You came to a coworking space because working from home wasn’t working. Now what? Headphones serve their purpose when you need to focus on the task at hand, but unless you’re networking and fostering a community, you’re missing an opportunity to collaborate with like-minded individuals. Here’s how to get up from your desk and start a conversation when your staff offices are nontraditional.
Ask open-ended questions
Striking up a conversation is as easy as asking someone, “How long have you been a member?” This leads to a conversation that will likely include the person’s profession rather than obvious prospecting or pitching your business—that part will come up naturally. If you’re taking a break by the coffee machine, chances are, the person you just ran into is looking for a break, too.
Talk to the staff
The role of the front desk manager is not only to greet guests and assist in changing toner cartridges, but also to be there as a resource. They are the one person who knows everyone and their business—literally. They can help you make connections, suggest events to attend, and even help organize meetups with others who you have something in common with.
Even if it’s not a theme that you’re particularly interested in, take advantage of the free events hosted at your collaborative workspace, both during and after hours. From marketing strategy sessions to happy hours, here’s your chance to engage during a time when everyone is on the same page.
Use the resources
Don’t just confine yourself to your desk space; put the amenities that come with your membership to use. Taking a break to eat lunch in the kitchen, mingling over a coffee, checking out the community board are all ways to make yourself accessible while respecting people’s space and generally making an effort to be social, no matter how big or small.