This article is part of the school of coworking course through Archie. Make sure to check out the other articles to learn more about how to start a coworking space business.?
Everyone wants to feel like they belong and ever since the pandemic happened, social distance left people lonely and longing for community. People feel out of touch and desire others around them, which is why they may choose to work in a coworking space. As the owner of a coworking space, you have the power to create a joyful and welcoming environment where your customers can make real connections and have a community.
In this article, we will look at the different ways you can make a meaningful experience for your customers by building a community for them in your coworking space.
What Does Community Look Like In A Coworking Space?
Many coworking spaces have great amenities, attractive interior design, and access to fantastic service, however, one thing they lack is community. This is exactly the reason why you should invest your time in creating a company culture that is rooted in community, as you will stand out from your competitors.
A good coworking community is about the relationships that are cultivated in your coworking space. You are almost like the conductor of a big mission where you get to create opportunities for people to interact and have genuine relationships. Think about all your freelance clients. They are the ones that are lacking community the most. Creating an open environment for them to come to and meet people and feel a sense of belonging is a game-changer.
What this looks like in a coworking space is having an open and comfortable environment that enables people to communicate with each other and build relationships. Having this builds trust in your business from your customers. They will be able to bond with each other over shared experiences and foster loyalty to each other and to you.
Why Should You Build Community In Your Coworking Space?
As mentioned above having a community in your coworking space is about loyalty, trust, and standing out to your competitors.
Loyalty will come if your customers are bonded to your space from the relationships they created there. If they have a place they can go to where they feel a sense of belonging, they will not want to leave. Besides that, they will recommend your coworking space to their friends and acquaintances. If you are a small space, in particular, having a community aspect in your coworking space is something you could do very easily that will advantage you greatly.
Competitors are another reason why you should have a community in your space. If your clients are only going there to do their work without developing any meaningful relationships that ties them to your space, then what’s stopping them from leaving when they find a cheaper desk with one of your competitors? Creating a sense of belonging for your customers will give you a little more reassurance that you won’t lose your clients to your competition.
Trust is also a major reason why you should invest in your coworking space community. Isolation has been very difficult for people lately, and with more of them working from home, many feel like the sense of collectivism is gone. If you can provide a space for the people who would otherwise be working from home that also gives them the ability to make connections, then you have proven yourself to be trustworthy and reliable. This is great for your brand.
The goal of building a community in your space is simply to stand out and make a difference. Put your clients first, and you will see the benefits firsthand.
Developing a Community In Your Coworking Space
Now that we’ve established that community is important in your coworking space, we will look at the different ways you can build a community in your space. Below we’ve written a few important options that can help you achieve this. Remember to analyze your space, budget, and abilities when you decide how you want to proceed.
Option 1: Develop your coworking space mission statement.
Before working to build a community, the first option is to come up with a mission statement for your coworking space. What this will do is help you think about where you want your business to go and what your main priorities are.
When writing your statement think about your values and your customers. How would you like your customers to feel or be treated? Is there a specific aspect that made you want to start a coworking space?
Tip: Create a Mind Map of all your ideas, values, stories, and other things that inspire you. This will help give you a better idea of what your mission statement will look like.
Consider writing a mission statement that involves a sense of community in your coworking space. After the mission statement is written, you can base your business decisions on it, including building a community for your clients.
Share that mission statement with your clientele and team and establish the values you have, so that they will come into your space with the expectations and initiative to build connections.
Option 2: Create opportunities for members of your coworking space to feel like they belong
The power you have as an owner means that you are able to take initiative and organize different events to cultivate community.
By having exclusive member events, your clients will be able to network with each other and make friendships along the way. It’s also a great incentive for new clients who are looking for perks and community.
Here is a list of some events you can host in your coworking space for your members:
- Free breakfast: This is a great way to get your clients to all come into one room and socialize. Food is one of the best ways to get people to attend something, so going with free breakfast once a week or month is a great option. Don’t be limited by breakfast, if you would like to serve lunch instead go for it. Be creative and have fun with the events you create.
- Game nights: Everyone loves board games once in a while. They are a great way to meet people and break the ice. Invest in a few popular board games and host a games night regularly.
- Happy hour: One great way to bring people together and loosen up the tension is to host happy hours once in a while. This will get people socializing in no time.
- Craft Workshops: For all your creative members you can host nights where you have people DIY something. Buy a few supplies and set them up on a table and watch people have fun while talking to each other. Some examples include making and decorating your own succulent jars, or creating a Christmas ornament.
You are of course not limited to only these events, as there are thousands more out there. Think about your target clientele and try to come up with events that they would like. Don’t forget to be creative and have fun!
Option 3: Have your community manager get involved
One of the community manager’s priorities is to help your clients become part of the community in your coworking space. They serve as a friendly face that your customers know and trust. They will be the ones who your customers will go to for their needs. If your clients see your community manager socializing it’ll only encourage them to do so too with each other, so have them take the first step.
One great way for your community manager to help build community is to get to know each customer and company in your coworking space and their needs. After they feel like they know everyone, have your community manager connect your customers with each other.
This will serve as networking, but your community manager will be the one facilitating everything. If they notice that one company has something in common with another company using your space (or individuals), then that is a great reason for the manager to connect them with each other. This will create a group spirit between your clients despite them not actually working together.
Taking care of your coworking space community
Now that you have found ways to create a community in your space, it’s time to think about nurturing it and continuing to grow it. Sometimes some events may not have a huge turnout, but the more regular you are with them the more people will attend. It’s important to not get discouraged if something doesn’t go as planned, and keep your mission statement in mind. Be consistent in what you do and remind yourself that good things take time, especially building a sense of community.
With that said, it is important to keep track of your community-building efforts, and maintain them so that you can truly nurture a sense of belonging in your coworking space.
Put your community manager to use again
To maintain your community, you have to involve your members and their opinions. Your community manager is the one for this job. They will go around and survey your customers on how they think the community building is going. It might be tempting to skip this but remember that you may see things very differently than your customers, and until you ask them and put yourself in their shoes you have no way of knowing how it’s really going.
Have your community manager take surveys or just ask around about how everything is going. Based on the answers you will be able to see what’s working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly.
Take it to social media
The power of social media is strong in today’s world, so you might as well use that to your advantage. One great way to show your current and prospective clients that you value community is to have real testimonials from your clients.
Consider setting up an Instagram account that is dedicated to testimonials about your coworking space. Have your community manager find members who are interested in sharing their experiences and write a post on them. Bonus points if you can find someone with a great community-based story that happened in your coworking space.
This practice will show everyone how great your space is for community building and will encourage others to have similar experiences.
Another thing you can do with social media is share events that you are hosting to remind members and prospective members of what’s coming up.
Tip: Try to make your posts visually appealing so that it catches people’s eyes. Use Canva to create a nice design for your event that will stand out.
How Archie Can Help You With Your Community Building
Something to remember is that it may be difficult to facilitate all the community building by yourself. Keeping track of everything and everyone is also going to be hard, not to mention trying to promote events through outside parties will also be exhausting. If you feel that all the community-building efforts are too much to handle, we’ve got the solution for you.
Archie, a leading coworking space software, can help you through all your community-building needs. Archie, a multipurpose app, will not only allow your clients to book rooms, desks, and even plans right on the app, but it also contains a Network section that is specifically designated to have community features. These features include an Events page, a News Feed page, and a Network page, all for your clients to enjoy in an easy-to-navigate system.
The Events Page will be a hub for all the events you create. This is where you will post and promote any events that you are hosting. Members of your coworking space will be to RSVP and book (if the event is paid) right on the app. This will spare you the tedious process of promoting events and setting up payments on various different platforms.
The News Feed section will act kind of like a Facebook newsfeed that is entirely for your space. Here, your members will be able to communicate with each other. In a world full of social media presence, this will be a great way for your members to socialize together.
The Network section will be filled with all your members’ profiles. This way everyone can get to know each other conveniently and with ease.
Archie is a great tool that you can use to your advantage when it comes to community building.
Community is important for your coworking space. Investing in good community-building practices can lead to great outcomes in the long run. Remember to do what suits your needs best, and focus on giving your customers a great experience that ends with meaningful connections.
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