The awesomeness of coworking might be distracting for some; here are 4 productivity tips for entrepreneurs to help you get more done when you need to work:
Coworking allows solopreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses the ability to find balance during their work week. Instead of working alone from the home office or a coffee shop, members of a coworking space are able to find community and collaboration among others. When utilized correctly, this can lead to better morale and a more productive work week. Unfortunately, merely signing up for a coworking membership doesn’t make you more productive. Coworking spaces can sometimes become distracting when used incorrectly. Below are a few small business productivity tips to maximize your coworking membership and your overall office productivity.
1. Make coworking part of your office solution, not the solution.
At Common Desk, our average member utilizes the space 2 times per week. These are typically days involving interactions and collaborations with others. During these workdays, you might have a number of meetings throughout the day and need a conference room; maybe you have a Google Hangout and need the fast internet; or maybe it is Friday and you simply need the community to help spur creativity. Hopefully you love the coworking space you join, but you should still spend focused working hours at your home office or the local coffee shop. Leverage the fact that you are part of the mobile workforce.
2. Make it known when you need focused work time.
There are several ways to achieve this. At Common Desk, our members tend to use the headphone rule. If a member has both earphones in, they are trying to get work done and do not want to be approached. If one earphone is in, they are semi-approachable. Another way to say I’m focusing is to book a breakout room. Most coworking spaces have plenty of breakout areas that are good for “closed-door” brainstorming. Of course, make sure to manage your employees well and keep them motivated with a developed company culture.
3. Leverage the community.
Coworking is all about community. If you are looking for a developer to knock out a quick project or a designer to help with marketing material, ask around for the right people at your coworking space. There are plenty of talented freelancers that are happy to take on more work, and this will cost considerably less than a creative agency. You should also do everything you can to educate the community on what you are working on. Ask the coworking staff what type of programs they have to foster relationships among coworkers. For example, at Common Desk, we have “Show and Tell” every Friday at lunchtime. We bring in a catered lunch and allow three members to give a presentation based on what they do. It is the perfect way to spur on community, help people engage, and branch out as an entrepreneur.
4. Find the right coworking space.
Thanks to the rapid growth and popularity of coworking over the past few years, there should be numerous space options in your town. Tour all of them. Each coworking space will have its own unique vibe and community. During your tour, ask the community manager to point out like-minded members. If those members are there, request an introduction. Also make sure the coworking space is both convenient and easily accessible. A location that offers nearby parking and walkable restaurants will cut down the amount of time you spend in your car and increase your work time.