The modern concept of coworking is largely based on creating an office design that supports open dialogue, collaboration and easy communication among coworkers. However, while such an environment is easy on some people, it can be quite challenging for individuals with introverted tendencies. Introverts prefer quiet, privacy and keeping a low profile. On the other hand, they are also social beings who thrive among other people. Coworking spaces might seem like such a difficult space to work in, but these spaces actually work very well for them.
To start with, coworking spaces are designed with dedicated and quiet spaces that provide the perfect setup for introverts to thrive. This gives introverts the flexibility to choose the environment that works for them on a particular day. Additionally, most coworking spaces have a planned time for socializing and specified spaces to do so. This takes off the pressure of talking to people when it is work time. Coworking spaces also come with community managers who make the perfect allies when they need some help. Most importantly, coworking spaces create a sense of community that allows them to work independently, together. However, connecting with coworkers remains a challenge for introverts. Here, we offer four tips to get around this.
But, before we do that, let’s look at how coworking spaces are growing in popularity and why businesses see them fit.
Popularity of coworking spaces
Coworking spaces are growing in popularity with each passing day. The growth is largely fueled by shifting preferences for individuals to work in spaces that offer flexibility and spark creativity. Businesses aren’t left behind either. In a city like Los Angeles, for instance, startups and established businesses alike are flocking in coworking spaces Los Angeles. As a hotspot for technology and innovation, thousands of businesses are looking for a space in this city. Coworking space owners are in turn rising to the demand by providing ideal spaces that these businesses can leverage. Moreover, these coworking spaces come with tons of advantages to businesses. These benefits include:
- Cost efficiency
- Enhanced creativity and productivity
- Flexibility to scale up or down
- Endless networking opportunities
- Less responsibilities and more time to focus on things that are more important
Now to the tips on how introverts can connect with coworkers in coworking spaces
Capitalize on your better days
As said earlier, introverts are social beings as well. If you identify as an introvert, you can attest that there are days that you just want to be among people collaborating or having casual conversations. On such days, make the most of it by mingling with your coworkers. They may not happen often, but they are enough to network and form meaningful relationships.
Create your tribe of two
For introverts, speaking to a crowd can really be overwhelming. However, you don’t have to pressure yourself to network with so many people at a go. Keep in mind that names matter more than numbers. Just make it a goal to connect to at least two people in a given timeline, say a week or a month. Just research on the people who can inspire, teach and motivate you; those with something to add to your business. This way, you narrow down the number of people you need to talk to, which takes off the pressure to talk to many people. Again, don’t feel the pressure to start the conversation with small talk. You can approach them for help on a work-related issue.
Use some help
Holding a conversation can be hard for introverts especially when meeting with new people. If you feel terrified to interact with coworkers in a coworking space, consider tagging a friend along in the social spaces. He or she will keep the conversation going when it becomes overwhelming for you. If you can’t find a friend, take advantage of the community manager. He or she has a task to ensure that everyone is comfortable. If you let him or her in your fear, the community manager will come to your aid by doing the introductions for you.
Rethink your approach
Extroverts are loud and don’t mind speaking in a room full of people. But, you don’t have to take that approach. If there are people that you want to talk to, you can approach them one on one in a more private setup such as during social time.
Coworking spaces are designed for both extroverts and introverts to thrive. If you are tempted to hold back developing connections with coworkers, just remember that you have what it takes and the setup supports you. You only need a good strategy to up your networking game. Just keep in mind that there is no pressure to connect with every coworker. Quality over quantity is what matters most.