Coworking spaces are natural environments for collaborating, we look at ways you can make long-lasting connections with new people in the office
The beauty of hybrid working is that it doesn’t mean just working from home – it means splitting your time between home, a company HQ and a third location such as a local flexspace.
Whereas working from home every day can feel a bit isolating sometimes, coworking spaces are natural environments for collaborating and can be a hotbed for startups and entrepreneurs, so being based out of one on a regular basis can spark a whole host of new and important connections. Here are some ways to make new friends in the workplace.
To be interesting, be interested
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you,” says Dale Carnegie, author of self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Originally published in 1936 and with more than 30 million copies sold worldwide, nearly 90 years later the book’s advice still holds true. We all love to talk about ourselves – it’s natural – but if you can switch this around and become genuinely interested in others it can really help you make friends in the office.
Whether it’s being desk buddies or small talk at the watercooler, there are numerous opportunities for meeting people in a coworking space. Introduce yourself and don’t forget to learn names and to listen, maybe open up with something a little personal at times. It’s important to come across as upbeat and engage positive interactions. Maybe ask for some light feedback on a design logo or even recommendations for a new lunch place in the neighbourhood. But don’t overdo it – it’s best if these connections happen organically.
Ask for a favour
Showing appreciation for little things people do can go a long way towards building friendships at work. Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, famously said, “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.” Which basically means that people will be more inclined to like you if you ask them for a favour. It’s known as the Benjamin Franklin effect and it can be a helpful way of earning trust and building connections when trying to make new contacts and friends. However, it doesn’t mean asking to borrow money or to cover for them when the boss comes. It means smaller favours such as borrowing a laptop charger or asking for recommendations for good lunch options nearby. These can be ice breakers when talking to someone new in the office. But don’t be cheeky, and never ask a coworking colleague for a favour for something they would normally get paid for.
Use the communal space
Coworking spaces are adapting to building communities within the office. Spaces Max Towers in Noida, India, has incorporated several dining and relaxation areas, a gym, a swimming pool and even an art gallery, offering numerous opportunities for easy networking. While at Spaces Recoletos in Madrid, members head to the rooftop terrace for after-work drinks with views over the Palacio de Cibeles.
Get involved in events
A study by the Harvard Business Review shows that our personal and professional networks have shrunk by almost 16% since the start of the pandemic. Another way to get to know your coworking colleagues is to make the most of the office networking events and social evenings. Organised by the community team, Spaces offices arrange regular networking and social events, including inviting local business leaders to speak, and can be an opportunity to make connections with people outside of working hours. They are designed to help members meet each other in a relaxed way, yet can open doors for new opportunities.
With coworking locations all over the globe, find out how Spaces can help you boost your work/life balance.
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