How Coworking Drives Diversity in Your Professional Network
It’s a fact. The workforce is changing and workspaces are changing as a result. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of the American workforce, or about 65 million individuals, will be employed as freelancers, temps, contractors, and solopreneurs within the next few years. As the nation continues to cultivate a growing independent labor pool, the number of available coworking spaces is increasing in kind.
Coworking spaces aren’t the exclusive domain of independent workers. Even established companies are turning to coworking spaces as an alternative to traditional work environments. One of the biggest reasons individual workers and small, medium, and large companies are using coworking facilities as their workspaces is the chance to connect with a diverse group of other workers.
When you work in a coworking space, you never know who you’ll encounter in a given day. One day, your workstation may have you sitting next to a general contractor while you may work near an artist or a real estate agent the next. When you visit a common space, such as the kitchen, you may share a meal with an entrepreneur who’s just starting out in an industry unrelated to yours or a CEO with decades of experience in your specific field.
Because so many different kinds of professionals are using coworking spaces these days, you simply never know who you’ll encounter from one day to the next. And it’s this very uncertainty that gives you the chance to add a tremendous amount of diversity to your network. Keep reading to learn how you can add diversity to your network of contacts by working in a coworking facility.
Attend and Host Events
Many coworking spaces have events both in-house and off-site. These events are a great opportunity for you to make connections with people in and outside of your industry. Try to attend as many work-related events as possible even if they’re not directly related to your field. Don’t discount the inherent value of social events because they’re often fantastic opportunities to network and talk about things unrelated to work.
Coworking facilities typically have community spaces where you can host your own events. Hosting your own event can help you establish a reputation as an expert in your field. It can also allow others to learn more about what you do, which may help them identify ways they can work with you or help you reach the next level of success.
Dine in the Common Area
When you join a coworking space, you become a member of a community that’s all about camaraderie, collaboration, and making connections. Dining with others in the common area will help you meet people, exchange ideas and establish lasting relationships with a diverse group of individuals.
Involve Your Community Manager
In general, a community manager will know everyone in your coworking space and they’ll also be familiar with what everyone does. If you’re new to a coworking space, ask the facility’s manager to introduce you to people whose work complements your own. If you’re shy about meeting new people, inquire about the possibility of having a community mentor assigned to you. If the community doesn’t have a mentorship program, ask the manager to put you in touch with an established community member who may be willing to help you settle in and expand your network by introducing you to some of their own contacts.
SharedSpace has an active community of diverse members who are always on the lookout for ways to add new contacts to their networks. To add diversity to your network, consider becoming a member of our community of professionals. To learn more about our membership options, contact SharedSpace today!