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Julie Tucker
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Can introverts thrive in a coworking environment?

Everyone has different needs when it comes to working environments, but for freelancers and entrepreneurs of a more introverted disposition, it can feel like modern office structures are tailored around the extroverts.

You may think working alone, in a quiet home office, is your forte – but think again, as you could be missing out.

While the prospect of networking and working in an open plan office with strangers can be daunting, the modern trend towards flexible working hours, coworking and collaboration provides plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t shut yourself away with your laptop.

While you may feel comfortable working from home, pushing the boundaries by venturing out and trying a new challenge can be good for your wellbeing, happiness and productivity. If you consider yourself to be an introvert, read on to pick up some tips on how you can thrive in a coworking environment.

What are the traits of an introvert?
It’s easy to think of an introvert as being a negative trait, but on the contrary, there are many positives that can make you a great business person. Some people wrongly assume introverts are anxious and won’t cope well under pressure, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Introverts are known to be good listeners, who think before they speak. They may seem to be watching from the side-lines, but they’re taking mental notes before they launch into any situation or conversation. They are also self-sufficient, focused, very observant, great at studying, trustworthy and committed to their goals.

All things considered, these are the qualities a successful business person would require. They are also the traits that someone in a coworking environment should possess – in particular, the need to be self-sufficient and committed to goals.

Fitting into a coworking office
When you’re not working from a traditional office, you can make your own schedule. Coworking builds on the flexibility to plan your day as you wish, which has obvious benefits. You can use the space as little, or as much, as you like.

If you’re currently a home-worker, you could choose to use a coworking space one day a week initially, until you get a feel for the place. If you decide to use it more often, you can take short breaks throughout the day, getting some quiet time away from the office to help ease yourself into the job gradually. The breaks will help you to recharge your emotional battery.

When working in a regular office, you wouldn’t be able to just pop out for a walk or to sit in your car, if you were feeling drained. In a coworking space, you’ll find it easy to pop out whenever you need some quiet time alone.

Benefits of networking
As an introvert, you’re likely to dread networking, as it can be challenging. However, when you need to promote your business and generate new clients, networking is something you can’t avoid forever. It can become easier, thanks to coworking, as you can break it down into a manageable format.

Rather than spending a three-hour meeting trying to make small talk, while nibbling on canapes and making your pitch, discover a new way of networking. You’ll be constantly working alongside different entrepreneurs and businesses in a coworking space, so it can be as simple as a five-minute chat over a coffee in the kitchen.

An introduction to a new co-worker by the community manager could be the start of a useful business partnership. Networking will become a part of everyday life and soon, you won’t even notice you’re doing it. This will also enable you to skip the odd formal networking event if you don’t feel like going.

Work uninterrupted
While coworking spaces are collaborative workplaces, most have a quiet corner where you can work uninterrupted, wearing noise-cancelling headphones if required. If you have a lot of work to get through, you can always tuck yourself away and get on at your own pace.

When you work in a traditional office, you’re likely to have colleagues coming over to ask you questions, or otherwise engage you in conversation every few minutes, or you might have the phone to contend with. When you work from home, there are distractions such as the television, the PlayStation or the fridge! In a coworking space, you can simply get on with your work, quietly and efficiently, without anyone, or anything, interrupting your train of thought.

If you’re worried about interruptions, have a word with the community manager when you first arrive. They will show you the best place to sit, where you won’t be bothered for the rest of the day.

Could coworking be for you?
Finding the right workspace is so important – it’s just like finding the right job. If you’ve never been in a coworking space before, why not visit one or two to get a feel for them? Headspace offers such a great choice of coworking space in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and Southampton – you’re bound to find a place that’s the right fit for you.

Being an introvert is no barrier to coworking. It can actually have useful benefits for even the quietest entrepreneur!

Safety measures
As the leading provider of coworking office spaces, Headspace Group is open for business! We promote safe working practices at our premises.

We devote more than 150,000 hours a year to cleaning our centres, with continual day and night-time schedules.

During this challenging period, our cleaners are sanitising our spaces with intensive deep cleans. Our fogging service sterilises the environment for 30 days. We focus on key touch points such as door handles, toilets, coffee machines, kitchen facilities and lift-buttons.

We will continue to adapt and adhere to the government safety protocols and have introduced heat mapping technology at our centres, so we can alert people if they are showing a high temperature and may be at risk of COVID-19. Hand sanitiser gel dispensers have been installed in communal areas and receptions.

Your safety is our priority, as we continue to deliver the first-class service people have always enjoyed in our coworking facilities. For further details, call us on 0800 953 0585 or contact us online.

 

© mavoimages / Adobe Stock

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