An increasingly common business phenomenon, coworking spaces are a creative and ingenious concept that continues to evolve in an unpredictable way. Coworking spaces allow people to rent desks, often on a monthly basis. This arrangement allows freelancers or small business owners to work alongside others in settings that often include conference rooms or private offices.
One 2015 study by the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) uncovered interesting information about coworking spaces. Researchers found that environments referred to as coworking spaces are actually work areas that help prevent loneliness while creating healthier, happier, more productive, and more connected professionals.
According to the study, 84 percent of respondents said they felt more motivated and engaged when working in coworking spaces. About 82 percent said working from coworking spaces widened their professional networks. About 80 percent said that when in coworking spaces, they turned to other members to seek guidance and help.
While a coworking space may promote happiness and help people create professional networks, it may also make them less productive or even unhappy or unhealthy if they do not know how to make the spaces work for their benefit.
If you are going to work from a coworking space, you need to realize the ways to reap the most from the situation. While they may help you feel less lonely and improve your skills, there are ways you may gain even more from such coworking spaces and attain better results.
1) Be Accountable
Working in a coworking space is often not like working in a traditional office. For one, there may be more noise. Yes, noise distractions may exist.
Unless you know why you are there and what you want to achieve, you might not be able to get the desired results in this work environment. It may be easy to let distractions in coworking spaces allow your mind to drift and keep you from achieving your daily or long-term goals.
Spending time in coworking spaces, you may find all sorts of discussions and talks. Sophie may be creating a vlog and telling her friends and fans about the ingredients she uses in her favorite salad. Gregory and his colleague may be reminiscing about their good old days in college. Other people in the space may be offering advice and discussing other matters.
These are some of the things you may find in coworking spaces. Unless you keep yourself accountable, you might not achieve your goals. That said, coworking spaces offer sites for collaboration and inspiration that may foster a strong work ethic and boost one’s creativity and productivity.
Individuals who use coworking spaces often have flair and passion for the work they do. Their aim is to be more productive and ensure that they use their allocated time effectively and productively.
To help you remain more productive while working in coworking spaces, consider recording your assignments and tasks for the day and mark them off as you complete them.
Marking completed tasks may provide morale, motivation, and a sense of accomplishment. It may help you feel satisfied that you have attained something. Try to complete the tasks, even if it means spending more time at your tasks, but do not try to spend too much time at work. You do not want to burn out or experience other negative results.
2) Make the Tasks Meaningful
Coworking spaces are not only for freelancers. Businesspeople, IT professionals, and other people take advantage of the environment provided by the spaces. The GCUC projects that the number of individuals and professionals using coworking spaces may increase to 5.1 million people by 2022.
Demands for coworking spaces are increasing. Both individuals and large corporations looking for greater flexibility are embracing the arrangement. The increasing number of people who are self-employed is a major driver behind the demand for the spaces.
Another factor behind the popularity of coworking spaces is the expanding numbers of start-up businesses (start-ups) in a time of diminishing office space.
From 2010 to 2017, the rate of retail spaces converted to coworking spaces reached about 0.9 percent. By 2023, the growth of these spaces in retail environments or retail properties and shopping centers is estimated to grow about 24 percent annually.
Professionals using coworking spaces need to make their work meaningful if they want to enhance their productivity. When you know why you are performing tasks, it may make them less arduous.
You may achieve results more quickly and produce better work. Even if you have to perform tasks that are not fun, when you understand the purpose behind the work, you may find it easier to complete them.
3) Take Regular Breaks
Although you may enhance the performance of your brain, it is an organ that has limits. One scientific study found that the optimal limit is fifty-two minutes of challenging, constructive, and effective work. After that period, a person should take a seventeen-minute break before beginning another work session.
To ensure that you are productive, you need to establish what works for you. Then, implement the practices and principles behind optimal brain functioning. You do not necessarily need to take a nap to take a break. Consider stretching your body, taking a walk, talking with someone, or doing something else that completely removes you from work.
Every once in a while, you need to reset the brain by taking a break. Arrange scheduled breaks to avoid becoming a workaholic. Some professionals are addicted to working and unless they discover ways to protect and recharge their brains and energy levels, they may overwork the brain and body. Alternatively, you can schedule a rest day as part of your routine.
4) Engage the Right Way
It is typical for people in a coworking space to engage with each other, but you need to avoid taking part in frequent discussions and talks that do not enhance your skills or boost your productivity. Some people will simply engage with others to pass time, procrastinate, or just chat. This may do more harm than you think.
If you are going to engage with other people in coworking spaces, make the engagement productive and beneficial to you and the team.
Do not waste your precious time or keep other individuals from accomplishing their tasks. If you do this at work, you become a nuisance to others in the coworking space who wish to be productive. Sometimes, you have to exercise restraint and not participate. At other times, it is beneficial to cultivate friendships and working relationships.
5) Manage Your Time Properly
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Coworking spaces are high-energy, social environments that may easily sweep you up in excitement. Before you know it, two hours of precious time has been wasted and your productivity is dwindling. Trivial tasks may easily distract you, and if you do not watch your time management skills, you may waste your day.
Instead, create a plan that guides you toward the tasks you need to accomplish each day or each week. Plans may give you some structure on how to do things. You do not have to enforce the plan with military precision, because you need some flexibility. But having guidelines may produce wonders.
At the end of the day, evaluate yourself and how much you have accomplished. Did you meet your targets? What pain points did you encounter while accomplishing or attempting to accomplish your tasks? What changes do you need to make in your schedule to remain productive?
6) Beat Procrastination
Like many working environments, a coworking space may contribute to procrastination. The social and interactive nature of coworking spaces makes it easy for individuals to procrastinate.
Procrastination may occur when you do things you do not love or when you do not have the clear plan and schedule that you need to accomplish tasks. Just as students postpone studying subjects they hate, people procrastinate in coworking spaces.
If you are a CEO who loves dealing with the little tasks first before taking on larger reports because you think that they will take too much time, procrastination may be taking a toll on your productivity.
You need to change your modus operandi. You may consider:
- Breaking your tasks in small, easily achievable milestones.
- Setting deadlines to finish the tasks.
- Taking a break if stress starts to mount, since you do not want to overdo things or overwork the brain.
Success for team members, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and workers may arrive if they end their persistent procrastination. This is a habit you have to address.
7) Utilize Technology
There are many websites and apps designed to make life easier and allow you to save time in coworking spaces. You may use an app that syncs your events or emails to your calendars in your computers and portable devices. Or, you may find it handy to use an app that generates to-do lists for the day, week, month, and year.
Other technology may enhance your professional life. The technology may be a website that lets you store and retrieve your data and documents online in the cloud or a program that checks grammar. When you use these possibilities in your workspace to manage information and automate routine tasks, you may save time and enhance productivity.
8) Protect Your Health
In the beginning, working from coworking spaces may be exciting. You may want to spend a great deal of time in your new working environment because you find it fun. Since you have changed your previous work environment, you may be tempted to stretch beyond your limits. In such a creative and constructive environment, you may develop a workaholic mindset and begin to neglect your health.
Protecting your health includes enjoying quality sleep. Sleep problems may harm productivity. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults of the ages between eighteen through sixty-four need about seven to nine hours of sleep every night to experience optional body and mind functioning.
Not having sufficient, quality sleep may lead to concentration problems, produce negative attitudes toward work, and make it more difficult to accomplish tasks that would have been finished more quickly if you felt more mentally refreshed. To combat fatigue and improve sleep quality, consider exercising. Going to the gym or jogging may increase your level of productivity by prompting the production of endorphins and other feel-good chemicals.
Overworking yourself in coworking spaces or social places may make your body susceptible to fatigue and illnesses. Straining mind and body and depriving yourself of sleep may lead to serious health problems. There are different ways to deprive yourself of sleep. For example, while working with other people in coworking spaces, you may extend your time with them outside of work where you continue to mingle as you socialize and get to know each other better.
If you are spending a great deal of time pursuing social activities after work, you may not have sufficient time to care for yourself. It may become difficult to find time to work out at the gym, read a book, or cook your favorite dish. You also may not have enough time to sleep.
Your body may begin to wear out. You may start to experience more stress and see that you are not as productive as you were when you started at your coworking space. Because of these factors, you may begin to look for ways to cope with the stress you encounter in coworking spaces.
Prolonged stress and a lack of sleep may weaken your immune system, so you may begin drinking alcohol to treat your cough and other conditions.
Alcohol with honey or juice is a drink you may want to take when you have a cough or stuffy nose. But although honey has antimicrobial properties and helps soothe sore throats and cough, drinking alcohol regularly may produce problems. You may become dependent on the alcohol and lemon mixture to fight the persistent cough and cold symptoms you are experiencing from health issues and stress.
Not utilizing your time properly when working from coworking spaces and overindulging in social events or other occasions may impair your health. The alcohol you consume for your cough may continue to weaken your immune system even further. It adds more toxins and other problems that you need to remove.
Otherwise, when you know what you need to do to make yourself productive in coworking spaces, the results may be impressive. Many people are abandoning traditional office workspaces to work from coworking spaces, and they are finding them not only inspiring, but also interactive, knowledge-enhancing, and adaptive to different professions and professionals.