Fitness trends are everywhere. And, ways to maintain your six pack while at work are popping up left and right. I’m not going to hop on that bandwagon here.
What I want to talk about is staying healthy from a more holistic standpoint, especially as it relates to operating in a shared workspace. It doesn’t matter if you’re renting a desk in a coworking space or getting your hands dirty at a co-manufacturing space. When you’re part of a community of different businesses, it’s really easy to just put your head down and focus on your own world and your own problems.
I think that’s a recipe for stunted personal and professional development. It’s not a healthy way to do business or develop relationships with others.
So, here are five ways to grow yourself personally and professionally when your business operates out of a shared workspace:
#1 – Make liberal use of the gym
Okay. I threw this one in for the muscle heads, but hear me out. I don’t care how many crunches or planks you do. If you operate out of a shared space that has gym access for its tenants, you have a built-in opportunity to find common ground with other people in the space without making work the first focus of your conversation. What if you don’t have a gym on-site? Well, you could always look for another space. Or, you can try one of the other 4 ways you can grow yourself in a shared space. Read on…
#2 – Participate in community hangman
In our coworking space, a few of the companies who call MAC6 home started playing hangman. They do it on a whiteboard that every tenant walks by when they show up to work. Over time, it has become a bit of a staple of the coworking experience. It doesn’t have to be hangman, per se, but people like to play games. When you’re in a shared space, people need to take breaks to maintain their sanity. Being part of a community where gaming is welcome and encouraged is a big deal. It means that the owners understand the rigors of the work you do in your stage of business. Taken advantage of this fun and creative latitude. It gives you an outlet and encourages collaboration with others outside of the hustle.
#3 – Partake in community happy hours
This may fly in the face of keeping your abs as ripped as possible, but there’s no substitute for being part of a shared space where the owners understand how important it is to decompress at the end of each week. And while not everyone does that over a cold beer or glass of wine, isn’t it refreshing to think about a community of businesses coming together to share war stories and celebrate the wins that occured each week on the coworking or co-manufacturing floor? What better way to connect with and relate to a bunch of people who are in the same stage of business as you without the pressure of mid-week deadlines?
#4 – Embrace education
Fun and games are great, but purpose-focused shared workspaces that offer professional development or culture-focused programs for their tenants are real winners. When you have access to educational opportunities that are focused on helping you grow, the sky’s the limit. Some programs may be offered for multiple companies at once, which gives you a great way to build relationships with others in the space. And even if some of the workshops are just for your team, you can use the experience to mature your company’s culture and then live it out for other companies in the space to see.
#5 – Hit up the kitchen
Traditionally, family comes together around the kitchen table. Great conversations and meaningful revelations happen there. In a shared space, the kitchen is the one place everyone goes at some point during the day. Whether it’s to retrieve a brown bag lunch or grab a cup of coffee, our stomachs demand that we hang out there for at least a few minutes. And it’s in those minutes that a simple, “How’s your day going?” can ignite a connection or conversation that leads to something bigger than a passing comment.
It’s not always easy to plant yourself in a shared space. Sometimes the local coffee shop can feel more comfortable. But businesses that reach a certain level need the flexibility and polish that only a shared space can offer. And that’s a good thing. It means your business is maturing. The tendency, though, is to put your nose to the grindstone and block out the world around you (like you used to do at the coffee shop). That’s not a good long-term strategy for yourself or your business.
No matter how far forward we evolve in our use of technology or how busy we get, there will always be other people around us. If we shut them out, especially when we’re sharing space with them, we’ll starve ourselves of the meaningful relationships that are necessary for business and personal growth.
And that’s something that no fitness trend will be able to solve.