Generally, entrepreneurs look at coworking spaces as a substitute for maintaining a dedicated office infrastructure. For remote workers, coworking is a feasible option when they cannot work at their homes/cafes or need a more formal setup for the short term. However, it would be short-sighted to think of coworking or coworking spaces in terms of these limited purposes only. While it is true that their primary purpose is as an alternative to conventional office spaces, they can offer benefits beyond that, like professional networking.
Have you ever experienced how traditional offices behave when it comes to social/professional interactions among employees? Apart from their designated teams, employees tend to connect to others informally, over “water-cooler talk” and “coffee breaks”. These interactions boost employee engagement and lead to an exchange of knowledge and experiences in ways better than a formal program. Now, take this concept and scale it up across various companies, businesses, knowledge profiles and levels of professional experiences, all in one single space. That is the key benefit of operating from a coworking space.
When you are working alongside entrepreneurs and knowledge workers from various domains, the potential for forming meaningful professional connections is tremendous, and literally at a hand’s distance. All you really need to do is to keep your mind, eyes and ears open. Soon enough, you will come across someone who will be a mutually beneficial addition to your professional circles.
Coworking spaces provide a tremendous variety of people you can come across, which usually does not happen with traditional single-organisation offices. For example, at Cove’s Chennai campus, we have had design teams, equity brokers and wealth managers, tech startups, IP lawyers, real estate consultants, educational and training institutes and hackathons and disaster recovery programmes, all in one location.
There are also many formal networking events and theme-based activities which you can participate in.
You can always find something that interests you and participate. This opens a pool of contacts, and business ideas in a way which has rarely been possible before. The best part is that there are no artificial limits to what you can do with these connections.
Coworking is not just about coworking, it is also about effective professional networking. Make the best of it and success will surely be yours.