A member came to me recently and asked if there was any way to have the members in the room next door (our kitchen) be quieter during community lunchtime. Admittedly, she said that she was the extremely sensitive type and any kind of distraction would disturb her (see Five tips to avoid distractions: https://www.andacowork.com/blog/en/tips-distractions-coworking-space/). It was then that it became clear to me what exactly a coworking space is. What she was really looking for was somewhere to work by herself but spread the cost among a few. She was looking for a shared office, not a coworking space.
We won’t shush members eating their lunch together in the kitchen because that interaction, that social connection is an essential part of what makes coworking work. That conversation is where people learn. It’s where new ideas are born and barriers broken down. It’s where joint projects are sparked into existence. And it’s what a coworking space needs to provide.
Sure, there’s the productive environment, but what makes it different to a shared office is the fact that we provide not only these spaces where people can talk, network and make friends, but also enough opportunities in the form of events which can facilitate such meetings (see also: How to Make Friends at Coworking Spaces: https://www.tispr.com/blog/how-to-make-friends-at-coworking-spaces). Be they community lunches, educational seminars, inks workshops or experimental games nights. To be a coworking space, offering these opportunities to chat, exchange and collaborate is no less important than offering good Internet, comfy seats and stable tables. If we don’t have this, then there’s nothing that separates us from a shared office. Indeed, we recommend that you as members really lean into this and try to get the most out of coworking for yourself (see also: 10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Coworking Space: https://www.coworker.com/mag/10-tips-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-coworking-space-2)
A Helping Hand
tuesday coworking‘s Belziger Strasse space is just a stone’s throw away from the steps where John F. Kennedy famously declared he was a jelly doughnut. He’s also famous for a slightly less embarrassing Cold War call to action when he emboldened his countrymen to act in service of their country and not vice versa.
With that in mind, whenever new members sign up to our coworking space, we always recommend they enter their skills and hobbies into their profiles on our member portal. Apart from how fulfilling helping others can be in general, we’ve found that members really get the most out of their memberships when they offer to help others with their expertise or show at least that they’re open to doing so by listing their skills in our database. Much in the same vein as our #forcoworkersbycoworkers events, we really do think you should ask what you can do for your coworking space. We constantly ask ourselves the same.
– tuesday coworking