Tag Archives: co-working

co-working space

The secret to effective networking in a co-working space

Every blog, article or any person who has experienced a co-working space talks about its countless benefits, one of them being- excellent networking. When people from different academic backgrounds and varied interests work together under the same roof, then there is bound to be some constructive communication. But, the question here is how to make these interactions effective and productive for your business. Here are four secrets that can transform the way you network in your co-working space.

Break the ice, start the conversation

A conversation which isn’t business-related is the best opportunity to connect. From a simple hello, a quick chat on a coffee run or a fun discussion at common events, coworking spaces provides a host of opportunities for you to network better. The focus should be on making connections and having a conversation, as compared to seeking for an opportune moment to pitch your business.

Share ideas, opinions and knowledge

Sharing information that can add value to someone else’s work or life will not only help a co-worker but also lead to future gains. Sharing does not involve giving away your trade secrets or your next business idea; it merely means imparting knowledge. A co-working space emanates of openness, innovation, and creativity. Using this to your advantage will put you on the receiving and giving the end of useful knowledge.

Let your passion speak for itself

When people say, ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’, they’re almost a hundred percent right. No amount of hard-selling can replace passion. If you’re passionate about what you do, it will automatically show in your work. Selling your product involves making your customers familiar with it and getting them to buy it. On the other hand, your passion sparks curiosity and helps you build relationships. In such a situation, your co-worker might not need your product. Once they see your passion and your friendly nature, they’ll feel a need to recommend you to others because they like you and want to be helpful.

Socialize, not just network

A great perk of a coworking space is the opportunity to attend various events. Shared cafeterias are also another added benefit. Such situations create a friendly environment, which becomes an ideal place to start building new connections. However, building connections shouldn’t be your only goal, rather socialising and getting to know your co-workers is equally essential to help your business grow. So, use events and cafeteria’s to your advantage and never hesitate to talk to other people. Places like these attract people who are open-minded and looking to build connections.

Factors For Choosing Best Co-working Space

Location combined with amenities stand out as integral factors in choosing co-working space

Going by famous expression coined by real-estate tycoons, three factors matter the most when it comes to real estate- ‘Location, Location & Location.’ This dictum is followed by a majority of people in the business.

While we’re no real-estate gurus, we do have an expertise when it comes to choosing the right co-working space for your business. There is plenty of advice floating around on the internet and in the real world for businesses on a lookout for shared spaces. Mostly this information is either too amateur or too complicated to decipher and follow resulting in a confused business, unable to make the right decision for their selves.

We, at Smartworks, to make it easier and precise skip the technical and cumbersome jargon and shift our focus to only two factors. The first, passed on to us by real-estate legends- Location. Second, a factor we figured out with our experience in the business- Amenities/ Facilities.

Why Location?

A centrally located office is largely significant in how much value you get out of your membership. A location, having good transport connectivity, nearby entertainment facilities and convenient stores, decent restaurants, parks or other reputed companies is a win-win situation for your business. An impressive neighbourhood or a prestigious cyber park not only impresses potential clients but serves as a lucrative factor for the prospective employees as well. A short stroll in the park post lunch or an evening out at a nearby restaurant with colleagues serves as a welcome break from the mundane routine at the office.

On the flip side, choosing or getting a centrally located office space is no easy feat. Every location requires a thorough research and some ground-breaking determination to finalise. When it comes to a co-working space, the importance grows manifold.

For instance, at Smartworks, we make sure that our offices are located in the heart of the city to cater to the needs of a majority of businesses. Yet, an essential factor to remember is that every business has its own requirements so always choose a location that works for you and the needs of your business.

What to look out for?

  • Easy to reach
  • Good parking facility
  • Superior connectivity to public transport
  • Safety and security precautions
  • Convenience

Why Amenities/ Facilities?

Does your business require a fast Wi-Fi connection, access to an excellent 3D printer, Skype room for client calls, suitable space for brainstorming sessions? Or you need something for yourself like a cup of coffee or tea early morning, a cafeteria offering healthy food or home-cooked food options? Clean toilets?

First of all, it’s quite challenging to work in an office not offering facilities which are a necessity for your business. Secondly, it’s equally difficult to work in a space which does not cater to your basic needs as well. Every office-goer has some requirements to be fulfilled. It’s simple logic- the more needs met means an increase in the happiness index of employees which automatically equals better performance at work and an increased job satisfaction. That is precisely why it’s also important to find a co-working space that gives you everything else you need to maximise your work experience.

The creation or complete destruction of the value proposition of office space depends entirely on the infrastructure and amenities it has to offer.

Ideally, a business should look for a co-working space that caters to all their needs by providing a membership plan which makes you productive sans lucrative extras you will never use.

A co-working office space like Smartworks offers all the basic as well as luxurious amenities like a Smart cafe or a weekly entertainment session. On top of that, a co-working facility like ours helps balance the work/life equation and provides a daily dose of fun as well!

What to look out for?

  • Engaging working environment
  • Good internet connection
  • Sanitary bathrooms
  • 24-hour electricity back-up
  • Good cafeteria and drinking water
  • Comfortable seating facility etc.
co-working space agreement

Signing a co-working space agreement? Keep these points in mind!

While working in a co-working space is slowly yet gradually gaining popularity in India, there persist several confusions regarding the working of the agreement. Where some argue that the co-working arrangement is similar to that of a lease agreement, some claim that it’s just like entering into a rental agreement.

But in reality, working in co-working spaces is like checking into a hotel room where you get access to avail all the facilities and services (of course at a cost) without owning or renting the property.

In other words, co-working space agreements are service agreements in which coworkers use the space for a limited period (according to their needs) and leave when they are done. These contracts don’t bind the person to a company forever.

Since now you know what the co-working agreements are, we will take you through six things to keep in mind when entering a coworking agreement. Most people tend to ignore these factors when opting for a coworking space.

Let’s see what they are and why you should keep them in mind:

  1. Nature of the Agreement: First thing first. The nature of the co-working space agreement should be such that it gives full liberty and permission to the member of the co-working space to use the premises and the ancillary facilities transparently. While the possession, ownership and control of the location will be with the owner of the area, the member client can utilize the services freely. The agreement must also clearly state the duration and the validity of a service agreement and the mode through which it will be extended, if and when the need arises.
  2. Monthly Fees and Payments: The monthly fees, payments, additional fees and renewal fees should be mentioned in the co-working space agreement. While this could vary from contract to contract, monthly fees and payments are usually payable on the first day of every month to the owner of the co-working space. Make sure that all the information related to the mode of payment is specified along with the penalty fee. The deposit refund in case of termination of the agreement must also be clearly specified in the agreement.
  3. Use of Premises: This is one of the most important clauses and should be laid down quite clearly by the owner of the co-working space. The access of the workspace must also be clearly mentioned in the agreement including the timings and days of the week.
    Furthermore, there should be an additional pointer talking about the use of illegal downloads or infringement of copyrights/trademarks. If the client wishes to use any additional equipment or items, he/she must inform the owner in advance to avoid any penalties or chargers.
  4. Insurance: You can’t really change much here. Just make sure you comply with local regulations and know what is covered and what’s not under your insurance. Unless law binds you, do not insure the coworker’s property: they should take care of their own property.
  5. Policies of the Workspace: Co-working spaces are all about utilising the same place with different people from different fields. Therefore, the procedures relating to the use of assets and physical furniture and fixtures such as tables, chairs, electrical fixtures, kitchen utensils, et al. should be clearly specified in the agreement.
  6. Universal Feature: Last but not least, a co-working service agreement must be universal in nature as it caters to different people. Typically, the space is shared by people who work in startups, established companies or service professionals who are in consulting or advisory fields. Therefore, the agreement must be such that allows individuals and diverse enterprises to fuse and work with ease. The use of technical jargons must be minimised to make them easy to understand.