What to Expect During Your First Time at a Coworking Space

Coworking spaces crack open the concept of what a workplace can be—and how it can support every type of worker more comfortably and productively.

Beyond the ergonomic furniture and high-speed internet, these spaces buzz with creative energy—offering opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, build professional relationships, and spark unexpected collaborations. Whether you're a seasoned professional seeking a change of scenery or a budding entrepreneur embarking on a new venture, this guide will help you navigate your first visit at a coworking space.

WIZU - Number Thirty Two
WIZU - Number Thirty Two

Step 1: Finding the perfect space

Choosing the right coworking space is an important part of having a great first experience. Remember: it’s more than a replacement for HQ or your home office—it’s a place that should fuel your focus, foster creativity, and align with your professional goals.

Here are some key factors to consider when dipping your toe into the waters of coworking:

  • Location, Location, Location: Convenience is king! Ideally, choose a space with easy access to public transportation, parking options if you drive, and proximity to amenities you might need during your workday (e.g., cafes, gyms, banks). You might also choose a coworking space in a part of town you’re familiar with to ease any anxieties.

  • Amenities Matter: Coworking spaces offer a variety of perks beyond just a desk. Consider the amenities that are most important to you. Does reliable printing rank high on your list? Are meeting rooms essential? Some spaces even offer on-site cafés or fitness centers. Orient your search to find a space that complements your expectations.

  • Community Vibe: Not all coworking spaces are created equal. Some boast an energetic and social atmosphere, perfect for those who thrive on interaction. Others prioritize a quieter, more focused environment. Take some time to research the space's culture and ensure it aligns with your personality and the type of environment you thrive in.

Before you start touring spaces, take a moment to rank your needs, wants, and expectations. Do you require a dedicated desk or are you comfortable with a hot-desk arrangement? Is access to natural light important to you? Do you prefer a vibrant, collaborative zone? Knowing your essentials will help you find a space that feels right from the moment you walk in.

The Farm SoHo
The Farm SoHo

Step 2: Packing for success

Once you’ve picked out a coworking space, it's time to prepare for your first productive day. In many ways, it’s like going on vacation—right down to packing your bag. Bringing along the right essentials will make it easier for you to get set up, focused, and comfortable at your desk for a day.

Here’s what to pack:

  • Tech Essentials: This goes without saying, but your laptop is your lifeline in a coworking space. Remember your charger and any necessary peripherals: a portable mouse or an external monitor can significantly enhance your comfort. If you use a tablet or have a work phone, be sure to stow those items and their chargers, as well. Don’t forget your headphones, either.

  • Creating Comfort: A comfortable workspace fosters better focus. Think about items you regularly rely on during the day and pack them if you can. For instance, a reusable water bottle and healthy snacks will keep you hydrated and energized throughout the day. Ergonomic accessories like a wrist rest or a portable lap desk can also help prevent discomfort, especially if you plan on working for extended periods.

Beyond the physical essentials, don't forget the importance of mental preparation. Shifting to a new work environment can take some adjustment. Take a moment to mentally prepare for the potential distractions or changes in routine you might encounter in a shared space. A little preparedness can help you get settled in with minimal anxiety or discomfort.

CENTRL Office - South Bay
CENTRL Office - South Bay

Step 3: Navigating the coworking space

It’s an exciting and empowering feeling walking into a coworking space—especially for the first time. But before you can get into the swing of things, you’ll need to find your desk for the day. Fear not if the layout seems unfamiliar; most coworking spaces follow a general structure, making it easy to find your way around:

  • Dedicated Desks: These are individual workstations assigned to specific members.

  • Hot Desks: Open work areas with unassigned desks, perfect for flexible work schedules.

  • Meeting Rooms: Rooms for team collaborations, presentations, or private calls.

  • Communal Areas: Common spaces that encourage interaction and informal gatherings.

  • Break Rooms: Kitchens or pantries provide a space to grab coffee or eat your lunch.

Don't worry about getting lost, either. Most coworking spaces will have a clear layout and signage to guide you. Additionally, printing stations, Wi-Fi access points, and other resources are usually well-marked and easily accessible.

Often, your experience will start at the front desk, where a friendly Community Manager will guide you through your coworking journey. They can answer any questions you might have, from booking meeting rooms to navigating the workspace etiquette. If it's your first time, they'll likely offer a quick tour to familiarize you with the layout and resources. Don't hesitate to introduce yourself and ask for help—that's what they're there for!

VUKA - North Loop
VUKA - North Loop

Step 4: Overcoming common challenges

Starting anything new comes with its own set of challenges, and coworking spaces are no exception. It’s easy to feel anxious or lost if something doesn’t go exactly as planned. Don’t worry—most coworking challenges have simple solutions.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Adjusting to Change: Moving from a familiar workspace to a shared environment can be disorienting. We say embrace the change. Give yourself time to adjust to the new layout, routines, and potential background noise.

  • Managing Expectations: Coworking spaces are hubs of activity, so don't expect complete silence. While most spaces have designated quiet areas, some level of background noise is inevitable. Invest in noise-canceling headphones if you require absolute quiet for focused work.

  • Seeking Assistance: Need help finding the printer or figuring out the Wi-Fi connection? Can’t remember where the bathrooms are? Don't be afraid to ask for help. The space’s Community Manager and fellow members are valuable resources, and they’re likely to help you without hesitation.

Above all, remember that everyone in the coworking space is just like you: looking for a comfortable, welcoming space where they can be productive. Communication and a collaborative spirit go a long way in fostering a positive and supportive work environment.

Haymarket HQ
Haymarket HQ

Step 5: Building connections and rapport

Venturing into a new space on your first day can be daunting. But the good news? Most coworking spaces are designed to be welcoming and encourage interaction.

Take a deep breath, shed those first-day jitters, and don’t be afraid to get familiar with people—especially if you plan on coming back. Strike up conversations, share your work experiences, and explore potential collaborations.

As familiar faces become first-name greetings, you’ll slowly feel more and more included in the coworking space. You might even find a potential mentor, a valuable business partner, or simply a friendly face to share a cup of coffee with during breaks.

Good Coworking
Good Coworking

Have a great coworking experience

Now, the world of coworking awaits. If you’re ready to ditch the isolation of working from home or the limitations of a traditional office, there’s no shortage of coworking spaces waiting for you to explore.

Book a day at a coworking space near you—wherever you need it, whenever you need it.

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