Five Tips for Coworking Newbies
First day nerves are part and parcel of starting out somewhere new, and so should be completely expected when it comes to your first day in your new coworking space.
Whether you’re fretting about where to sit at lunch time, unsure where to set up camp for the day, or simply not sure what to expect, you’ve come to the right place.
At Areaworks, we pride ourselves on being a family unit, so once you have taken those first steps towards coworking you can forget all about your worries — we’ve got you. In the meantime, check out our top five tips for all coworking newbies on getting through those first day frets.
#1 Fail to Prepare, Prepare To Fail
Okay, so you’ve finally whittled down your options of incredible coworking spaces and it’s time for your very first day as a dynamic worker! Whilst you may have been thinking and preparing for this day for weeks, it is still all too easy to slip up through the nerves and forget something.
One sure fire way to get things off on the wrong foot is to turn up unprepared, whether you’ve forgotten something as little as your bottle of water, or something as vital as your laptop – forgetting anything can shake your nerves and see you off to a bad first day!
One of our most simple yet effective tips to a successful first day in your coworking space is simply to be organised! If this means a two-day in advance bag pack, then fine – go for it, the most important thing for us is that you feel comfortable and confident, and nothing screams prepared like a full bag of essentials (and the not-so essentials).
Make a checklist of your must-haves, and then a second one for the things you feel will make you feel more at home; laptop, charger, pens, notepads, diary, snacks, drinks, photo of your pet cat. Don’t worry, if you do forget something you won’t be short on helpful hands, but it’s always best to be ready for anything.
#2 Introduce Yourself
We know that first day of school feeling of knowing nobody and feeling like the outsider. But, the first thing you need to remember is that like us, some of the best coworking spaces in London are extremely diverse, and so we have new members joining the fold on a regular basis.
With this in mind, a great way to kick-start your first day is by introducing yourself to someone, that’s if they don’t get to you first! Although it may feel like it at first, this isn’t high school and you are on a level playing field to your coworking colleagues, we’re all adults here –so don’t be shy.
Whether it’s a bit of small talk over the coffee machine, or a full blown conversation by the printer, making those first steps to connect with others will make a surprising difference to how confident you feel moving forward.
If you’re unsure how to approach someone to introduce yourself, we recommend some of the following icebreakers:
- If you see someone looking as lost as you feel, this can be an ideal way to connect with another coworking newbie – trust us they’ll be grateful for the intro!
- Going to grab another coffee? Ask your work neighbour if they’d like a top-up, it’s a great way to meet others.
- Ask questions: How does this machine work? What time is this event on at? People won’t begrudge a sensible question and it can be the ignition needed to kick-off a great relationship.
#3 Will Anyone Talk To Me?
Okay, so we get it, not everyone feels confident or comfortable walking up to a stranger and introducing themselves. The magic of coworking is that once you’ve got your foot in the door, you are exposed to a myriad of likeminded and diverse individuals who aren’t simply there to work, but also to network.
If you are worried about feeling isolated, but aren’t quite ready to make that first move, there are some things you can do to make yourself approachable which will signal to others that you want to say hi!
Setting up shop at a desk and making your business or service visibly known can be a great way to have people coming to ask questions. If you’re a freelance writer, this may not be the easiest thing to advertise in a subtle way – but something as simple as business cards laid out can have people coming over.
Remember that people will pick up on your social cues, so if you are sat with your head in a book or typing furiously with headphones in, you are unlikely to have anyone wanting to interrupt you. Consider your body language and how you are working; a smile can go further than hello in some cases.
#4 Get To Know the Staff
One of the most common concerns we hear from new coworkers is that they feel like a fish out of water. We get it, after years of working in the same environment where you knew exactly where things where, it certainly can be daunting to be thrust into a busy and unfamiliar place.
If this sounds like you, the best thing you can do is to get to know the staff! Unlike introducing yourself to fellow coworkers, staff are there to help you settle in and get familiar, so don’t hesitate to share your concerns with a member of the team, they’ll have heard it all before so there’s no need to worry.
Getting to know the staff at your coworking space can not only put your mind at ease when it comes to learning the ropes, but they will often give you a tour and introduce you to other coworkers, thus, instantly removing that awkward introduction phase.
#5 Know What to Expect
If you have spent the last twelve months working from home in your pyjamas, then suddenly being thrust into an energetic and busy workplace can be pretty overwhelming. You may not be sure what to expect; can you talk to other people? Is it okay to use your mobile phone? Can you still listen to music as you work? These things are what we call in the business, coworking etiquette, and being familiar with them can make a first day go from okay to great.
We have actually written a full blog about some of the most common etiquette mistakes you can make on your first day coworking, so those who are unsure, should check it out! We’re not a fuddy-duddy office that must be in silence at all times, quite the contrary actually, but it can’t hurt to know some of the dos and don’ts when it comes to coworking.
Take On Your First Day of Coworking with Ease
If you want to follow in the footsteps of so many others and would like to check out one of our Areaworks spaces, just book a tour and we would be delighted to show you around. Before you know it, you could be facing those first day jitters with us!