The way we work post-pandemic will never be the same, so it’s time to get creative! Read about the types of people you’ll find at a coworking space to see if it is the right fit for you.
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Let’s be honest: Working from home sucks. Working from bed and being able to constantly snack was nice at first, but eventually the slow wifi, lackluster coffee and general pantlessness became unbearable. Unfortunately for many employees, going back to the dreary office seems even worse. We can’t go back to the way things were. So what’s the solution? Coworking spaces!
A coworking space is a shared working environment where individuals and companies can rent temporary office spaces on a monthly basis. This flexible alternative to traditional offices does more than serve as a drop-in office for those with entrepreneurial spirits. Coworking spaces also attract a certain kind of community, where people from all walks of life and professions work together to inspire and motivate one another. That means networking events, happy hours, entrepreneurial advice and creativity galore.
Is working from home a nightmare for employers? Surprisingly not. A study conducted by Angus Reid Institute reported an increase in productivity, mental health and even socializing in employees working from home. In Canadian households, around half reported having someone working from home, and if required to return to the office, two in five surveyed said they would go back full-time, one in four said they would start looking for another job and one in five said they would quit immediately. The largest group of 65% wanted a hybrid model, where time was split between home offices and employment offices. That’s where coworking experienced a boom, coming back bigger than it began.
If you’ve decided to put on pants and head back to the workforce in a coworking community, what can you expect? (Besides free coffee, wifi, and a foosball table). After experimenting at one of the top coworking spaces in Toronto, here are five of the colorful characters we spotted.
Related: A Coworking Space vs. a Private Office: How Do You Choose?
1. The Networker
If you’re new and a little nervous, The Networker will be your connection to the rest of the office. The Networker actually knows your boss’s nephew, who works in marketing at his or her friend’s startup. You’ll soon find out that they know everyone.
He or she is usually the first person to introduce himself or herself to you, so you will always have someone to chat with when you’re on a coffee break. The Networker always seems to have time for a chatty coffee break. (Come to think of it … you’ve never actually seen him or her with a laptop?) You’re likely to overhear many of this person’s conversations and ideas. Here’s a fun idea: Take an espresso shot every time he or she says the word “pivot,” “innovation” or “Dogecoin.”
All jokes aside, Networkers are the social butterflies that make a coworking space rife with opportunities that traditional office spaces are lacking.
2. The Frazzled Freelance Writer
Nothing speaks to a creative like flexible working hours and endless opportunities to brainstorm. You’ll find freelancers floating through the office, headphones in and notebook in hand. They seem to be without a care in the world — until they have a deadline.
Freespirits become frazzled right before your eyes, typing at lightning speed and only getting up to refill their coffee. When writer’s block hits, these community-minded creatives may ask you for tips on how to reignite their spark!
Related: Why Coworking Isn’t Just a Rented Desk
3. The Work Mom
The sense of community that comes from coworking spaces is often spearheaded by this colorful character. Work Moms bring positivity, warmth and homemade sweet treats that you can never seem to say no to.
Have you experienced “toxic workplaces”? You can rest assured that The Work Mom would never let that happen at your coworking space. You can find this person sitting in the community area, mentoring anyone who needs a helping hand.
4. The Renter
Somehow, no matter what time you enter the office, The Renter is there. They never really seem to leave; in fact, you saw a toothbrush in the bathroom once ….
These determined developers are usually working on a startup company that is bound to take off any day now. They won’t tell you all the details (much to the dismay of the Networker), but they will tease that they have “something exciting coming soon” when asked. They work from sunup to sundown and sometimes sundown to sunup! They take advantage of the 24/7 access to the coworking space, to the point where you’ll start asking yourself if they live there.
Related: 15 Tips for Using a Coworking Space to Its Fullest
5. The Highly Caffeinated
“Free coffee and blazing fast wifi” caught this person’s attention, and he or she never looked back. This person used to do all of his or her work from a tiny desk at the local Starbucks, but spending $30 per day on endless lattes quickly became excessive.
Now, you can find this person at his or her designated desk (which he or she requested be right next to the kitchen) constantly sipping on free coffee. Unsurprisingly, your Highly Caffeinated coworkers are very energetic, a little jittery and always happy to share their almond milk.
Anyone you meet at a coworking space is looking to escape the monotony of a traditional office and the distractions of home in order to get some face time with other like-minded individuals.