I am an introvert in a coworking space. I absolutely understand how counterintuitive that idea is. Why would I have myself surrounded by people in a place where I need to be as sane as possible to ensure productivity?
The ideas propagated by the internet and the modern pop culture have kind of distorted what introversion is really like. Honestly, I don’t hate socializing nor people just because I am an introvert. I have those days when I really need to just hang with people. But most days, I’d just need a certain quota of casual conversation and that would be it. Too much socialization could sap the energy out of me.
This being said, I can’t agree more with what this article written in Nomadworks, saying “Coming to work at a new coworking space can feel like walking into the high school cafeteria for the first time on the first day of freshman year,” because it definitely felt like that. Choosing which table to sit on in the coworking area is stressful. The companies are almost like cliques. Each group had their own topic in their respective industries.
However, a coworking space doesn’t have to be an introvert’s hell. This survival guide will help you make the most out of your experience in a coworking space without getting too burnt-out from interacting too much with your coworking buddies.
Planning your introverted day in a coworking space is really just like planning a heist. Now, in the words of the infamous Daniel Ocean himself: “First, we case the joint.”
Casing the Joint
The first thing you can do, according to this article on InsideSource, is to make sure that you can find a spot in the coworking area which will minimize ‘involuntary’ social interactions. This can be done by mapping the coworking area, and scout for a place with the lowest foot traffic.
Choosing which kind of coworking space you’d enjoy working in is an extra step you can take. If you’d rather work in a calmer, cooler environment, try picking spaces that are more elegant and geared towards mature companies, which prefer to have their work done. If you had picked a space curated for developing startups, you’d be sure to have people chatting you up most of the time, since they often optimize their time to learn from the others through networking. And that involves talking, mind you.
Sneaking Around Without Getting Caught
After you’re done setting up the perfect anti-small talk corner that can help you conserve your social energy, the next thing you’re going to need to mitigate is YOU encountering people on your way to the pantry or the toilet.
You don’t need to literally sneak around the place and actually wait until the coworking area empties up before moving around. All you need to do is to make sure to respect everyone’s space, and they’ll be sure to respect yours, too. This is practically their office, so make sure to keep that in mind.
But being away from involuntary socialization doesn’t mean you have to be wholly absent from the coworking space’s activities and events!
At GoWork, we have monthly events that encourages members to connect with each other. They can talk over lunch on Tasty Thursdays, or fresh fruits on Fruity Fridays.
Remember to also be courteous, replying the hi’s and greetings along the way.
Capture the Treasure
Of course, I wrote this guide to help you find your way to thrive in a coworking space. Surely you’re also aiming to make the best out of your experience working in a coworking space. And as such, there is no point if you aim to entirely avoid any social interactions and functions.
As such, in optimizing your experience working in a coworking space, you must also always opt in the events that can be relevant to your expertise. Coworking spaces often cater to provide members with partnership with organizations that hold talks or classes in entrepreneurial skills.
It’s also great if you can connect with the space’s community/hub manager or the host to accommodate yourself accordingly. You’d need all the help you can get in setting up your introverted nook in a sea of people. We at GoWork are dedicated to help members with any needs they require. So, if you’re an introverted entrepreneur feeling trapped in the ubersocial environment of our spaces, be sure to hit our staff up to help you settle in, in one of our amazing locations.