So, we all know working remotely is like living the dream. But what happens when that laundry in the corner starts calling your name? Your comfy armchair is beckoning, and that #1 New York Times Best Seller won’t read itself? Or, worst of all, what about the incredibly enticing, horribly made (excluding Ellen of course) but can’t look away, day time television draw? How are you supposed to get anything done?! Well, don’t fret. There is not only a solution, but a way to incorporate business development, marketing, and networking all in one. What am I referring to?
The Co-Working Space.
It is the best way to take working remotely to the next level. Sure, you can work from a noisy coffee shop, where the blender always seems to start right as you answer an important call -or- you can work from the motivating environment of a co-working location. There are usually several different tiers to choose from (day pass, monthly desk pass, dedicated desk, and personal office), so make sure you are choosing the most fiscally responsible option for your company at that time. And most importantly, there are several things you need to be sure to do, to get the most bang for your buck.
1. Get to know the Community Manager - Networking ✓
First step in maximizing your time at the co-working space? Seek out the Community Manager and become their friend! Depending on the location, you may need to schedule this in advance, but make sure you ask for the full tour. This gives you the keys to the kingdom- aka, one on one time with the individual who not only knows the space and the printer password, but is the person who has connections with every company and worker in the space. Managers can give insight to what what each company does, who they are and what they may be looking for. Networking key number one.
Community Managers also have a finger on the pulse of all events that may be happening in the office and the area. This can be anything from ‘Free Lunch Wednesdays’, a speaker series at the office, or even large networking events that shouldn’t be missed. Be sure to mention your interest in all of the above and get the inside scoop of what to attend and how you might be able to get involved. Networking key number two.
2. Check Out Your Surroundings- Networking ✓ Marketing ✓
This may sound silly, but deciding where you sit is very important! If you are paying for a day in the office, make it count! Get an idea for the flow of the space, where people are moving, what are the louder areas, and especially if you are going to be on calls throughout the day, find the telephone approved spots. Also, look out for the kitchen; this is a great place to of course grab a cup of joe, but to also gather around the proverbial water cooler. Chat a bit! Get to know some of the fellow workers and how you might all be connected. (Be sure and look up when that free lunch is offered… can’t hurt right?) Lastly, position yourself next to companies and individuals you would hope to converse and share ideas with. This is a great way to start an open dialogue, and maybe one day, even partnerships.
3. Wear Your Company Gear- Marketing ✓ Business Development ✓
This is such a great marketing technique. It is a conversation starter and promotes a positive image of your organization. If I wear my company colors IRL, then I must come off as culturally happy! Every time I am on the move, I try and wear a OIAM t-shirt, especially if I am going to a networking event or fun spot where I know I will find like minded peeps.
4. Leave Company Swag Behind (Always Have Business Cards!)- Business Development ✓ Marketing ✓
Why stop the business development and marketing just because you left the space? By leaving behind a sticker, a postcard or other company “swag”, you are keeping the lines of communication open. You never know who may see the logo and be inspired to take a look online and learn more. This can lead to a greater candidate interest, promote a positive team culture, and of course, hopefully lead to new sales and clients. How many places can you plant the seed of your organization’s mission?
As an individual or an organization, if you can only justify even one day per week in a co-working space, it is highly recommended. The networking, business development and marketing alone, can be a quick return on that initial investment. Along the way, you will gain new friends and acquaintances, and who knows what else. Take that random desk and make it your own!
Also, if you happen to be local here to Charleston or are just stopping in for a quick trip,
Conquering one new work space at a time,
PS- if you have any other insights or advice on how to make the best of a day at the remote office, I would love to hear it! Please feel free to give me a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, if you happen to be local here to Charleston or are just stopping in for a quick trip, check out the Launch Pad! It's the best co-working space in town! Recruiting