How to Build and Nurture Relationships with Others in Your Coworking Space

There’s something to be said for the freelance life — it’s flexible, and it’s rewarding.

But it can also be a little isolating, even for people at co-working spaces. In a traditional office, everyone plays for the same team. There is an existing camaraderie that defines professional relationships.

In a shared working environment, there’s still space to create a sense of community. It’s often just a matter of reaching out.

In that spirit, here are six practical tips for nurturing and growing relationships in shared offices and coworking environments.

Don’t Miss Events in Your Co-working Space

A lot of co-working spaces hold occasional in-house events or off-site happy hours as a way to encourage connections with fellow workers and entrepreneurs. Use this time to interact with the diverse global community there, people who come from various industries, and feel free to bring your cards to pass around.

Host Your Own Event

If an opportunity to attend one of these events doesn’t present itself, you might consider hosting your own. Does your office have a community area where businesses can set up their own functions? These may include workshops, exhibits, lunch parties, etc. Being able to enjoy our time with the people in your working space is essential to your own productivity, as it creates a loop of inspiration and positive interaction.

Eat Lunch in the Community Area

It’s tempting to work through lunch when you’re still trying to break through in a niche industry or trying to get your company off the ground. Avoid that temptation, though, and step away from your computer to eat with your neighbors. There should be a common lunch area that encourages people to do the same, and a quick chat with someone across your table might turn out to be a fruitful partnership.

Encourage Your Community Manager if More Needs to be Done

All work spaces have someone you can contact in the event you’re not maximizing your networking potential. The best part about involving a manager is that they may be uniquely qualified to link you with other members or companies who may have something complementary to offer.


Online Tools are Effective at Growing Professional Relationships

If you recognize a person in the space whom you believe may a fruitful connection, reach out through social media, the space’s Slack channel or via email. Some members may work unconventional hours, making it a challenge to connect at the office. But no matter how busy they are, the good news is they most likely will follow up with online communication and keep in touch — even if they move to a new space.

Use Your Existing Promotional Resources

Your handouts shouldn’t be limited strictly to special clients; company message and goals can be shared with other professionals within your space. Something as simple as leaving some of your company’s marketing collateral on a fellow member’s desk may serve to remind them about you and your company, should they want to collaborate on an upcoming project.

A co-working space offers great opportunities to network and grow relationships with a people who work in different fields, possessing a range of skill sets — and this might turn out to be useful from a business perspective. So, venture out and look to grow a wide web of reliable contacts. They may prove essential to your growth and success.

casey-meehan-epic-presenceCasey Meehan is a writer and business owner who likes to talk about everything under the sun — from writing music to entrepreneurship to investment strategies. He explores the latter by covering financial news and offering trading tips at his blog Connect with Casey on Twitter @epicpresence.