These days, coworking spaces are becoming more popular than ever. A decade ago you wouldn’t even be able to find one; today there are over 6,000 of them across the globe.
There’s a reason for this craze: they’re the perfect combination between home and office space, where like-minded people can come together in an itinerant manner. And that’s not all! Coworking also provides certain advantages when it comes to tax benefits and building business networks.
But starting up your own coworking space is only half the fun. You’ve got twenty-four hours daily to consider what you need to do next in order for your coworkers to feel comfortable while staying at your place -amongst other things-.
Here are a few tips for you to consider when managing your coworker space:
1. Take a look at the available amenities
What do your coworkers need? Think carefully about what facilities could make their stay easier and, in turn, let them feel welcomed. For example printers, scanners, desks, chairs… The possibilities are endless! What’s more, is that this will also give you an idea of the target market you’d like to address with your coworking space.
2. Offer events
Organize activities where coworkers can meet new people or share experiences within the community. Similarly, if they come from different backgrounds it’ll be easier for them to create new business opportunities thanks to these kinds of interactions. But don’t overthink it! You can start off with an event as simple as a coworking space potluck.
3. Create a comfortable environment
It might seem obvious, but it’s still something that needs to be said: create a friendly atmosphere! Coworkers will feel more welcomed the moment they walk through your doors if you place some personal touches here and there -like plants or photographs- to bring personality to what would normally be considered ‘waiting for areas.’
But above all, make sure not to overdo it; otherwise, coworkers won’t feel like they’re in their own home anymore. To put this another way, you could say that managers of coworking spaces need to balance between making the place look attractive while respecting the privacy of everyone who uses it.
4. Customize each space
Another way to create a welcome atmosphere is by customizing each coworking space into something that’ll suit the members who use it. For example, if your coworkers are artists you could paint one of the walls with their favorite color; or if they’re photographers you could put certain decorations depending on their preferences (sports or musical interests, anyone?). The possibilities are endless! Personalized spaces will make them feel like they’ve got their own area within the coworking itself.
5. Offer social events outside your coworking space
People only use coworking spaces during the day -maybe even just for lunch breaks- which means that there’s very little time left to actually interact with others in person. Therefore, it’s important to offer events outside your coworking space where coworkers can spend time together.
This could be as simple as a drink after work or as complex as taking a trip to some nearby natural site (for example). But above all -just like with the previous tip- make sure not to overdo it; otherwise, you’ll end up losing money rather than making it back!
6. Collaborate with other coworking spaces
If possible, try collaborating with other coworking spaces so that people have somewhere else they can go to when your place is too busy or during weekends. This way you won’t lose members and -vice versa- potential new ones will have more opportunities to come to visit.
7. Write about what worries you
As easy as it is to think about the good things -as in tip number five- sometimes it’s even better to concentrate on what might go wrong. Write down your worries and post them online so that coworkers can help solve these issues if they happen, or simply give their opinions on how you could avoid them. Or create videos and share them with everyone!
8. Keep an open mind
Last but not least, keep an open mind! You’ll learn more than enough throughout this process, which means that there’ll be plenty of room for new ideas later on. What’s more, is that these tips are meant to be taken as guidelines; therefore, feel free to create your own rules or to break some others depending on how your coworking space develops through time!
Now that you’ve read this article on how to manage your coworking space growth, it’s time for you to start thinking about what changes need to be made. Even if you’re not sure where, to begin with, these tips, don’t worry! With a little bit of creativity and dedication -alongside the advice given in this post any worries or concerns can easily be solved. Also read about Setting UP Your Workplace for Hybrid Working.