Having social anxiety is an extremely common disorder that affects millions of people every day. Whether you’re involved in Coworking or not, dealing with this challenge can cause stress, illness, and other harm. However, it’s necessary to overcome it. Managing social anxiety at work will help you personally and in your career.
Like we’ve discussed, one of the main problems people face when working from home is isolationism. But those dealing with SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) often see working in isolation as a positive.
From an operator perspective, encourage everyone to join your space. Be inclusive. It will show a very positive reflection on your members, and it will encourage those who have reservations about working in a shared space to join yours.
Share social anxiety tests with your members. Simple, anonymous tests like this one will get your members feeling comfortable answering questions about SAD, and will help them cope with it if their answers reveal they have some anxiety to overcome.
Host events or meetings where you encourage everyone to share one thing that troubles them at work. When someone says they deal with SAD or they have a fear of public speaking, for example, there’s no better support group than the members they interact with daily and are going to have to face constantly.
Coworking is about community. You’ll hear this time and again from me and everyone else involved in it. That doesn’t just include the more obvious benefits of working in a shared space. It also refers to situations like these where a community picks up one of its own.
From a member’s perspective, try to be open about your situation. It’s easier said than done. But little by little, just talk to people about what bothers you.
Nobody is going to demean you for having anxiety, it’s quite the opposite. You could find some relatable situations that will give you some comfort in knowing you’re not alone.
In meetings, the best advice is to arrive early. This way, instead of you facing a crowded room, people instead will file in individually after you. It can be worrisome to have to partake in some small talk as the room fills up, but the alternative of a large group staring at you as you walk in, can be daunting. So arrive 10-15 minutes early and ease into the situation.
When it comes to social functions outside the office, it can be tempting to drink away your anxiety. This is not a good idea. Yes, it is a casual environment and you can enjoy a cocktail with friends. But the best bet to gaining a level of comfort is to have topics of conversation ready and not let the alcohol get the best of you.
Read up on interesting stories that you think people would like to talk about. Stay away from controversial topics. Laugh, enjoy yourself, and don’t overthink the situation. People are not going to focus on your difficulties, they’re just trying to have a fun night just like you.
Overall, there are challenges to having members dealing with SAD from an operator perspective, just like there are for the members themselves. From either side, just be patient and don’t change who you are.
Be open to new ideas and be educated on the disorder. Nowadays there is plenty of available information anywhere you look about managing social anxiety at work. It affects more people than you can imagine! Our Yardi Kube platform can help your Coworking space reach new heights by making everyday tasks so much easier. Check out how we can help improve your space and benefit all members.