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Coworking has become a global phenomenon and we don’t see it stopping anytime soon. In 2019, there were nearly 19,000 coworking spaces worldwide and is projected to continue growing to almost 26,000 by 2022. These booming statistics come with no surprise as we’ve seen how coworking helps workers thrive in their jobs and improves productivity. But working in a coworking space doesn’t immediately equate to skyrocketing productivity.

An environment full of vibrant, energetic, and passionate people can impact one’s productivity. Conversations can pop-up from anywhere and distractions can creep in. Alternatively, not collaborating enough can lead to missed “Eureka!” moments that can come from such a bustling space. So how do you make the most out of your coworking experience? Read along as we give you our 5 hacks to improve productivity when coworking.

How to Improve Productivity When in a Coworking Space

More flexible ways of working are needed to cater to the growing demands of the modern-day workforce. People want to work anywhere anytime and this is one of the reasons why coworking spaces exist. A coworking space is a membership-based shared office environment where a diverse group of people from different companies and varied backgrounds work in a communal setting. When you enter a coworking space, you’ll usually meet freelancers, employees, remote workers, and independent professionals. These spaces are accessible, offer opportunities to network and collaborate, and provide a creative space for like-minded individuals.

While you can hear and learn ideas from professionals of various expertise and backgrounds, you may struggle to keep yourself productive if you’re unable to navigate such a busy coworking space. Here are our 5 tips to improve productivity when in a coworking space.

Plan Your Work Day

This hack is not exclusive to working in a coworking space. Planning your workday is proven to improve productivity. Coming to a coworking space prepared with a list of things to do will help you stay focused on work. This will also keep you accountable and remind you to keep off needless distractions. You can use various tools like an online Kanban board or a trusty old journal to plan your tasks. Whatever tool you use, self-discipline is the key to improve your productivity wherever you work.

Know Where Your Time Goes

Tracking your time helps you understand just how much time you’re spending on work versus lesser important things. You can also use that data to manage your schedule and change things as needed to improve your productivity. You can take advantage of free or paid time-tracking software online for this.

Pro-tip: To supercharge your productivity, you can even use time-boxing techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique to maintain laser focus when working on your tasks.

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Always Aim for Productive Engagement

Being in a coworking space can do wonders for your creativity by engaging with like-minded people. But you need to be mindful to engage at the right time and with the right intentions. The people in your coworking space have got tasks to do too, so ensure that you’re coming into a conversation that’s beneficial for both parties.

Mindless chatting will only lead to procrastination and lowered levels of productivity. Meaningful conversations improve productivity. But this is not to say that conversations to build rapport and friendship are taboo in a coworking space. For engagements of this sort, you can allot small pockets of your time within the workday to mingle with your coworkers. This could be during your mini-breaks and should be done without being a distraction to anyone.

Tune Out the Noise

When it’s time to put your “game face on” at work, it’s helpful if you can cut down on the noise. Noise and distracting conversations are common in a coworking space. You will have a hard time focusing if you can hear Mark and Sarah’s conversation in full volume. Listening to ambient sounds helps lessen distracting noise and improves productivity. Wearing headphones, even if you’re not listening to music, can also let others know that you’re “in the zone” and cannot be disturbed.

Get a Dedicated Desk

If budgets permit or your company has a coworking expense perk, you can get a dedicated desk. This will lessen the need for you to move around during the day. Dedicated desks also give you more privacy which helps you stay more focused on work. You can leave your things on your desk which saves you time from tidying or setting up each day. Dedicated desk memberships usually come with perks like access to community events and meeting rooms which can be beneficial over just using a hot desk. Should you want to use a common area to change things up a bit, you’re free to do so. You can always retreat to your dedicated desk anytime.

Coworking Promotes Productivity and Creativity

If you’re looking for a change in scenery from your traditional or home office, coworking spaces are a better option over coffee shops or cafés. You will not only have a place to be productive, but you’ll be part of a community of creative and innovative individuals. Wherever you work, you need to have the self-discipline to keep yourself accountable for completing your tasks. Be sure to apply our hacks to improve productivity when coworking and you’ll maximize any space you work in.

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About the Author: Lena Boiser

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Lena Boiser is an Agile enthusiast. Starting off her career as a Software Business Analyst in 2010, she eventually performed other roles including Project Manager and IT Business Manager. When she was immersed in Agile methodologies in 2014, Lena found her way through honing her craft and eventually became a Certified Scrum Product Owner. In 2017, after 7 years of working in the corporate world, Lena started her own remote consulting practice. Today, she provides project management and Scrum Product Ownership services to various businesses including software development companies, e-Commerce business owners, and small to medium sized companies. She believes that even teams working remotely can harness the benefits of Agile in order to deliver results for their companies. In her free time she likes to write. One day she could be writing about Agile, the next she could be writing anything about fashion or travel.