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Afterwork in the coworking world

Actualizado: may 8

Afterwork, the activities of socializing with your coworkers after finishing the workday has been on fashion for several years now in continental Europe. In both corporates and coworkings, the afterwork usually consists of a few beers with colleagues upon leaving work, enjoying a relaxed conversation outside the professional context. In companies, it is a way to strengthen synergies between workers and team ties. However, in coworkings it is unfortunately perceived differently.

Most coworkings seek to organize events for their members, so that they can provide them with an additional value beyond the simple rental of space. The objective is to foster networking, allowing them to strengthen relationships, find work and collaboration opportunities, and easily meet new people who can be part of their network of professional contacts. However, those afterworks do not usually have much success over time.

In the corporate world, afterworks have the function of getting employees to know each other better. However, in coworkings, they are rather perceived as a burden because these spaces are erroneously appreciated only as a flexible and cost-savings means, and not as a fantastic opportunity to meet and share with colleagues. Many coworking owners say so: afterworks don't work as expected, since people hardly turn up.

Combine pleasure and business?

Coworking in Europe is too often still seen as a flexible and cheaper office, when it could go far beyond this. In this sense, for many coworkers, when it is time to finish the day, they leave and forget everything until the next day. After all, it is normal to want to go home to spend time with their children, with their partners, with their friends, etc. That is why they stay in the office for the minimum time necessary.

Networking events that are assimilated to leisure have no interest for many of these coworkers because of a cultural issue. In societies where leisure plays an important role, there is no culture of mixing it with work. Most workers make a very clear distinction between work time and fun time, and they are not used to combining these time spaces. Hence, when an afterwork is organized, many will sign up, but in the end they will not attend.

Events are a vital part of every collaborative workspace. The existence of communities makes it necessary to organize activities that create links between members and share knowledge and experiences, potentially generating new projects or improvements to existing ones. Boosting synergies in a coworking is part of its great added value, so you have to get people to attend events, among others. It's possible? Yes.

A professional plus

From experience, we have seen how wellness breakfasts have only attracted a few people, while informative breakfasts on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have filled the room. This shows that, as a rule, coworkers are willing to attend events if they contribute something to their business.

An activity that allows them to evolve professionally, expand their project and establish synergies will always be a success of assistance, offering real opportunities to establish contacts. Networking in this type of event is much more natural because it is not forced, because there is a "take & give". They bring together professionals who share the same thirst for information and learning, and who, therefore, can really come into contact and, why not, lead to some collaboration.

The Coworkbees platform moves this same process to the digital world, bringing people who have common interests together, allowing them to get to the point to grow professionally and find synergies in their coworking. The community in a coworking is like a village, everyone knows each other, everyone wins, everyone supports the other, everyone can find someone to help them. The community, the team, the afterwork do not have to be by obligation but because people appreciate themselves so much that they want to do it in person and voluntarily.

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