With the advent of laptops and increasingly accessible and fast internet connections, working at home is a huge success. Many digital nomads take advantage of their freedom to change offices regularly. Some of these entrepreneurs choose coworking, the benefits of which are more numerous than one might think. This article will elaborate on coworking and office sharing experiences and their advantages.

Coworking saves money

Sharing offices often happens for economic reasons. Office rent can cost a lot of money per square metre, especially in big cities. Adding a few more workstations to the premises will allow you to optimize the work space, thus reducing the cost.

Similarly, there are many ways to diminish other fixed and variable costs associated with business management. These include the consumables related to the basic management of the company (coffee, electricity, internet, printer, maintenance expenses, etc.).

A group meeting room, with a reservation system, also allows you to fully exploit the space that you are renting.

Why not also consider sharing software licences? Creating an additional account is better than subscribing to a new full subscription.

If your businesses are successful and the coworking goes well, you can consider renting bigger spaces for your growing companies. It will enable you to increase the standard of your office without costing too much.

 

Say goodbye to loneliness

One of the main problems of entrepreneurship is loneliness. Therefore, another main advantage of coworking is the possibility to meet people.

By “crashing” into offices that are not your own, you can meet other people and no longer work alone. These meetings can often also generate additional business for you or your host. Coworking with people in a field of activity close to or complementary to your practice is a smart move. You can respond together to requests from customers or simply seek help from those around you.

 

Shoot for your business’ growth

If you trust and get along with your coworkers, try to organise regular meetings. For example, you can have breakfast together on Friday mornings and talk about what happened during the week. These meetings would allow you to discuss problems and think up solutions, like a team. This is a great way to come up with fresh ideas that you maybe would have never thought of alone.

Incubators are particularly suited to this practice and are the ideal place to find coworkers.

 

Prerequisites for problem-free coworking

For coworking to work, you have to get along with the other parties. This is why a lot of people choose to cowork with friends. However, strangers can also make for perfect coworking partners.

For instance, open spaces are places where everyone can work together as long as they follow the rules. The aim is to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. These rules should include noise restrictions and security measures. You can also create a contract to make sure that everyone abides by the rules you define.

If you can find the right coworkers and working environment, your business will evolve in a dynamic space. This is less socially taxing and more beneficial in terms of money and growth than working at home. Ultimately, the key is to follow the rules and get along with each other for a smooth coworking experience.

Behind every successful enterprise lies a controlled communication strategy. It is essential to integrate this type of strategy into most of your processes. This applies when exchanging with current customers, potential customers, service providers or your employees. Why such a focus on communication? That is because without consistent communication, you will not be able to build the trust of your audience. It will then be difficult to drive commitment and make your business profitable.

How to effectively communicate with the parties involved in your activity? This article provides answers to this question.

Communicating with potential customers

You must be particularly careful when exchanging with potential parties. Below are some rules to build their trust and turn them into clients:

  • Consumers want solutions. No matter what product you launch, highlight its ability to solve a problem or meet a specific need.
  • Focus most of your content on the value that your product or service can bring to consumers.
  • Be creative in your communication. Think about entertaining or inspiring your audience while conveying your idea. Clients will easily remember this type of message and will automatically think of your product when there is a need. Consider using online tools to create excellent visuals or videos. If necessary, you can also employ a graphic designer.
  • Experiment by interacting with the public through questionnaires, surveys and an active presence on social networks.

Communication with customers

Acquiring new clients is much more difficult than keeping the ones you already have. To sustain your business, take care of consumers who already trust you. Here are some tips to help you communicate with them and strengthen their loyalty:

  • Always thank a customer who buys your products by sending a personalized message. You can easily automate this practice if you sell your products or services online.
  • Ask customers to return after using your products and services. Also, consider getting their feedback regarding customer experience. Example of questions are: How did they choose your service? Did they find it easy or complicated to order on your site or to contact you?
  • Set up an irreproachable customer service. Returns, reimbursements and transactions must be smooth and quick.
  • Add a live chat on your website to facilitate communication with customers.
  • Recruit and train customer relationship agents with care; they represent your brand.
  • Ask your customers to produce content (testimonials or recommendations in video or image or text format) on your various platforms. They find enjoyment in doing so and you can easily share high quality content!

 

Communicating with your team

Be it your in-house staff or your service providers, you must always motivate your team. If the people who work with you are satisfied with their objectives, they will become your best ambassadors.

  • Your team needs to know your short and long-term goals. It is important for them to know where you’re going and what you want from them.
  • Get reports from your team members on a daily basis. This can be done either through face-to-face meetings or via video conference. Always ask what you can do to facilitate their job.
  • Develop personal relationships with your team through your communication. Share your life outside of work and encourage them to share theirs. Such a relationship encourages your staff to take initiatives and dedicate themselves to the company.
  • Involve your team when problems arise or decisions need to be made. Ask for their comments and ideas, even if you don’t use them in the end.
  • Openly congratulate and reward team members. Praising a team member in front of his peers is the best way to boost him for the future.

Take care of your communication with all the parties in your company. From customers to suppliers, colleagues and potential customers, all require special attention.

With the myriad of existing means of communication, you can make your business thrive and grow.

Many freelancers and start-up launchers do not want to spend money on an office, though they do not want to work from home either. Enter coworking: a practical and cheap solution to this problem. Apart from being an inexpensive area, these offices can also develop your socialisation and networking skills. This might, in turn, become very beneficial to your business.

However, shared offices do not always equal to peaceful harmony. They might sometimes also be a bit restrictive. Indeed, various rules have be respected in order to integrate easily and to get along well with fellow co-workers.

 

Here are some tips and good practices for maintaining a pleasant and productive environment at a coworking space:

Check for volume and noise restrictions

One of the first things to consider before joining a coworking space is the level of noise tolerance. This is especially the case if your activity requires you to be on your phone and have Skype conversations all day. You should make sure that your co-workers are not bothered by the noise. Otherwise, you can check to see if there is a designated area where you can talk freely.

While shared offices are not libraries that require complete silence, it is good to take the entourage in mind. You should therefore make a decision according to your needs and habits.

Get to know your co-workers

While this may seem obvious, it remains nonetheless a crucial step in enhancing your coworking experience.

Do not limit yourself to courteous greetings. Go ahead and mingle with your co-workers. Try to know more about their job and their experience. You will undoubtedly learn a lot from these interactions!

Be friendly and lend a helping hand whenever possible

A coworking space is a friendly place which brings together entrepreneurs, freelancers or teleworkers from various fields. Do not miss the opportunity to interact with as many people as you can. Get interested in others and if you can, try to give them a little push in the right direction.

It does not have to be something big. You can, for example, just share the Facebook page of the young entrepreneur sitting across from you. In time, that same person will no doubt return the favour. Small things build friendship and trust and will no doubt contribute to the growth of your business.

Respect the shared equipment

Be it the coffee machine, the microwave or the couches, a coworking space requires you to be extra careful with the equipment. After all, everyone is and/or will be using these facilities. It would be best for them to remain clean and in good condition.

Also, if you have a habit of monopolising the printer or the photocopier, you should stop immediately. Coworking is all about sharing, so not maintaining this spirit will probably result in you having an unpleasant experience.

Participate in joint events

Some coworking spaces organise events on a regular basis. These include workshops, in which each co-worker can share their expertise with others, conferences as well as informal food events.

These are an opportunity to get closer to your neighbours. You will then be contributing to increasing the harmony and pleasant atmosphere in the shared office. You can also use these events to build your network.

Keep the schedule in mind

Shared offices most of the time function according to specific schedules. It is important to adhere to them so as not to spark conflicts with the owner. In addition, many coworking spaces allow you to book a meeting room. The allotted time can be anything between a whole day and half an hour. Out of respect for the other members who booked the room after you, you should not exceed the given time.

By following the above tips, you will easily be able to join and thrive in a coworking space.

Turbine is mainly known for its start-up incubation and entrepreneurial activities. In the view to promote entrepreneurship in Mauritius, it is essential to provide a flexible place of work for talented individuals and professionals that foster a culture of innovation. For that purpose, we created Turbine’s Coworking space.
Shubhda Gujadhur is our newly appointed Community Associate. She is a young, creative and dynamic person who is all about promoting innovation and a healthy community in and around Turbine. She is in charge of Turbine’s Coworking space and shares her experience with us.

Coworking, a new culture of work

There are many things to be said about coworking but none of them will make any sense if one does not understand what coworking is. A quick online search will yield the following result:

“…the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge…”

And while that pretty much hits the nail on the head, this definition brings many implications with it.

Think about what you need to be able to work? Your laptop, a plug point for your laptop, a desk, a chair and most importantly a decent internet connection. A space that would offer you all of those is called an office; where you rent your space for a fixed price every month, where you go to work every day to meet the same people and where you sit at your same spot to finish your work.

What if I told you that you could go to work, have flexible rental packages, meet new/ different interesting people every day and sit at a different spot whenever you would like to?  That is the first implication of the co-working definition. Oh, did I mention the free locally roasted coffee that you get?

Coworking vs Traditional work office

The second implication is that there is a particular culture that comes with co-working, one that transcends job titles, years of experience and rigid aspects of blue collar jobs: It is a culture of community; people sharing ideas, consulting one another in their respective fields of expertise, and at times, even collaborating with one another. At Turbine, this is done by fostering trust, diversity and innovation. Co-working brings diversity with it and collaborations between diverse groups of people make the best recipes for innovation.

Another issue that traditional offices have to face is the need to summon external professionals to solve your problems. Say your laptop has a bug: You would need to call a professional in order to fix it. However, it is highly likely that you will find a developer/ IT person in a co-working space that will probably be willing to help a friend out. The same goes for professional advice: Often times when you need specific advice on in specific areas, chances are that you could find someone to give you their expert opinion on it and vice versa.

The final (and favourite) implication of the definition is that you actively and passively participate in building a community of individuals who might have otherwise never met but that still support one another.

Want to try spend a day at Turbine’s Coworking space? See our offers here or email us on hello@turbine.mu