Today was a busy, but not ‘a great day’ . A day whereafter you come home and think ‘Holy shit , today so much happend , I’ve met so many great people , and they’re all doing great and inspiring things. Today was “I have to go home to scan my invoices after I carried chairs and tables around, had a 5 minutes lunch while reading the same mails for the 5th time’ …. I have avoided social contact , even during the five conversations I ‘ve had today today : (
I’ve been running Seats2meet.com locations for the past 5 years from Utrecht to The Hague and now in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam . In those five years 1 thing became clear : A good day is not necessarily a busy day. The opposite is true. Even though it is great to have a full coworking lounge, when i see people (including myself!) hiding behind a screen all day, we miss the real sparks that makes a day so much fun.
I recently read “Daring Greatly ” by Brene Brown , and the relationship between her research results ‘Try and be vulnerable to be open to the encounters and relationships that make us happy’ and our flexible workplaces is amazingly strong. And easilly measured. The days where I meet many people and i’m able to help and introduce people are the best. I’ll go home with a super good feeling, and I’m very proud of what the great company we’re building. The days when no connections arise , I would prefer close up all powersockets and wifi , so people will be forced to meet!
Many days I ‘d rather hide behind my screen. However, I am lucky since i am the host and have to receive and welcome everyone. It’s an easy conversation starter, that leads to many inspiring and fun talks. That’s easy . When i visit another #s2m as a ‘non-host’ I always think to myself “wow, All these people just slide next to eachother on 10-person tables with no fear, that seems really scary’ .
But sometimes people just need to get some work done. So in Amsterdam we plan occasionally coffee-breaks, or we test with card with commands such as ‘give the person in front of you a compliment, or think of a random act of kindness and do it. I have a thousand and one plans to try and make everyone happier and hopefully more successful through connectivity but I notice that every time I have to cross a threshold myself aswell. Because even though I have been through 10 fun and successful coffee-breaks , it’s still super scary to gather everybody for a cup. But it works well, every time!
That’s why i’d like to ask for your help. Are you working at #meetberlage and are you noticing that you’re hiding behind your laptop while you really really need a quick boost of energy? Offer your neighbor a cup of coffee. Are you really brave? Ask 10 people to get together for a coffee break and solve a challenge for someone in the group. Or just say “Felix , look how quiet it is , you have to organize a coffee break!” . Because then I’ll have to do it! ( and if everyone starts to laugh because it was a stupid idea at least it wasn’t my idea 🙂 ) )