Community drives productivity and networking for companies of all sizes. If you manage a coworking space, building a community can make your workspace sought-after by entrepreneurs, startups, and employees who are tired of the solitude of working from home.
You might wonder—how can I create this in an intentional, yet non-forceful manner?
Here are ten tips to help you build a coworking community in your space.
Design for Community
How your coworking space is designed can either promote community-building or discourage it. Creating an open space as a hub will encourage collaboration and conversation among your coworking space members. Include indoor and outdoor spaces where members can relax and get to know each other.
Tall cubicle walls and dark hallways tend to keep people apart and make discussions difficult. You’ll want to include a few conversation areas as well as conference rooms for when your tenants have board meetings and small gatherings with their clients.
A cocktail/mocktail hour after 5 p.m. can be a fun way for coworking space members to get together after the workday is over. It might also be a good idea to invite coworkers’ families along for a picnic or barbecue at a scenic park on the weekend.
Coworking space members will be able to make friends in a fun, casual setting when you offer them opportunities to socialize outside of business hours. Socials boost productivity for these professionals when they head back to the office.
Coworking Blogs and Newsletters
As part of your coworking space company website, including a blog where you can share news about your coworking space, upcoming events, and information that members can use to boost their professional skills. Allow your members to use this as a forum to share their news. Also, include them as guest bloggers so they can share their insights and expertise with others.
Email your members a monthly e-newsletter featuring a calendar of events, and information about your coworking space. Consider including announcements about members’ achievements, and photos from previous community-building events to encourage participation.
Seek Tenant Input
If you’re considering renovations, scheduling events, or making changes to amenities you offer, make sure to consult your coworking space members to get their input. They may have insights that can help you make better decisions for everyone.
You might consider having a town hall meeting for members each quarter to get their feedback on your services. You’ll show members you value their opinion and will be bringing your members together as a community.
Create Accountability Groups and Masterminds
One of the benefits of being a member of a coworking space is networking with other people. As a coworking space owner or manager, you can encourage this by hosting meetings for accountability groups for entrepreneurs, freelancers, marketers, and other professionals.
These mastermind meetings will offer collaboration and accountability that your members will value.
Your coworking space members may want to get some extra steps in or unwind with a yoga class. Offering group classes will help your members relieve stress and stay fit. Your members will be more likely to form a community when they can pursue healthy goals together. Plus, they’ll see you as supportive of their health and wellness.
Create a Member Wall
Having a spot for your coworking space members to post information will help them share good news and essential information with others. You can also add recognition of your own, such as naming a “member of the month.”
Your member wall will be a natural gathering place for community building in your coworking space. Not only will a members’ wall or bulletin board be an avenue for sharing information. But it’ll serve as an avenue for members to see that you value their business and achievements.
Offer a Refreshment Station
Offering a coffee or tea bar refrigerator, and microwave oven will give each member a spot to enjoy a cup of java, fill their water bottles, or microwave a quick lunch.
This area is a natural gathering place where members can “talk shop” or chat about their lives and interests, which builds community.
Hold Professional Development Workshops
People become members of coworking spaces because they are serious about their careers or the companies they are establishing. Offer professional development workshops on subjects such as social media marketing, time management, finding venture capital, public speaking, software updates, investing, or any other topics your members might be interested in.
Learning together can build community in your coworking space. Chances are that your flex-space members will appreciate the opportunity to sharpen their professional skills. Having added benefits like this will keep your members happily leasing an office in your coworking space.
Communication Through Software
The software you choose for running your coworking or flex space can help build a community among members. Softwares like Cowello makes being a member easier. How? By automating coworking space payments and allowing real-time online room and inventory reservations.
As a coworking or flex-space owner or manager, you’ll appreciate features such as inventory tracking and management. Not to mention automated billing and the ability to manage multiple properties in one software. With the right coworking management software, you can create a flexible working community, and serve that community well. All of it at an affordable cost.
Craving community and in-person networking, more professionals are moving to coworking and flex spaces. You can build the community they’re seeking by trying some of the ideas shared above.
Designing your coworking space and intentionally building community will not only bring more value to your coworking space members but will attract more tenants to your property.
Your members will look forward to time spent working in your coworking space because they can make valued friends and get to know their colleagues while working toward their professional goals.