How to CO-WORK the right way
Can CO-WORKING cure your worker’s BLOCK? Only if you’re a GOOD sharer…
It’s the trendy response to a productivity problem: when your work’s not flowing, why not join a co-working space? But, is hot-desking in a building with strangers really the antidote? According to Claudia BarrigaLarriviere, Head of Culture at start-up studio BlueChilli, our “fetishism for co-working” is clouding our judgement.
“Co-working spaces can create a mirage of cooperation,” says Claudia. “Some of the brightest minds in the country are fooled into believing we’re interlinked as a start-up ecosystem just because we’re in close proximity.”
In other words, it’s not enough to rent a desk next to a stranger and expect it to optimise your output – you also have to change your mindset. “The answer doesn’t lie in avoiding co-working spaces, but in preparing ourselves to use those spaces to their fullest,” says Claudia. Here’s how:
DON’T BRING YOUR OWN CROWD.
Or, if you do, make sure you speak to other people, too. All too often, instead of letting our guard down, we attend events in co-working spaces and only speak to people we already know – or even worse, to those who already agree with what we’re about to say. We resort to cosmetic fixes that make it look as if we’re making deep connections. We take selfies with other founders with no intention of forming a sustained relationship. The real magic of co-working happens when you share true failures and valuable data.
SHAKE YOUR SCARCITY MINDSET.
Many founders live in a ‘zero-sum game’. If someone gets an awesome investor, or an amazing CTO, instead of feeling happy for them they secretly begrudge them, because that means there is one less to go around! If you catch yourself looking to your left and right at your co-working space, take a deep breath and let go. The whole role of start-ups is to expand markets. There is enough to go around for everyone who inhabits your area.
SHARE YOUR SUCCESSES.
A common problem in co-working is founders who are reticent to share their successes or give advice to fellow co-workers because they’re scared of coming off as braggers. Instead of holding back, extend your success story to others in the space – and share your experience. We rise by lifting each other.
RIDE THE ROLLERCOASTER, TOGETHER.
Closeness and bonding occurs over shared experiences – most notably adversity. Find the manager of your co-working space and suggest rituals for founders to celebrate each other’s wins, and overcome their disappointments, in a meaningful way. What better place to open your heart than in spaces built for sharing? Building connections is a journey that’s worth travelling.