One of the main draws of coworking is the social aspect of the community.
Humans are social creatures, after all. Taking advantage of this feature can be difficult for introverts, though. Here are a few tips to help introverts get comfortable in a coworking community.
Feel The Coworking Space Out
Start by making sure you know what you’re getting into. When you’re first looking for a coworking space, go through websites and social media profiles to see what the space looks like and how the coworking space presents itself. This can give you a glimpse into what the community might be like.
If you like a coworking space, arrange for a tour. A tour gives you the opportunity to see the space in person and meet some of the people who work there.
If the coworking community suits you, but you’re not sure if you’re ready to make a long-term commitment, see if they have any short-term memberships or options to only use the space a few days a week. Some places even offer free day passes to let you try working in the space before you commit.
Once you’re committed to a membership, you’re ready to join the community!
Don’t feel like you have to jump into socializing with both feet on your first day, but make sure to smile and say hello to the people around you. Keeping up with simple greetings will help you learn who is a regular, and it gives the more outgoing community members a chance to introduce themselves to you.
Making small talk with the people you meet in the coworking space and at community events – about the event or the weather, or even just a simple compliment – is a good next step. Chances are, you’ll meet some more outgoing people in your community who will strike up more conversations with you in the future and introduce you to other community members.
Find a Place in the Coworking Space to Recharge
With some effort, you’ll become comfortable in your new coworking community and it will be easier to socialize with the people there, but no amount of socializing or networking is going to make you stop being an introvert. You’ll still need time to recharge your social battery.
Find a quiet corner to work from, put on your headphones, and get to work. That is, after all, one of the main reasons you joined a coworking space. The socializing is just a nice benefit.
It will take some adjusting, but you can adapt to the social working environment that makes coworking spaces so beneficial.