Initially, co-working spaces offered community and workspace for freelancers who mostly worked alone but as the industry has grown, they’ve also become a home for startups and companies alike. For the latter, this begs the question of how to cultivate their own distinct company culture while growing their business within a co-working ecosystem.
Check out our tips for cultivating company culture as part of a co-working community.
Be deliberate about community building within your own team
There are a whole host of perks that come with being part of a co-working space whether it’s free coffee, FriYay beers or community events. The key to making the most of your time within a co-working space is immersing yourself in these events and getting involved in the co-working community. However, taking time to plan your own events and creating company traditions will help to form the basis of your own unique company culture, separate to that of your co-working space.
Try planning team outings. Not only are they fun but they’re an opportunity for your company culture to thrive and grow. Your team plays a huge role in your company culture and planning company outings creates an environment where they feel valued and engaged. It gives them an opportunity to learn about each other and creates a sense of comradery outside of the office.
Set up your space to reflect your brand
Your office set up is important so with respect to others sharing the workspace and within the means of your co-working space’s policy, cultivate company culture by making your office area feel like home. Add personal touches like displaying your company’s mission, team photos and company branding by your workspace. Further customize your space through employee onboarding using inexpensive additions such as branded notebooks, stationery and company stickers to decorate desktop computer monitors.
Communication is key
As with developing a positive company culture anywhere, communicating the mission, values and vision of your company are crucial. Draft a mission statement or succinctly explain the company vision and reinforce this mission regularly to your team.
Include your team members in creating a company culture. Even if your team is small, work together to include them in the culture-building process but collecting their feedback and ideas. Ultimately, a strong culture is responsive to employee interests. The more your colleagues feel heard, the more likely they are to engage with your culture and feel like they’re part of the team.
On a practical level, shared communication channels specific to your team (as opposed to those used by the entire co-working space) will help to keep everyone looped in. Even if you’re operating in a small team, don’t underestimate the necessity of a communication stream private to your team.