Which professional can today do without networking? Whatever the sector of activity, the ability to build up – and, even more so, to sustain – one’s network is an essential ingredient of success. Business leaders and self-employed people are not mistaken: 64% of them consider their network “very important”. 84% of business leaders would even use the recommendations addressed to them as a basis for finding business partners. ». Reaching new customers, meeting potential partners, recruiting employees, developing your business… At each essential stage in the life of the company, the network proves to be a decisive lever.
The difficult (but essential) art of networking
However, the art of “networking”, of weaving a successful professional network, is not easy to practice. It takes time and requires patience and tactics. It is no coincidence that in France, only 37% of SSC+ considered in 2017 that they had a sufficient network. A low figure that has several explanations. In reality, due to lack of time or strategic misunderstanding, many professionals are content with the minimum.
The field of action often boils down to LinkedIn, the first professional social network. Gathering 660 million members, including 19 million in France, the platform is a must. But presence on the network does not necessarily rhyme with performance… To be truly profitable, it requires regular activity and an adapted approach (avoiding overly direct requests, mobilising recommendations, etc.). However the platform misses out on the best way to create lasting contact with a human being: a physical encounter!
The assets of a non-virtual community
However, this is one of the great advantages of coworking and shared offices. Being part of a coworking space means being part of a network of professionals, with whom you interact on a daily basis. Moreover, if freelancers decide to break the isolation and employees break their routine, it is because they want to evolve among other professionals, in a different environment. “Offices are used to talk to each other”, according to 80% of respondents to a post-confinement study conducted by BNP Paribas Real Estate.
Entrepreneur, self-employed person, employee of a startup or a large group All are in the same atypical place, in a friendly atmosphere. On a daily basis, everyone manages their working time as they wish, with the possibility of sharing moments in third places: meeting rooms and workstations, but also, and above all, informal spaces (café, kitchen, games room, etc.) that are particularly conducive to exchanges. Comfort, conviviality, small staff: everything contributes to the creation of links and the sharing of knowledge, skills and best practices. This networking makes all the more sense as it brings together professionals working in often similar sectors of activity, with complementary know-how. And in addition to this daily context, the community meets and expands through events that are regularly organised in the coworking and shared office spaces: events, thematic breakfast conferences, discovery workshops, etc.
Coworking in Covid period
Finally, an essential point must be emphasised at this time of Covid. These areas offer all the guarantees to ensure the health safety of coworkers. Indeed, by their very nature, their layout offers real flexibility in the arrangement of the offices. This makes it possible to meet all the requirements: physical distancing, application of barrier gestures, etc. At the very heart of the health crisis, the premises have moreover been able to bring conviviality to life, with the regular organisation of remote meetings by videoconference (discussion, breakfast, aperitifs, etc.). This has succeeded in forging an even stronger link between professionals… which will certainly lead to new opportunities in the future!