So, after some research and finding out the benefits of coworking spaces, you’ve decided to join one.
Now what? You’re probably full of questions. What should I bring with me? What are the people like? Where do I sit? Where are the coffee mugs? Should I bring food with me? Is there a microwave? Where can I eat lunch? How long should I stay there?
Worry not, we have the right answers for you.
Most coworking spaces have house rules and etiquette standards that all members should follow. On your first day, your community manager or a fellow coworker will probably give you a quick rundown of how things work in your coworking space and its community.
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During this short introduction, if you will, they will show you where the kitchen area is, where the coffee and coffee mugs are, they will give you the wifi password, show you where the bathrooms are, etc.
All coworking communities are different. Some are open 24/7 and others are open during regular business hours (give and take a few). When you come in and when you leave will be entirely your choice; do stick around, however, if there’s an event that you’re interested in.
Where you can sit will depend on your type of coworking membership. If you have a dedicated desk or private office membership, figuring out where to sit will be quite easy. If you have a hot-desking option, it’ll depend on which seats are available.
But, on to what you’re probably worrying most about.
Coworking Tips: 17 Things You Should Bring to Your Coworking Space
1. Computer and charger
If you joined a coworking space, you probably highly depend on your computer to get work done. Make sure you bring the correct charger along with you (though if you forget it and someone else has a compatible charger, they’re likely to lend it to you, it’s part of the coworking community spirit).
2. Cell phone charger or any other chargers you might need
You want to make sure you are equipped to be as productive as you can. If you take calls, if you use a camera or video camera for your job, if your headphones are wireless, if you have a Bluetooth keyboard, etc., pack all of the respective chargers. There’s nothing as frustrating as not being able to get work done because a device keeps dying on you (ok, probably slow or no wifi is more frustrating, but that’s out of your control).
This is especially important if your membership gives you access to a desk in the shared workspace area. Although most coworking members are mindful about others and try to keep noise at a minimum, there will be times when you will want to tune out to be able to fully tune into the work you have to do. Pro tip: if you have Spotify or any other music provider, make sure you download your favorite focus playlists so as to not hog the internet.
If you work long days and you tend to get hungry, bring some snacks with you. Some coworking spaces offer snacks everyday and others just on specials occasions. Besides, if you’re doing high-focus work, your brain will need extra energy to keep you going.
5. Business cards
One of the greatest benefits of coworking spaces is that they provide a lot of networking opportunities. You never know when you’ll meet someone in your coworking space that you could do business with, so make sure you bring your business cards with you to share with fellow members or visitors.
6. Water bottle
Although coworking spaces tend to have a fully equipped kitchen, you might want to bring your own water bottle.
7. A sweater or light jacket
Remember that you’ll be sharing your space with other people and each one of you has a different body thermostat. Bring a light sweater or jacket in case you feel the space is too cold, especially during the Winter.
8. Space heaters
If sweaters and jackets aren’t cutting it for you during the cold winter months, then ask your community manager if you can bring a space heater in to keep you warm.
9. Notebook and pens
This is especially important if you like to take notes by hand rather than by computer.
10. A lock (if your space offers lockers for storage)
Some coworking spaces offer lockers for storage for people with a hot-desking or dedicated desk membership. If you’ll be using a locker to keep your computer and other personal belongings in your coworking space overnight, make sure you bring a lock with you.
11. Your lunch or lunch money (debit/credit cards) to eat out with coworkers
If you bring your lunch from home, be mindful about the foods you microwave and eat in shared areas. Some people are more sensitive to strong smells than others. Also, use your lunchtime as an opportunity to bond with other coworking members; you can eat in the coworking space, order some delivery, or go out and eat lunch.
12. Toothbrush and toothpaste
This one doesn’t need much explanation; it’s good dental hygiene and some people even find that it helps with over snacking at work and preventing the after lunch slump.
13. A smile and a positive attitude
One of the most important elements of a coworking space is the community it nurtures and builds. Make sure you contribute to that community by bringing a smile everyday and having a positive attitude. Greet those who walk in, have a sense of responsibility and help keep the space clean, and contribute to the vibrant energy of the space.
Additional things to bring if you have a dedicated desk or private office
14. Desk plant
Having plants in the office has been proven to improve energy levels, air quality, and productivity, as well as reduces stress. Besides, they’re pretty to look at and they will give your work area a personal touch.
Speaking of personal touch, you can also bring in a picture of your family, your friends, or your pet.
16. A desktop monitor, mouse, and keyboard
If you have a private office that you can lock up everyday you can set up a desktop monitor in your office. Some people find it easier and more productive to work with a larger screen, a larger keyboard, and a mouse.
17. Wall decor
If your coworking space allows you to hang up personalized wall decor in your private office, you can bring in your favorite paintings, hang your diplomas, set up floating shelves for books, hang your company logo, etc. The idea is to create a space that will inspire and motivate.
That’s it. It’s time for you to head to your new coworking space and start enjoying all the benefits it has to offer. If you want to learn more about coworking check out our ultimate guide to coworking!