18 May 2018

A growth hackers guide to co-working

With hundreds of coworking offerings around the UK, there has never been more choice when looking for your first coworking space. From the hipster, cycle-friendly converted warehouses in Shoreditch to rural offerings in Lewes, there is a coworking space to fit all business types.

Collaborate with others when coworking

If you work in tech, you’ll most likely to want to be surrounded by fellow tech-heads, or those from similar industries. Matching your business to the right space and personalities within them is crucial to the growth and productivity of you and your workforce. If you’re creative, you may be better off in a shared workspace that is designed for creative individuals. They will often inspire and understand your needs and requirements better than a standard coworking space.

If you choose to work in a collaborative environment, it needs to fit your brand's identity and ethos. Those who work alongside you should inspire you to keep pushing for greatness and help you carve out a niche in the market. The right type of setting can also be a crucial recruitment tool.

Choose wisely and remember your space is a reflection of your company, its ambitions and attractiveness.

Flexibility is not a perk

As we move away from the traditional allocated desk environment to one where all you need is a laptop and mobile phone, flexibility has become a basic requirement, not a perk. Workers want to be able to move about, brainstorm away from meeting rooms or isolate themselves for particular tasks.

There’s a growing demand for relaxed flexible working environments that are fun, offer fashionable décor and bright punchy colours. Research has shown introducing colour into the workplace helps boost productivity as well as creativity.

We now see our workspace as an extension of our homes as we move away from the traditional 9-5. We socialise there, so many workspace providers are now going for a more residential look and feel. A perfect example is the ergonomic yet relaxed look of the Aeron Pacific chair, which Apple ordered 12,000 of, for all its workstations at Apple Park.

A Collaborative workspace

Make the effort to get to know those around you, learn about them, their business, what makes them tick. You’ll most likely find common ground. This is how great partnerships are formed, it’s not about your business, it’s about showing an interest in businesses in general. That geeky guy to your right could be a coding whizz-kid who’ll build your app or website.  Talk to people, discover what makes them tick and most importantly make friends first, become business associates second... Stick around for beers on a Friday and attend events on site. This gets your business out there without it looking like you’re a business card distributor.

Share your expertise

Don’t be shy to share what you know with others. You go there somehow and a fluke it most probably wasn’t. Coworking spaces usually hold weekly or monthly events. Get yourself on the speaker's list, become a voice of authority in your discipline. It will work wonders for your confidence and brand image. You are your brand's ambassador, marketing manager and spokesperson. So, make yourself heard and share your knowledge.

Listen, learn, copy, borrow or steal

"Picasso had a saying -- 'good artists copy; great artists steal' -- and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."
Steve Jobs 1996

It’s a comment that innovators and creators understand. You build on what’s been before, you see what’s currently being done and make it your own. Why start at the bottom when you can stand on the shoulder of giants?

We’re not saying go and copy someone’s idea, we’re saying listen and learn. Coworking spaces are a hive of activity and jam-packed with innovative thinkers. Surround yourself with the right people and more often than not, their magic will rub off on you.

Listen: Listen to their experiences, these are useful in helping guide your own choices

Learn: Try to understand their ways of working, thinking and doing

Copy: copy the traits you admire, their workflows and processes

Borrow or steal: If you’re not in the same industry, they might share ideas with you without hesitation. Of course, there is the off-chance that they are in a competing field, but even then, competitors copy great ideas.

So, get up off of your seat and start meeting these great people.


Samuel Dontoh

D2 Interactive