According to Coworker.com, coworking helps people stay motivated and increases their productivity by 74%). In one study, individuals in a coworking space said such an environment made them more satisfied with their job.
When you walk into our coworking space, you’ll see many different types of people, from various industries with a diverse range of job positions, but they all have one big thing in common: they came here to work and get stuff done.
Focus is a great environment to get all kinds of work done and be productive. No matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert, you can thrive in a coworking space due to the many amenities and designated areas being available.
However, due to its nature introverts might shy from taking up space. The characteristics of an introvert are well known: silent, less talkative, and love to be by themselves.
But even as you love spending time alone, there comes a time when you desire the company of other people. And coworking is one way to engage and connect with people.
Socializing with other people as an introvert has so many benefits. Here are some tips to help introverts get along well with new colleagues while coworking.
As an introvert, it is always great to take advantage of some offers given by coworking spaces like free trials before signing the contract. Such offers are given by coworking spaces to determine if they can meet your demands.
You can also opt for options such as Day Pass that allow you to work from the space for a day and familiarize yourself with people.
A few things to investigate are the Wi-Fi connection and security offered in these spaces. Others are the professionals a coworking space mostly attracts (developers, designers, editors, or content creators), noise level, table setup, and types of workspaces. Note these during the free trial before you fully commit to a coworking space.
As an introvert, you rarely like being in large groups, and it may be hard to strike a conversation or even make new friends. However, meeting new people and starting friendships is one of the main reasons to use a coworking space.
The ideal person to start a friendship with is an introvert like you. During breaks, you can approach another person who might be taking their coffee alone and introduce yourself. You can break the ice by talking about your workday or discussing the coffee.
Another way to socialize in a coworking space is to sit around extroverts asking and listening to their questions and chiming in a little on what they are discussing. In the case of Nairobi Garage, you can join events such as The Brown Bag, a forum held every fortnight Thursday at Nairobi Garage Kilimani, where people discuss trending societal topics.
Such forums allow introverts to chip in a little in the conversations and the extroverts, due to their sociable and outspoken personalities, can help you meet and socialize with more people.
Other ways to meet more people or make more friends are to change your seating position often, take breaks when the kitchen is crowded, and speak to a stranger each day. To easily fit in, learn to prepare and organize your thoughts and ideas early.
You can also attend a few social networking events organized by the community managers to help you plugin. We normally have social events like Beer Friday and Sangria Thursdays that give you an informal way to socialize with other coworkers.
However much you may be connecting with other people, sometimes you need to focus, recharge, or just want to be by yourself.
Because of frequent burnouts due to the fact that your work never leaves you, many remote workers use a 9/80 work schedule to balance out their days.
Most coworking spaces are aware of burnout and have incorporated things such as silent corners, quiet rooms, private offices, and conference and meeting rooms for people to take breaks throughout the day.
You can use these selected work zones to sit by your desk or on a big bean bag and enjoy some personal time away from your tasks.
As an introvert, you can opt to take solo projects. These projects you can easily access on a communication channel for the community.
Nairobi Garage uses Slack as its community communication channel. The channel has a number of groups where people post all sorts of professional things, from projects, jobs, etc. Be active on the platforms and locate these opportunities.
Just make sure you get credit. Introverts are great at focusing and immersing themselves in a project by themselves.
Turn that into a company benefit; one way is to volunteer for projects where you don’t need a lot of supervision. most introverts are good at processing information and planning ahead.
As long as goals and deadlines are understood, there’s no need to hover over their shoulders and micromanage.
You’ll get the most out of introverted employees by giving them clear expectations and a lot of space.
Introverts are not often fans of conversation, especially with strangers. Most times, introverts wish to keep things brief and to the point. However, this is not the way to foster and grow relationships in coworking spaces.
Once you have begun conversing with someone in a coworking space, don’t let the conversation stop in greetings only. Strive to turn your conversations into meaningful interactions, connections, and networking opportunities.
You can talk about a new trend you saw on social media, breaking news of the previous day, ask open-ended questions or advice, or ask the person if they would want to try out something new during the weekend. Aim to create a connection with the person you are conversing with that will grow into something beyond simple small talk.
As an introvert, there might be instances when you might come across as cold, aloof, and antisocial.
People may interpret this differently. Some people may even interpret shyness as a sign of weakness and attempt to take advantage of you, so fight it off by keeping a confident demeanor.
Learn to be open by showing a calm and positive attitude. When someone offends you, learn to escalate the issue to the appropriate people. Beyond these tips, watch your manners and avoid strange behaviors.
This means different things to different people and industries, but flexibility should be a top priority for introverted leaders.
It’s worthwhile to test out a few scenarios and see what provokes the most concentration and output for you.
One idea is to arrive earlier or stay later than most of the office, so you’ll have more hours in quiet and calm.
It also helps to block off these time periods on your calendar so that none of your colleagues try to capitalize on your alone time to sneak in a meeting.
And, if you’re an introvert, it’s time to make a case to work remotely some of the time. If you hold a position that can be performed away from the office for at least part of the week, talk to your manager about telecommuting a couple of days a week to start.
Once your manager recognizes the value you’re still able to provide from your home office, you can propose to work from home more frequently.
Believe it or not, you can create wall separation without walls if you’re creative. When choosing what will sit on your desk space, one trick is going for height.
We see this a lot across our spaces and for the longest time we never looked at it from this angle but creating these boarders can be a hack.
This helps to avoid making unintentional direct eye contact with others, which could lead to unwanted chit-chats.
Think about strategically-placed potted plants, picture frames, or a set of computer monitors. All of these create the visual barrier that many introverts crave.