the office which allow coworkers to sit facing one another in a group, chat over a cup of coffee in the kitchen area, encourage brainstorming and create a friendly ambiance. (Coworking hack: A great way to get people all into one space is with food. Trust us.)
Curate moments “outside” of work
Organize get-togethers, host holiday parties, participate in local events like fundraisers, go out for group lunches, brunches, bike rides or dinners. People are more likely to chat with others when they feel more relaxed and not on the clock.
Develop a directory
One of the most useful resources for both coworkers and staff of a shared office spaces is a communicative resource, a directory if you will. Compile the contact information of your coworking members and even add some info about what sort of projects they’re working on at the moment, key skills, favorite bagel, whatever. This makes it easy and status quo for members of the community to form relationships and keep in touch.
Want more advice from the Bridgeworks community managers? You can reach us here!