Staying focused in a co-working environment is very important. Changes in work practices, largely driven by technological advancements in the business environment, mean that video conferencing replaces travel and that collaborative work can happen even from opposite sides of the globe. Hence, traditional models are no longer the only, or indeed most suitable, approach to work spaces, flexible spaces or shared offices.
Addressing many of the new challenges, co-working spaces take the form of an informal work area, one that combines the traditional office with the mobility and flexibility that suits workers such as freelancers, independent consultants, the self-employed and project teams working remotely from the main office. However, without the structure and discipline of the regular business environment, distractions and lack of focus is often a problem. But there are a few clever tricks and habits to adopt that will help you stay on track.
Noise cancelling headphones
If you are the sort of person who is easily distracted or who needs to really focus on the task in front of you, noise cancelling headphones allow you to seal yourself off from the background bustle and allow you to exist in a bubble of concentration. It allows you to go into a virtual office and lock the door behind you and the great thing is that when you are ready to network or socialise again, you merely have to slip the headphones off. Simple!
With such a wide choice of products, it can get very confusing to take your pick. Fear not! As we have compiled a list of the most affordable yet good quality noise-cancelling headphones:
A quiet, comfortable and calming environment will improve your productivity. Aside from making the overall look of the space more stylish, a work space that makes plenty of use of acoustic panels is sure to reduce distraction and increase focus. These work wonders for us and they can work for you:
Shared space working comes with the responsibility for your own productivity. Some people relish this freedom but others may need to impose a bit of self-discipline.
There are plenty of FREE time management Apps that can be downloaded and used to track your own progress. Simpler still, set up an online calendar and set reminders that schedule targets, coffee breaks and even social time with other co-workers. Simplest of all is the tried and tested list. Even a simple desk pad with the day’s “to do” list will add a certain semblance of organisation to your day – and there is nothing more satisfying that putting that tick against the final task, having an unscheduled coffee break and an early finish.
Although the fluidity and variation of using co-working spaces is much of the attraction, many will prefer a certain amount of familiarity within that ever-changing environment. One thing that helps is to use the same desk every day, to have a dedicated space that feels like your own. This isn’t always an option, and if it is, it will probably mean that you have to pay a little extra for it, but at the end of the day you don’t have to take everything home with you.
You may be sharing space with people who know nothing about your own work, who come from unrelated businesses and different walks of life but that in itself is the common ground. If you get stuck, ask around for help, you never know what experience and knowledge may just be a desk or two along from you. And even if there isn’t anyone who knows the answer, sometimes great ideas that come from unrelated areas of business may be applicable. They may even be revolutionary! Such are the unique benefits of such a work environment. And who knows what help you will be to others around you.
Shared spaces are what you make of them but they do offer a unique chance to mix with people from all over the business world. These people are likely to be entrepreneurial and imaginative, just like you after all this is why they work here and not in a big, grey, featureless office on the retail park just out of town. Shared work spaces are unique and challenging places, but learn how to utilise them to the fullest and they could change the way you work forever.