They say that when you come to work, you work and make money. You are not there to make friends, but things are changing faster than expected. Cultural and interpersonal shifts happen, especially in the workplace. With the proliferation of shared office spaces, it has made these changes more apparent than ever. It would be safe to say that shared offices are the next generation of workplaces. More people prefer to work in these spaces instead of lounging at coffee shops.
Startups have found a more convenient way to conduct their operations instead of just spending their times in the garage or renting a dingy office space. Simply put, co-working spaces have changed the way people work.
One strength of shared office spaces in Singapore is that you get to make friends and network. Building connections opens a lot of opportunities for you (and the other person as well). Who knows, the people you have included in your network will become your mentor or your business partner in the future. If you are planning to make friends in shared offices, here are some of the things to keep in mind:
Start with small talks
People hate small talks, but you have to do it if you want to build rapport. No friends or partners have built their relationship by being upfront and strong (while it may work for some). You can start small talks when you think that your co-working neighbour is receptive and friendly. Start with the weather, but you have to make an effort to make your conversations interesting with out-of-the-box topics. Steer clear of sensitive ones, such as politics, religions, and personal matters.
According to Dale Carnegie, names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language. If you want to socialise and build rapport, you will somehow need to make someone feel important.
This is something you can do by remembering a person’s name. Do not make your forgetfulness an excuse, as remembering can be a commitment. There are actually some ways you can make remembering names easy. When you remember someone’s name, the person will have an impression that you truly care and that you are willing to put in some effort to build a relationship.
Take part in community events
From time to time, the shared office management organise events and excursions that will strengthen and promote the ties among their tenants. You can look at it as a neighbourhood party. If you are willing to make friends with your co-working tenants, you should give these events a try.
Socialising in shared offices is one way to build your network. You can even find your new best friend or mentor there. The people you will meet there will help you in ways you have not considered. It can be hard for some, but you can make it much easier by thinking of it like it is a university. Be proactive and see to it that you follow through with your connections.