Samaya loved the idea of working out of a coworking space. She thought this would give her an opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, which in turn, would help her grow professionally and personally. However, it turned out to be a pipe dream. The maximum that she could interact with the co-workers was to the extent of asking someone for a charger to charge her cell phone!
Do you want this to be a reflection of your coworking space, or do you want it to be a thriving and bustling community? If you are looking to achieve the latter, here are some tips to help you build a community in your coworking space:
Publish a newsletter
You can create a digital newsletter that encourages members using the coworking space to pen down their views or write about their industry. If you are creating a newsletter, get interesting things to publish that members would like to read and discuss. This way, you will engage the members and also work towards building a community.
Create a members’ wall
Don’t let your coworking members have an experience like Samaya. The best way to break the ice and get members to speak to each other is by creating a members’ wall. Place photos of members along with their name, designation and company. This will encourage other members to come and check out the wall and spur conversations.
Host purposeful networking events
Host networking events that will allow professionals to connect with each other. Instead of striving to get everyone into the same room and then hope they find someone to network with, opt to curate the audience so that each person present will meet someone interesting. This will make your networking events a success and also help those using the space to get to know each other better.
Encourage group communication
There are always a few people who may not be willing to attend networking sessions or other in-person events. However, you can rope them in to connect with other coworking members by creating an online group, where members can talk, discuss and suggest. Ensure you monitor this group so that you can get some feedback about the coworking space and make improvements that will help retain existing members and attract new members.
Involve members in decision making
If you want to build a coworking community, get your members involved in decision making as and when possible. For instance, you can find out the type of coffee and tea they like to drink and stock up the pantry with it. You can even ask them the type of events they would like to participate in at the coworking space and try and organize such events. There are many such small things that you can involve members in and make them feel they are part of the facility.
Host free training sessions
Today, organisations are cutting budgets and training and development have taken a back seat. You can host free training sessions at the coworking space that will benefit the members and get them to mingle. Think of training on topics like a new programming language or how to manage work-life. Make sure the training is relevant and informative for your members.
The Final Words
A coworking space, although full of working professionals, can transform into a silo for members. Hence, to create a meaningful and flourishing coworking space, work to build a community that enjoys working, playing and growing together.