Coworking Spaces

Coworking Spaces: Why You Want One

Do you work from home and talk to yourself just to hear something? Do you work in a cubicle that makes you want to cry yourself to sleep at night? Do you not have a job, and you’re wondering when in the heck you’re going to find one? I have one solution for you: a coworking space (yes, even if you don’t have a job yet)!

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What is a Coworking Space

What is a Coworking Space?

A coworking space is essentially a large office that is designed to have open communication between people within said office. There are not many cubicles, sometimes only a few offices, and tons of communal desks (hardly ever assigned) and couches for hanging out and working at the same time. Coworking spaces are often popular with startup companies who need an office space but don’t want to invest their startup money in creating a new office all on their own. Coworking spaces are often owned by a company that then leases the space to multiple entrepreneurs or small businesses, and the grounds, food, bathrooms, etc. are all maintained by the owner (not the coworkers who lease the space – bonus!).

Why a Coworking Space - 1

Why a Coworking Space?

Have you ever seen a coworking space? If not, get on Google right now and start looking at coworking spaces in Images. They can be downright awesome! Many coworking spaces have an open seating area, open desks, and a cafeteria or bar area where you can get coffee, food, etc. for free. Sometimes you do have to pay, but it’s still awesome. Other coworking spaces have game rooms, ping pong and pool tables, or hot bikini babes that walk around telling you to get your work done (just kidding on that last part). The offices are generally soundproofed, with comfortable desks and chairs sometimes supplied.

But why would you want to pay an exorbitant amount for a coworking space (because obviously they’re not cheap unless you split the cost between your small startup employees)? Coworking spaces have been proven to generate and multiple creativity, and also result in higher networking and production for small businesses. We all dream of working from home some days, sure, but the reality is that you just don’t collaborate with people when you’re isolated. What do you need most as a business owner? Connection!

Leasing a part of a coworking space gives you somewhere to go everyday, rather than sit on your couch in your PJs and eat candy. The motivation to get up and get out can set the tone for your day. On top of that, you don’t really have to report to a boss because you’re still an entrepreneur, so you don’t have to have those anxiety attacks when you think about facing your boss again. Then, you get to enter a creative space where everyone is there to hash out ideas, work together, and network. Plus eat the food and play ping pong. It’s such a cool idea, one that you really need to try for yourself!

How to Avoid Coworking Issues

How to Avoid Coworking Issues

Most of us hate working at our jobs; it’s just a sad reality for most Americans. But what makes working in an office so terrible for some us? Is it our crazy bosses who ask us to come in on Saturday (yes, that’s an Office Space reference)? Is it the fact that we have to drag our butts out of bed again? Or is it the fact that our coworkers are just plain stupid and can’t get anything done? I’m leaning more towards the latter, having been in that position myself, no matter how awesome the job or my bosses were. The one constant was always crappy coworkers.

Coworking Problems

Coworking Problems

There are tons of problems that can come up between you and your coworkers, between downright incompatibility (you’re a hard worker, your coworker is not, etc.), sexual harassment issues (ladies do it too!), disagreements on work style (especially on projects), and just general dislike. We can’t really choose our coworkers unless we’re in a position to hire them, and that’s rare. Most of the time, we can’t express how we feel about our coworkers in the office for fear of getting fired, so we vent when we get home or go out for drinks over the weekend.

Tips for Avoiding Coworker Problems

Tips for Avoiding Coworker Problems

My first tip is pretty simple: Talk about it when a problem arises. Don’t just keep it in, because that’s when people go postal (literally). Ask your boss to mediate an issue, or just be blunt and ask your coworker if you can talk about the problem. Odds are, he or she is having similar struggles trying to avoid issues with you, and you can come to a mutually beneficial conclusion. Sometimes, the other person has no idea that what they’re doing is driving you absolutely bonkers, so a little chat can go a long way.

Another tip for avoiding coworker problems is to interview the people you’ll be working with prior to accepting a job. This may seem odd, because you’re obviously not the one doing the interviewing, but once you get a second or third interview, ask to meet the team. This will raise you in the interviewers’ esteem because it shows you’re invested in the group rather than just the paycheck, and it will show you who you’re working with. If you spend a few hours with your potential coworkers and find that they’re miserable or just not your kind of people, you’ll need to do some thinking.

If you don’t have the opportunity to do this and find yourself in a job where you don’t know anyone, just try to get to know them and let them get to know you. Be honest about your work style, and let them know where your parameters are (like “Do not come into my office when I’m having a meeting,” or “If you guys need something from me, please ask me before assigning it,” etc.). This may seem harsh or rude, but your new coworkers will automatically know what to do with you and it will prevent plenty of issues down the road.

Do You Really Need Your Coworkers

Do You Really Need Your Coworkers?

How many times have you asked yourself, “Why am I stuck with these people?” Have you ever wondered if you could accomplish more in a day if you didn’t have to deal with the crazies who work with you? Well, that’s perfectly natural. It’s hard to imagine that people who are dragging you down could ever actually help you, and that’s the way a lot of Americans experience their jobs and coworkers. But the reality is that, given the right situations, coworkers can be more of a boon than a bowling ball.

Why You Need to Make it Work

Why You Need to Make it Work

You may be thinking, “Oh screw it, I’ll just do everything myself.” This is not the right attitude to have, sorry to say. It’s going to burn you out, and your coworkers are going to start to resent you because you never let them work on a project. The quality of the work may even suffer because you’re unable to do everything on time, with the right attention to detail, and sometimes you just plain don’t know how to do it. Odds are that one of those coworkers you wrote off does know how to do it, and do it better and faster than you. So it’s time to let your ego go.

How to Help Your Coworkers Help You

How to Help Your Coworkers Help You

The first rule to getting anything done in a group is to delegate things, rather than having people working on things in duplicates or even triplicates. It’s hard, especially if you’re not a manager or leader type, but in a coworking situation where no one is taking charge, you’re going to have to do it. If you have a project, choose the parts you’re good at and delegate the other parts to your coworkers based on what they’re good at. Odds are they can get it done faster than you, and you’ll be able to focus on your part of it. If you have a non-contributor, you may want to take that to your boss and have them deal with it – your job is getting the project done, not babysitting.

How to Help Your Coworkers

How to Help Your Coworkers

Yes, it goes both ways. You have to be willing to help your coworkers if you ever expect them to help you. You need to make yourself available to support their projects and lend a helping hand. You can, of course, set limits and expect them to do the same, but you need to create an environment where everyone knows they can ask for help. This is half the problem with coworking issues today – nobody wants to ask and nobody wants to give unless they’re asked. So just give it without them asking for a while to get things rolling.

If a coworker is really not responding, it’s probably time to talk to your higher ups and either schedule a meeting, or ask them to find someone who will contribute to the team. Getting rid of the bad apples help save the bushel.