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While we talk about coworking spaces, two major goals that come up are building a strong community of professionals and developing a fluid environment. The coworking administrators usually make the clients feel comfortable with a very warm welcome. Thus, we often get to see the diverse communities of professionals harmoniously operating together from coworking spaces. There are certain efforts involved in building a community in coworking spaces. Here are some of the efforts involved in building an effective community in a coworking space:
- Coworking blogs and newsletters– Introducing a community blog or newsletter allows in spreading the word and also invites all the members in coworking spaces to share their views and talk about themselves. There are certain things which are included in these blogs like discussing the future of a certain industry or publishing interesting interviews of the coworking members on various perspectives. There can be a lot of informal and interesting stuff to engage the members and also to break the ice thus, laying the cornerstone for building a community.
- Networking events– There are several networking events being hosted in coworking spaces at regular intervals with the aim of building a strong community among the members in coworking spaces. You might be a busy professional but participation in these events will lead to self-improvement. You have a lot of new things to learn and have opportunities to network with several like-minded professionals. On several instances, eminent guest speakers are invited to these events which give the members an opportunity to learn newer things.
- Happy hours– This has proved to be a wise idea to set up or schedule a happy hour in the coworking space once in a week or fortnight. This usually means that one can leave a little early on the Fridays and even if one is planning to stay back, this would be spent with the other members having some informal discussion over a coffee in the lounge area.
- Organizing games– Most of the admins of the coworking spaces often organize game tournaments like football, volleyball, cricket or badminton competitions. The games are a great way to bond and team up with your fellow professionals.
- Community animators– When we are referring to community animators, we do not mean those who create the images of the communities. They are actually referred to a group of people who are dedicatedly focused towards understanding the needs of the members and fulfill them. The community animators enjoy meeting new people and knowing them well. They are often the first ones whom you meet once you enter a concerned coworking space. They are also the ones who act as hosts and give the new members a tour across the entire space introducing the new member to the other members. These individuals are also the ones who have the ability to deal with the difficult situations when they seem to get out of your hand. They voluntarily come up with ideas for engaging the members and hence increasing the efficiency. Every coworking space has got a few community animators and they largely contribute to building a community in the concerned coworking spaces.
- Involving members in decision making– It is always wise to involve the members in the coworking spaces in taking few decisions together whenever it is feasible or possible. You may seek the advice of the members in certain small matters like the coffee they prefer to drink while working, the color the washroom and the nature of the events to be conducted in the coworking space etc. There are several such things where the advice of the coworking members can be asked for.
- Facilitating communication within the group– The admins of the coworking spaces should make ways for the members of the coworking spaces to communicate effectively and seamlessly. Along with the social events, there are also certain effective ways like Facebook groups, Whatsapp groups and email groups can very effectively connect the members online in a coworking space.
- Creating a member wall– The family photos are usually magical and they make a house feel like home. The member walls also do the same magic in a coworking space. The admins of every coworking space should take the initiative of putting up the photos of the coworking members along with their complete names, credentials and interests. This approach works really well in setting up the tone of the community and facilitates the members to connect with each other.
- Creating accountability groups– This is one great way of developing the spirit of mutual support for the fellow members in every coworking space. With the formation of the accountability groups, the members of the coworking space make it a point to meet regularly and share their views on various aspects. This approach also empowers an entire lot of members in the coworking space to work more proactively on several ideas and projects. The accountability groups are nothing but informal check-ins or rather it can also be an organized norm in the coworking space.
Building a community is one of the major aims of any coworking space.