Have you ever dragged yourself to an after-work networking function only to realize you won’t benefit from meeting a single person in attendance?
If you’ve spent much time in the business world, chances are you’ve had this experience on more than one occasion.
It can lead to frustration and the desire to give up on networking all together.
But if you’re smart, you won’t.
After all, networking is absolutely vital to both your personal success and the success of your business. Research has shown that personal networks have been behind nearly every major breakthrough in science, philosophy, and the arts. But when young companies are grappling with all of the challenges that come with growth, it can seem that there’s no time to focus on making professional connections and often networking falls to the wayside.
But expanding your professional network does not have to be time-consuming, especially if you are able to incorporate networking into your daily office routine.
Here are some reasons office sharing is sure to boost your network, without wasting your time.
#1: Customizing your experience
While many associate coworking spaces with networking, few people realize how effective working in shared office spaces can be for establishing connections and collaborating with other entrepreneurs. And while coworking is sure to expose you to a wide range of personality types and industries, it can be difficult to customize your experience and in most cases, you’ll have little control over who your neighbors are. With office sharing, on the other hand, you have complete control of who you are sharing space with, making it easier to network with the right people. By booking space at a company within the same industry, or with a company you see as a future partner, you’re creating vital connections that can be a boon to your business.
#2: Keeping it casual
There’s nothing more awkward than approaching a group of strangers and trying to strike up a productive conversation when you have no context for what they do. In most cases, you’ll probably find yourself looking for a way to exit the group in a matter of seconds. But by networking with the people in your workspace, you’ll rarely need to scramble for a conversation starter. Working side by side with other businesses, gives you a glimpse into how others work, while still allowing you to enjoy your own space and privacy. Casual networking encounters are common when the pressure is off and you’re interacting in a comfortable environment.
#3: More than just a water cooler
More and more host companies are adding beautiful spaces to the site each day, complete with amenities that promote collaboration and fluid conversation. Amenities like coffee bars, lounges, and even gaming rooms provide an opportunity for workers to step away from the desk into a common area. This creates interaction, and can make you aware of experts right in your office who can inspire you. This can boost creativity and productivity for both parties, and is the result of serendipitous conversation in a common space.
#4: Getting social
Often, host companies choose to begin office sharing as a way of infusing energy into their space. One of the main ways we see host companies achieve this, is by including guest companies in seminars, office parties and events. These are convenient and informative, and they bring together the people who work in the space and get them talking. If you’re interested in working in a collaborative environment like this, try talking to various host companies about their office vibe and whether they plan on including their guest companies in office programming.
Fully exploiting the advantages of office sharing includes expanding your professional network, so it’s important to know some basics about the host company when you choose a place. Spending the workday surrounded by people who have experience and expertise to share is a huge bonus to growing companies.
The modern workplace is changing fast...
Are you keeping up?