For almost two years, I’ve been running my business out of any place that would host me. There were days that I worked from my couch in my pajamas and didn’t leave the house. There were days that I took over coffee shops—including one that put up a sign saying, “Please limit your stay to 90 minutes to give other patrons the opportunity to enjoy the café.” (I am determined I am the reason the sign was put up.)
There were plenty of great coffee shops that I spent all my money in and got bored of their food. I was spending money to rent spaces to host meetings with clients.
I finally decided it was time to pull the trigger: It was time to get an office, have a place to meet clients, and create more of a routine. I always talk about the importance of routine with my clients—maybe I should practice what I preach?
So here I am, a few months into my membership at WeWork. The best thing I’ve discovered about the experience so far is that having an office has allowed me to have a better work-life balance.
Here are four tips on how to make the most out of your own coworking experience:
Get to know your neighbors. There are hundreds of members in each WeWork building and so much opportunity to connect and collaborate with people. The first person I met when I moved in owns a business that has so many synergies with my business. “I’ve done business with so many people in my building! From my trademarking lawyer to brands with whom I’ve co-sponsored events, there are so many synergies to be unearthed when you get to know your neighbors,” says WeWork Soho West member Liz Wilkes.
Take a break. It’s so easy to get caught up in your work, look up, and realize that you’ve been staring at your computer for five hours. Be sure to catch a break. Take a walk around the neighborhood, or do some stretches or light yoga. Take advantages of the workshops that WeWork has to offer members. Pop into the wellness room for a short meditation. WeWork spaces are all about accommodating your needs, so take advantage of it!
Create a cozy environment. If you have a private space, WeWork provides you with a desk, chair, and filing cabinet—then it’s your turn to create a space that’s unique to you and your business. Design a welcoming environment for you, your clients, and your guests to work out of. Add plants, a rug, or lighting to make the space more comfortable. “My white noise machine is a lifesaver! It’s subtle, discrete, and muffles the noise enough to offer me and my clients some privacy while still letting in the liveliness of the office,” says WeWork West Broadway member, Hana Ayoub.
Bring your own food. Instead of spending money on Postmates, make food at home and bring it into the office. This is your time to save money on food while also finding lunch buddies. There’s always lots of food in the fridges, so you’re certainly not alone in prepping food in advance.
Photo: Lauren Kallen