Thriving In Smaller Markets
In the world of shared workspaces, there is nothing better than members getting along, sharing ideas, communicating and growing together. On the flipside, there is nothing worse than quiet, disconnected members who don't interact, and in turn, don’t maximize their time at the coworking space. That's why any community manager must make it his or her prerogative to improve member communications.
Like much that’s preached online, this is easier said than done. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to teach you how to improve member communications and consequently enhance the entire coworking experience.
This is the most fundamental step in improving member communication. In order for members to feel comfortable to talk, bond and share ideas, the atmosphere needs to be conducive to that. This needs to be in place from the get-go, and from a management side, you should make sure that members can speak freely to management, as this ethos will flow past the bounds of management, and into a member to member communications. Feedback is both allowed and encouraged. It may be useful to go as far even have safe spaces where members can share openly, obviously mediated by an impartial mediator.
Members are shy, as much as they would like to think of themselves as outgoing, networking people, they are not. They need some parenting sometimes, and even to the point of introducing them to new friends. This way the ice will be broken and the first barrier to better communication overcome.
This one is about activities outside of office hours. To get members to communicate effectively, sometimes they need to let down their guard and get to know each other on a personal level.
Parties are a great idea, seminars, training, even a hike can be a wonderful option. The list goes on and on, there are so many opportunities that allow people to get along and communicate better. Once people know each other in more than a working manner, bonds will build and ideas will be shared freely and openly.
This has a lot to do with the layout of your coworking space. In ancient times, tribe members would gather around the fire to share ideas, tell stories, and learn how to face the world together. Anthropologists believe that the tribal fire is what gave humankind the ability to outlive other species and become as succesful as it is.
This exact principle can, and must, be applied to your coworking space. In order to get members talking and sharing, you have to create the tribal fire. Create spaces that encourage communication. In practical terms, this means a kitchen, or coffee bar, couches or a lobby-like area.
There is alot more that can be added to this list, but all it takes to improve member communications is a few simple steps. If you’re feeling lost, just consult back with this list and your course will be steadied. You just need to set the ball in motion, add a few sprinkles of consistency, and the community will take it from there.
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