International Coworking Day Celebration Ideas – Even in a Pandemic

International Coworking Day 2020 Virtual Events

In keeping with physical distancing measures and helping our government combat Covid-19, many flexible workspace operators and CloudVO Partners are coming up with creative ways to celebrate International Coworking Day on August 9, 2020.  

With everything going on in the world right now, acknowledging the meaning behind special occasions is so important.  Here are a few ways coworking space operators can celebrate International Coworking Day during this time of Covid.

Physically Distant Contests or Virtual Events 

  • Plan a “What Does Coworking Mean to You?” Virtual Session.  Ask members to come prepared to share a poem, song, music, story, or just a few words which express how coworking has impacted them.

  • Host a spirit week.  Each day has a theme (i.e. pajama day, or rock your best tie-dye gear day, etc.)  The event can be in honor of International Coworking Day.  This is a way members can show off their personalities while still keeping socially distant. 
  • Photo contests with a theme.  For instance, take a photo that represents what International Coworking Day means to you and share on whatever platform your space uses for member enagement and communication.

Outdoor Events

  • Get your members to bring their PPE equipment and head to a park for a physically distanced physical education session.

  • If you have access to a courtyard or any kind of yard space, host an outdoor coworking session for just a couple of hours.  People can bring their own lawn chairs if they wish.  This could be a good way for members who are not ready to come back to indoor space to engage with some of their fellow coworkers.

  • Depending on restrictions in your area, host an outdoor and physically-distant gathering at a local restaurant, pub or brewery that has a large enough outside seating area so folks can spread out. This is a way you can support local businesses as well. (Pro tip: Encourage mask wearing for all your outdoor events to ensure safety for all).

Participate in events that others are organizing

  • This year also marks 15 years of coworking!  As part of a group effort for this year’s anniversary, you can participate in this Coworking Day Global Collective.  This is a fantastic way to showcase your space within the global community.
International Coworking Day 2020 Fifteen Year Anniversary
Photo credit: Coworking.com
  • See if your city or town has a Coworking Alliance hosting any virtual events and sign-up to attend.  Don’t forget to spread the word to your members.

  • Engage on social media and show your support for what other fellow coworking space operators are doing for International Coworking Day.  Post comments, like and share posts, and participate in any fun activities you find on these social platforms.

What out of the box ideas do you have to commemorate International Coworking Day amidst this time of physical distancing?  We would love to hear from you.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide.


Lake Tahoe Coworking: Meet the Founders of Cowork Tahoe

Cowork Tahoe Coworking Space CloudVO Partner

Written by Justine Dhollande

What does it takes to start a coworking space in a destination location? Meet Jamie and David Orr, and their partners Cristi and Bernard Creegan, founders of Cowork Tahoe. This will be the sixth year that Cowork Tahoe has been open in South Lake Tahoe, CA giving remote workers and entrepreneurs the opportunity to live amongst the mountain scenery and contribute to the local community.

Why did you choose South Lake Tahoe to start your new coworking business?

A long time ago, we (David & Jamie) asked ourselves what our ideal place to live would be.  We were living in Mountain View, CA at the time. We were constantly fighting traffic too and from work. We both have a passion for outdoor recreation, but it was so difficult to get to a point where we could enjoy the outdoors on a regular basis. After the economic collapse in 2008, we bought a second home and started spending more time in South Lake Tahoe. That led to falling in love with the area, so in the Fall of 2013, we decided to move here full time.

Upon our arrival, we began networking and talking to people from the community about things they thought were missing in the area. Coworking and business incubation was a topic that continually came up when speaking with the Tahoe Chamber, the City Manager, and other local leaders in the business community. It became clear there was a need, and having worked from a coworking space previously, we were very excited about the opportunity of running a large coworking space in South Lake Tahoe.  Bernard & Cristi Creegan believed in that vision as well and partnered with us to purchase and completely renovate one of the most iconic buildings in town, the home of the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

What was the biggest challenge you ran into during your first year of opening Cowork Tahoe? 

Awareness is the biggest challenge that faces any new business. If your customers don’t know about you, or can’t find you when they search for your services, you’re not getting their business. This can be solved with a great marketing plan. The challenge with coworking is nobody wants to work in an empty space. People’s number one reason for joining a coworking space is the community. Obviously a new space is missing this critical component.

Several years ago, coworking was even less common than it is today. Very few people knew what it was, so an additional challenge was educating the community on coworking in general, including its benefits to both those that are members of a space as well as benefits to the community as a whole.

To overcome this, we made sure that we were everywhere – Chamber of Commerce meetings, young professional networking events, service club meetings, as well as hosting events in our space to get people through our doors.

What is the current trend with coworking in mountain resort towns in your opinion?

Coworking in smaller communities, including mountain towns, is quickly growing as more people are able to take advantage of remote work options.

Cowork Tahoe Dog Friendly Coworking Space | CloudVO
Photo credit: Cowork Tahoe

In Tahoe, for example, we are seeing an influx of new residents that are leaving major metro areas like San Francisco/Silicon Valley to enjoy a better quality of life in the mountains for themselves and their families. Rather than view Tahoe as just a vacation destination, they’re taking advantage of their ability to work remote in order to live here full-time. It’s a way to trade in hours of commute traffic for hours spent enjoying the outdoors even during the middle of the work week!

Coworking in Resort Towns Lake Tahoe, Nevada | CloudVO

Mountain communities are typically tight-knit, and coworking spaces fit in very well with that mindset. They are the modern day community center and can be more than just where people work. A coworking space in a small town is often the first place someone new to town meets other people, so a vibrant space can contribute to them getting settled and integrated into the community.

Additionally, coworking spaces in mountain towns can help to diversify the economy in an otherwise tourist-dependent community. Tourist communities suffer from the volatility of weather, but having a population of workers that can work remotely means more stability for the town overall. It builds resilience year-round.

How is COVID-19 affecting your coworking space?

Like so many other coworking space providers, Cowork Tahoe has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. We were able to maintain access to the building for our member companies that were providing essential services, such as Eagle Protect, who worked diligently to provide PPE to where it was most needed. However, we were largely shut down beyond that for several months. Our reopening plan included many modifications to the space and our operations to mitigate the risk of transmission of the virus. We drastically reduced open desk space density and relocated many desks to auxiliary spaces. Face coverings are required in all common ares and in any meeting rooms during client meetings if a minimum of 6-feet of space cannot be maintained.

Cowork Tahoe Coworking Space Health and Safety | CloudVO

We have also taken actions such as spreading out kitchen amenities to eliminate crowding at the coffee pot, placed additional seating outdoors, implemented time gaps between meetings to allow for cleaning and air circulation, and have cleaning products and sanitizer available throughout the building for members to use. We have been communicating all of these changes to our community through member announcements, emails, and social media, as well as to potential members with a modified approach to tours that includes a walk through of our new health and safety protocols. We remain committed to providing a wonderful work environment for our community, even if that looks a little different right now.

Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocols at Cowork Tahoe | CloudVO

From facing the challenges of opening a new business in Lake Tahoe, to managing COVID-19, these owners know how to roll with the punches and adapt for success. Next time you are in Lake Tahoe, stop by Cowork Tahoe to network and connect…but don’t forget your mask!

Looking for a destination coworking space? Visit www.CloudVO.com  to book a meeting room, day office, or coworking pass at nearly 1,000 partner locations within our global network.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.



Co-Wagging: A Dog’s Life at a Coworking Space

Dog Friendly Coworking Spaces Lake Tahoe, NV | CloudVO

Co-authored by Justine Dhollande and Skylar the Border Collie

Disclaimer: The images in this post are ridiculously adorable. Prepare for Cute Overload.


It’s Monday morning, 7:00 a.m. hits and a loud noise starts sounding from a device next to the bed. Whenever I hear this sound, I know my human is going to ‘work.’ Some dogs may be sad about this because they get left behind all day.  I used to be that dog. I would watch my human run around the house in a frenzy, feed me quickly, let me out to potty for a brief moment, then watch her bolt out the door. No cuddles, no play time, just food, potty and goodbye. I hated those days

But then, something amazing happened. One day, she came home extremely happy, and when my human is happy, so am I. She said she got a new job. Of course, this meant nothing to me at the time, except that we got to jump around and wiggle with joy. I didn’t realize my life would change forever. 

Another Monday comes around, and something changed in her morning routine. There was no running around in a hurry. She suddenly had time for cuddles, kisses and fetch. She mentioned that with this new job, she has ‘flexibility.’ I’m not sure what this is, but if any humans out there haven’t tried this concept yet, I highly recommend it. 

She proceeded to gather my toys, blanket, treats and leash, along with her work bag. “Come on Skylar, we are going to work!” she says. I don’t really understand yet, but I don’t care. All I know is that I get to go in the car! And then we were off, and quickly arrived at the coworking place that I’ve been hearing so much about: Cowork Tahoe.

We walked inside, and I finally understood why my human was so happy. She worked in a human/dog heaven! I’m talking free treats, toys, and friends for both of us. We go to the kitchen, and she grabs something to eat, and then hands me a doggie treat from a jar on the counter. We go to her desk and she works enthusiastically while I work ruthlessly on getting the squeaker out of a new toy I found. We go to the couches for a break, and she meets a human friend who has a doggie friend for me to play tug of war with.  It was the best day ever!

Fast forward a few weeks, and life at work just keeps getting better. I now know all the dogs that come to work regularly (shout out to my paw pals Cassie, Noka and Cherokee), as well as my friends in the kitchen, who can’t resist giving me treats.

Dog Friendly Coworking Spaces Lake Tahoe, Nevada | CloudVO
Dog Friendly Coworking Spaces Cowork Tahoe | CloudVO

But even better than friends and treats is that my human has never been happier! Sometimes she takes me out to run before going to work.  Other times, we go to the park in the middle of the day for some sunshine and frisbee. Most days she even has extra energy after work for hikes, bike rides and evening yoga to unwind. 

Dog Friendly Coworking Spaces and Yoga | CloudVO

We have been working at this coworking space for over two years now, and there still is never a dull moment. It’s been really fun socializing and meeting all these new humans and dogs from different backgrounds. My human seems to be learning a lot, outside of her desk bubble. She really enjoys talking to all the other humans that work in the same building, who have all sorts of different jobs, while I enjoy wagging my tail with dogs who come from all over. Our work-play balance couldn’t be better, and I have our coworking sanctuary to thank.

Unfortunately, since this terrible thing called COVID-19 hit, we have not been back to our work sanctuary in forever it seems. I hear that most dogs are happiest when their owners are home all the time. Well, perhaps I would feel the same way if this virus came before my owner started taking me to work. But since I was welcome at the office anyways, I miss all my friends now! I get it, I get it…it is safer to be home, so I will obey because I am a good girl. I even make sure to wear my mask when I’m out to protect others. So while I practice “physical distancing” with my humans, I will patiently sit and wait until I get to cowork again.

Dog Friendly Coworking Spaces during Covid-19 | CloudVO

Check out www.CloudVO.com  to book a day pass at a dog-friendly flexible office space today.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.


Coworking in Resort Towns: Distracting or Productive?

Coworking in Resort Towns | CloudVO

Written by Justine Dhollande


It’s 2020, and the notion of coworking is not only a known and accepted concept, but also a desired space to work at and be part of, provided the space respects proper social distancing and Health & Safety protocols in this COVID-19 era. The idea of working with other professionals in different industries, gives individuals the opportunity to collaborate with people of a variety of backgrounds, talents, and knowledge. This presents an opportunity to learn from others outside of your workplace bubble. But what if your workplace is located in a resort town, such as Lake Tahoe, NV?

Do the distractions of the glorious outdoors, outweigh the ability to be effective in your work?

I asked a couple members of the local coworking space here in South Lake Tahoe, Cowork Tahoe, what they thought about balancing work vs. play in a year-round playground. 

“Cowork Tahoe has been essential to my success as a remote employee and as a member of the South Lake Tahoe community,” says Jenna. She is a product manager at Adobe, who spends 2-3 days a week at Cowork Tahoe. This allows her to get out of the house, socialize, and spend concentrated hours working on projects. “Before I began coworking,” she explains, “I found myself isolated, spending time outside on my bike or snowboard and then in my home office accompanied by my dog, slack, and whomever I may be video conferencing with. There were two things that were big challenges in this method of work: I was easily distracted around the house when I needed to do deep-focus work, and I was not getting enough social interaction.”

For Jenna, distractions came easy in her home, but when asked if she found distractions in a coworking place, she replied: “Cowork gives me the best of both worlds, but it is still up to me to be productive.” Jenna has found a good work and social balance, where she can position herself in the common area and join conversations, or take video conferences in meeting rooms for a higher level of professionalism.

Distractions are a real possibility when working in a resort town

Another Cowork Tahoe member, Stephanie, describes her experience working in a resort town. “Living in a resort town has kept me happy as an employee and prevented burnout that’s so common in the busy city,” she says. “It’s a place where I can focus and get work done, but also network with peers in the open office setting.” Similar to Jenna, Stephanie found that working solely from home became monotonous and reclusive. “You forget how to talk to people sometimes,” she points out. 

“It requires a firm amount of discipline and finding ways to stay motivated that work for you,” says Stephanie. The flexibility, however, makes her schedule manageable, being a Machine Learning Engineer at General Dynamics. “Because I write software, my mind is usually thinking hard almost 100% of the time.” She explains that by working at Cowork Tahoe, she can work in 2-3 hour sessions and incorporate mental breaks, such as laundry, walking her dog, or even skiing in between these work sessions. “Last winter, I went skiing in the mornings for two hours twice a week and did my work in the afternoons/evenings. The possibilities for play are endless in the summer. I would start work at the crack of dawn and end early to take advantage of the extra afternoon sunlight,” showing the benefit of flexible working in a year round recreation town.  

Coworking in Resort Towns Lake Tahoe, Nevada | CloudVO

The perfect work-play balance

My take you ask? I totally recommend it. Being able to work in a beautiful place in the world, and ski for an hour or two prior to work, or cruise a sunset mountain bike session after 5pm in the summer, gives me the perfect work vs. play balance. I may make up for it by managing emails late into the night, but it’s all worth it. The draw is not only the convenience and accessibility of the outdoors, but also the fact that I am lucky enough to breathe fresh air daily, and take a break to watch the snow fall outside my window, or the sun shine through the massive pine trees surrounding me. All of this combined makes me happier, healthier, and overall more productive and willing to produce my best efforts at work. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Visit www.CloudVO.com  to book a meeting room, day office, or coworking pass at close to 1,000 partner locations around the world.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.



Maintaining Community While Members are Virtual: Insights from 4 Coworking Operators

Now that your members are working from home, scaling back their time in the space, or working apart from one another, how do you maintain community?

We asked four workspace operators to share a glimpse into their experience, how they’re creating virtual offerings, and what advice they’d give to other coworking owners and managers.

Susan Dorsch is co-founder of Office Nomads in Seattle, WA. Office Nomads has 103 members, zero private offices, and 10-15 events per month. Jamie Orr is co-founder of Cowork Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe, CA. and co-founder of Jellyswitch. Cowork Tahoe has 150 members, 32 offices and 8-12 events per month. Felicity Maxwell is co-founder and COO of Fibercove in Austin, TX. Fibercove has 100 members, 4 offices and 5-10 events per month.  Maya Delano is the community manager at Nextspace Coworking Santa Cruz who runs the space with community coordinator Jennifer Hamilton.  NextSpace Santa Cruz has 241 members, 26 offices, and hosts about 14 internal/public events per month. Here’s what they had to say:

[?] Cat Johnson: How are things in your space and community? What precautions have you taken around COVID-19?

Susan Dorsch: Things in Seattle are definitely tense as our region is one of the centers of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the space and within our community, I’d say the general feeling is subdued. It’s hard in Seattle right now. But there’s also a solid undercurrent of humor and good-naturedness that is so reassuring. This outbreak and the onslaught of news about it has been hard on everyone, but I hear lots of words of encouragement between our members. While it’s a crappy thing to connect over, our members are connecting well and finding ways to at least cheer each other along in the struggle.

The precautions Office Nomads has taken thus far are:

  • Daily sanitizing of most surfaces in the space (countertops, door handles, coffee pots, our iPad for check-in, etc.)
  • Temporarily switching over to disposable towels in the bathrooms and kitchens (normally we use regular towels because we love the environment).
  • Having hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies out at the ready for members to use.
  • Temporarily putting a pause on our food-related gatherings in the space (though we joked around about having a snack be individually wrapped cheese sticks placed at 6-foot intervals around the table.)
  • Maintaining a strong channel of communication with our members so they know all the things.

Jamie Orr: This week, we really saw things start to change in response to COVID-19. It’s quiet here. We still have people coming in, but the energy is completely different. On Monday, we established our response protocol as a team:

  • Suspended all drop-in day passes
  • Canceled and suspended any meeting room bookings from outside groups, and any events in the space
  • Placed signs everywhere reminding people of good hygiene protocols. Most of those signs are fun and encourage singing while hand washing
  • Increased our cleaning, disinfecting primary shared surfaces like handles, buttons, etc. multiple times throughout the day
  • Sent and posted notices about CDC guidelines, our procedures, etc. to all members

Felicity Maxwell: Cleaning stations, extra hand soap, spot cleaning of common surfaces. 

NextSpace SC: Things are getting weird, not going to lie! Initially, we started disinfecting every AM and put out hygiene signage with additional “sanitation stations” and even added floral arrangements to the stations to bring a little beauty (and engage members) to use the sanitizers. 

Wash Your Hands Signage NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz

But now we have closed the space to abide by our county’s shelter in place order.

  • We are only open 2 hours each day for the purpose of managing mail to keep our members’ businesses running smooth
  • Members have started an online “Coffee Time” to hang out virtually each morning. It’s so cute!
  • We plan to have a virtual happy hour

In what ways has COVID-19 affected the day-to-day in your space?

SD: Things are definitely more quiet in the space, and the majority of our conversations are outbreak-related. So that’s different for sure. Literally someone just said, “Nice to social distance with y’all!” as they left the lunch table.

JO: Everyone is on edge, especially as this past week has progressed. The typical water cooler talk is all about the pandemic, what is going to happen, what people are doing to prepare. Many members are preparing by taking home monitors in anticipation of school closures.

At the same time, everyone is being incredibly supportive of one another and trying to stay in good spirits. The community is strong. Our team has been working really hard on overcommunicating with members: asking how they are doing, what they need, talking with them about what we are doing, what our thought process is, how we intend on supporting everyone. That has gone really far.

FM: Totally Normal / Totally Not! We have plenty of community members that are attempting to work as usual, but also have a number who have been impacted.  Specifically:

  • SXSW cancelled: One of the startups here has their entire remote team flying in, they were scheduled to be featured at SXSW Innovation Showcase. All of that was cancelled. No team meeting, no SXSW parties, no chance to win or gain the exposure and connections offered by SXSW
  • Projects cancelled: Several members have already mentioned work projects being cancelled. One works with the airline industry and they had an entire RFP revoked. Likewise, another member who supports large tech conferences had six months worth of work put on hold. Their contacts are now asking them to create a system for virtual conferences, since it is unclear when these types of gatherings will be coming back.
  • Meetings cancelled or low attendance: We have had several bookings cancel due to attendee travel concerns about COVID. One client has zero attendees at a sales meeting that normally has 10-15. 
  • We’ve made the decision to go to a members only/limited staffing model for the next few weeks. That should allow our members who need space to use it, but encourage everyone else to stay home and safe.  

NextSpace SC: Our space started to fill with children and friends for a bit (we are thinking it had to do with school closures before the shelter-in-place order).  Although NextSpace is closed to the public, we still allow access to members that absolutely need the space to conduct business. 

  • We offer mailbox services and are staffed for two hours a day so members can access their mail via pick-up, but we have encouraged scanning or forwarding to their home address.
  • We have also directed members to ship packages (Amazon, UPS, etc.) to their home.
  • Staff are mostly working from home and trying to keep our community informed and find ways to keep everyone connected. We’re going as virtual as possible and testing the waters of online events and messaging platforms.

[?] Do you have ways for your community to connect virtually? If so, what is working well?

SD: We sure do! We have a member mailing list as well as an active Slack. Both of those channels are proving to be really valuable for our members to touch base with each other. We just launched our first-ever virtual membership (which is free in March) to encourage those who might be newly experiencing the challenges of remote work to have another touch point.  

Already there’s been an increase in the use of Slack. We’re planning virtual work sprints, have a “daily debate” channel, and are checking in on weekly goals. It’s lovely.

JO: Next week, we’ll be rolling out scheduled times to virtually cowork with each other. I’m looking at a few options: 

  1. Work sprints with video on
  2. Happy hour or “after kids are asleep” hour
  3. Water cooler check-ins in the morning and towards mid-afternoon when members would typically be taking coffee breaks

FM: We primarily use Slack for member communication and have seen an uptick in engagement. We’re planning to use Zoom for virtual coworking this week. 

NextSpace SC: We are lucky to have amazing members who started a Facebook group to host virtual morning coffee sessions each day. Our company will be using Zoom and Facebook Live to host virtual happy hours on Friday’s at 3:58pm and daily coworking sessions with our members. We’re also using our mailing list to communicate with members.  Our internal team will be logging in together each day to connect, support and share experiences and challenges.

Virtual Happy Hour NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz

[?] How would you advise other space operators working to find ways to support, maintain and strengthen their community through the outbreak?

SD: Don’t be silent. Reach out, be proactive, and find ways that you can be helpful. It’s not as hard or scary as you might think.

JO: Now more than ever it’s imperative to model good communication, and over-communication. Even I have taken for granted the ease at which we connect with one another when in the same physical space. There is extra effort required to get used to doing that virtually. As coworking space operators, we can help our members do that by showing them how.

FM: Give your community ways to connect that are not related to physical space. Encourage everyone to stay connected via Zoom, Slack etc., and remind them that this is temporary.

NextSpace SC: There are so many resources! Check out Women Who Cowork who have dedicated an entire training session and created an online manual to support us during these crazy times. Joining virtual discussions such as Coworking Convos is also a great way to stay connected with other space operators that are in the same boat! 

Cat Johnson Coworking Convos Virtual Community

Lastly, even if your space is not closed yet, start putting strategies in place and communicate to members what your processes will be “in case of a closure.”  Get your mail, communications and resources in order. If you do this ahead of time, you will have more time to be present and available to your members when you do have to transition to virtual coworking. 

Cat Johnson is a writer and storyteller for the coworking movement. Cat is founder of Coworking Convos – a virtual monthly group discussion with other space operators on topics relevant to the coworking industry. Sign-up for the next free Coworking Convo and join the discussion!


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.


Instagram Stories: A Guide for Coworking Operators

500 million people use Instagram Stories daily making it a powerful tool for businesses. For coworking space operators, it not only humanizes your brand, but is a great way to bring new audiences to your space and create authentic connections with your followers.

On February 19, 2020, Coworking Content founder Cat Johnson and CloudVO Marketing Director Karina Patel co-hosted an Introduction to Instagram Stories Training for Coworking Operators. The training answered the ABC’s and 123’s on how to start using Instagram Stories, along with how to leverage specific tools to create in-the-moment content about your space. Stories is all about off-the-cuff videos, images and fun polls to level-up your social media marketing game.

One huge takeaway from the training was to ensure coworking space operators new what to post on Instagram Stories versus content that’s better suited to your Instagram Feed. To help, we’ve put together a simple infographic to use as a resource which highlights the differences between the main feed and Stories.

IG Stories Resource | CloudVO

Tell us a bit about yourself before downloading this resource.

Partner with us and get free resources specifically for workspace operators. Listing is free. Go to www.CloudVO.com to learn how to join our global network of nearly 1,000 workspace operators.

CloudVO is a sponsor of Coworking Convos. With Cat Johnson, founder of Convos, space operators are part of informal group discussions related to the coworking industry. Sign-up for the next free Coworking Convo and join the discussion!


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.

Jamie Russo’s 8 Step Framework to Starting a Profitable Coworking Space

Jamie Russo is one of the primary voices in the shared workspace industry. 

Founder of Enerspace Coworking, host of the Everything Coworking Podcast – which was one of our top coworking podcasts of 2020 – and executive director of the Global Workspace Association (GWA), Russo coaches coworking space owners and operators from across the workspace spectrum on creating profitable, sustainable workspaces.

In her new ebook, 8 Steps to Creating a Profitable Coworking Space, Russo lays out the process of researching, preparing, opening and running a shared workspace. Geared for new space operators, the framework can also be used by existing operators who are re-thinking their business model or looking for validation around their process.

Creating a Profitable Coworking Space ebook by Jamie Russo

“I have a specific message and goal,” she says. “I want people to start spaces that are sustainable and profitable. We’re in this middle ground where people are starting to understand that not every coworking space is profitable. You can spend a lot of time in Facebook groups and have no idea that there are some people who are struggling.”

Russo stresses that she wants people to go into the process of opening a space with their eyes wide open.

“Oftentimes, people who start coworking spaces are very purpose driven and passionate,” she says. “We get into it because we’ve had what I call the coworking moment, where we want to create the community and the experience. People get very focused on that outcome, but most people have never signed a commercial lease before and have no idea what the process looks like.”

On the Everything Coworking Podcast, Russo and her guests dive deep into specific topics she covers in her framework. Her goal with the ebook, however, was to take a step back and show people what the process of opening a space looks like and the things they need to be aware of going in. 

Everything Coworking Podcast Jamie Russo

“I try to be very clear that there are lots of different reasons for starting a coworking space,” she says. “I want them to have a framework so they can figure out where they sit. Do they need to make a profit? Where is the investment coming from? If it’s the money they use to pay their mortgage, we need to get really serious about it.”

Russo also clarifies for readers the differences between coworking, managed workspace and flexible space.

“I want to make sure people know where they’re sitting on the workspace spectrum,” she says. “For example, if the space isn’t managed and they just want to offer it on flexible terms to 100 people for three years, that’s very different from coworking, with the community and managed space aspect.” She adds, “The term ‘coworking’ still has such broad use in the marketplace that people may not know the nuances of it.”

For Russo, the ebook represents her approach to helping people open a workspace in a thoughtful, intentional manner to create the space that’s right for them.

“A small, not-for-profit space may be perfect for someone, but that’s got to be an intentional decision,” she says. “Providing this framework is an example of how I like to help people through this process.”

Download Russo’s 8 Step Framework to Starting a Profitable Coworking Space ebook at Amazon. 

Cat Johnson is a content strategist and coworking storyteller. Founder of Coworking Convos, she teaches workspace operators how to leverage the power of content and brand storytelling at catjohnson.co


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.

Top Coworking Podcasts for 2020: a Roundup for Workspace Insiders

As of this month, there are a reported 800,000 podcasts and 30 million podcast episodes out in the wild.

That’s a lot of talking. 

And listening.

Coworking with Iris Podcast | Maya Delano of NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz

Podcasts are an increasingly popular way to consume information, be entertained, hear from industry insiders, and get a slice-of-life glimpse into the lives of people around the world.

Podcasts are immediate—as soon as the creator hits publish they show up in your podcast app; they’re intimate—they tend to create a one-on-one feel for listeners; and there’s a low barrier to entry to create them—anyone with a voice recording app can create one.

Coworking podcasts stretch back to the early days of the movement. Alex Hillman’s Coworking Weekly Show was one of the original ones. Now we have a growing handful of coworking podcasts covering launching a workspace, operations, community management, brand storytelling, workspace business basics and everything in-between.

Here are six of our favorite coworking podcasts for 2020. 

1. Everything Coworking Podcast

Everything Coworking is a must-listen-to for workspace operators. Hosted by Jamie Russo, founder of Enerpsace Coworking Palo Alto and executive director of the Global Workspace Association, the podcast is a goldmine of how-tos, pro tips and rock solid coworking business advice. With well over 100 episodes, Everything Coworking is one of the best coworking resources around.

Everything Coworking Podcast with Jamie Russo | CloudVO

2. GCUC Coworking Podcast

Since 2012, GCUC, the Global Coworking Unconference Conference, has been a cornerstone of the coworking movement and workspace industry. A gathering for workspace operators, industry service providers and the coworking curious, GCUC brings together some of the best and brightest in the industry. The GCUC Coworking Podcast is an extension of the vibrant GCUC community. Hosted by Tony Bacigalupo from New Work Cities, the podcast features industry insiders from around the world sharing tips, insights and perspective.

3. Coworking Out Loud

A podcast that I launched in 2017, the Coworking Out Loud Podcast is an extension of my work as a content strategist and storyteller for the coworking movement. The vision for this project is to tell the stories of the people inside the coworking community. Focused on our shared humanity and vision, the Coworking Out Loud Podcast invites guests to talk about the challenges and joys of their work in this movement, the workspace industry, and their lives.

Coworking Out Loud Podcast Cat Johnson | CloudVO



4. Coworking with Iris

Coworking with Iris is a podcast series focused on the “stories and insights of workspace creators, community catalysts, and coworking thought leaders.” Hosted by Women Who Cowork co-founder Iris Kavanagh, the podcast dates back to 2016 and includes conversations with the people shaping the coworking movement and their local coworking communities.

Coworking with Iris Podcast | CloudVO

5. Future of Work

A new coworking podcast by the team at Allwork.space, the Future of Work Podcast has already covered the future of the industry, space IoT and big data, workspace-as-a-service, content marketing and more. This project promises to become one of the go-to workspace industry resources and content platforms.

6. Coworking Conversations

Coworking Conversations is a podcast series featuring conversations with coworking business leaders around the world. The vision for the show is to “find out how they started, and how they’re growing their coworking businesses.” Hosted by Claire Carpenter and David Stroud, Coworking Conversations is an extension of the Coworking Accelerator Network, helping coworking leaders “build resilient, enterprising communities locally.”

What did we miss? Do you have a favorite coworking podcast to add to the list? Get in touch and tell us your favorites.

Cat Johnson is a coworking storyteller and blogs about coworking, the workspace industry, community and content marketing at  catjohnson.co

Join our global network of close to 1,000 workspace operators around the world. List your space for free at www.CloudVO.com.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.

Partnering with Your Local Small Business Development Center: an Overview for Coworking Space Operators

Coworking Space Partnerships with Small Business Development Centers | CloudVO

I’ve watched many people come into NextSpace Santa Cruz to meet with Keith Holtaway, business advisor for the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Keith is a celebrated local businessman, an award-winning consultant and mentor, and a longtime member of the NextSpace community, Keith has a desk here where he meets with SBDC clients all week long. He’s available to offer advice and business mentorship to members and the local community, at large. I’ve personally met with Keith three times in the last year or so as I’ve grown my business.

Coworking and the SBDC

Partnering with the local SBDC is a no-brainer for coworking spaces. It benefits spaces, members, the local community and the SBDC. 

“The SBDC fits within the culture of coworking, which is communities that are here not just to better themselves, but to better their neighbor,” says Brandon Napoli, director of the Santa Cruz SBDC. “The SBDC is a cornerstone of that foundation. We help business owners become more entrepreneurial. That’s really what the SBDC is aiming for.”

Napoli stresses that having a network of other entrepreneurs, service providers and supporters is essential to creating a thriving business.

“There’s a need to be part of a village as a business owner,” he adds, “not just a frontiers person, when it comes to creating your own business.”


In-house Strategy and Success

Through partnerships with the SBDC, coworking spaces have a stream of local professionals and business owners coming into the space, members have in-house business mentorship, the extended community has access to (oftentimes free) business consulting and professional workspace, and the SBDC positions itself in the heart of the professional ecosystem.

Partnering with a coworking space also gives the SBDC a place to have events, and to stay current with local business trends, challenges and opportunities.

Cloud VO Partner NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Partners with SBDC

“Partnership with a coworking space puts the SBDC advisor/mentor in the middle of the target market in a way that allows for trust to develop between potential clients and the advisor over a period of time,” says Holtaway. “It also allows for the SBDC to understand emerging businesses before they become more mainstream. In other words, the SBDC is on the ground floor of new stuff that is getting ready to launch.”

NextSpace Santa Cruz Senior Community Manager Maya Delano stresses that the vision for a coworking space and the SBDC is aligned: to help people succeed in work and life. She describes SBDC partnership as enabling spaces to serve as business incubators without being incubators.

“All these SBDC resources are housed under our roof,” she says. “We have informational materials in the space and we mention that we have an on-site SBDC advisor during tours.”

Delano adds that the partnership brings a fresh audience of business owners—and prospective business owners—into the space and introduces new people to the idea of flexible workspace.

“This benefits members at all stages of running a business, from needing basic business mentorship, to launching a startup, to getting a loan and beyond.”

Win Win Win

Since providing business advice to members is not a service generally offered in coworking spaces, SBDC partnerships allow a space to differentiate and provide a valuable community service at little cost to them. A partnership may be as simple as an open coworking membership, or it may include a dedicated desk, meeting room hours, or office space.

Services offered by an SBDC depends on the location, but they usually have a wide range of offerings, including technical services and access to a team of advisors who, as Holtaway explains, “can take care of almost any business need.”

“Such a service would be very expensive to engage for both the coworking space and the member,” he says. “For smaller coworking spaces, it would be a feature that would allow them to compete with larger coworking spaces that have a large marketing budget. There are also approximately 1,200 SBDC centers throughout the U.S. so finding one would not be difficult. Since SBDCs operate on a tight operations budget, offering low or no cost space would be very attractive to them, as well.”

Small Business Development Centers across the United States

Creating an SBDC Partnership

For coworking space operators interested in partnering with the local SBDC, Napoli advises having a clear understanding of how the needs of the coworking space align with the goals of the SBDC.

“If the need of the coworking space is to bring in new blood, host more events, fill office space, and increase retention of members,” he says, “align that with the focus of the SBDC, and with who the SBDC is serving and willing to serve.”

Napoli stresses that it’s vitally important for SBDCs to understand the local business environment and stay relevant to local business owners. 

“An SBDC that’s focused on the future of work is an SBDC that knows the trends of the workplace,” he says. “An SBDC needs to move from the corner office in its host institution into becoming a cornerstone of the ecosystem serving business owners.”

Coworking and Small Business Development Center Partnership for Members

What partnerships have you formed within your local business community that align with your coworking space? We’d love to hear from you.

Written by Cat Johnson, storyteller and coworking member at NextSpace Santa Cruz.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.


8 Ways Coworking Communities Can Make Positive Local Impact

Coworking spaces are nicely positioned to make a positive impact on members. From helping people level up their business to creating communities of mutual support and friendship, coworking can be a game-changer.

Spaces and communities can also make an impact on their broader local community. From supporting local organizations to partnering with neighborhood businesses, here are eight ways your coworking community can make a positive local impact.

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Carebags for the homeless 2019

1. Support Neighborhood Businesses

Get to know your neighbors and find ways to support them.

“Relationships are everything,” says NextSpace San Jose Community Manager Julie Kodama. “It’s so important to be engaged with the community. Whether that’s checking out the new cookie shop or doing group lunches at local restaurants. There’s a reason when the mayor came to speak here all the food was donated from local eateries.”

Kodama explains that when daypassers come into NextSpace, she can recommend places to eat and they’re all places she and the community have been. Kodama then turns to neighboring businesses when she throws an event, needs catering, coffee or anything else in her space.

“If they’re good, and you continue to patronize them, you will build up a relationship.”

2. Be a Connector

The best community managers are excellent connectors. They know which members they should introduce, who is looking for help and who is expanding or seeking new opportunities. They also know of interesting events, opportunities and more.

Extend the natural connecting you do as community managers into your larger community. Look for ways to connect people, organizations, schools, businesses and community leaders.

3. Support Local Organizations

One great way to make a positive impact locally is to support organizations that are already making a positive impact. You can do this by inviting them to come tell your community about their work, hosting an event in your space, offering free or reduced memberships, giving them discounted meeting room space, and mentioning them on social media or in your newsletter.

Tip: All Good Work connects nonprofit social impact organizations with donated workspace. The organization is currently in New York City and Silicon Valley.

Urban community farm, Veggielution, finds donated workspace at NextSpace San Jose
Through the All Good Work Foundation, urban community farm, Veggielution, finds donated workspace at NextSpace San Jose.

4. Participate in Food and Clothing Drives

During the holiday season, local food banks, shelters and other organizations do food drives, clothing drives, toy drives etc. These drives are easy ways to give back as a community and make a positive impact on someone’s life.

Look for ways throughout the year to participate in drives. For instance, does your community host book drives, or back-to-school drives, or drives to send local high schoolers to prom? Do a little research to find out. You may be able, as a community, to do some off-season good work.

5. Get Involved with Mentor Programs

Presumably your coworking space is full of programmers, writers, designers, photographers, financial planners, developers, artists, attorneys, etc. Can you help pair these folks up with local young people looking for mentorship opportunities?

Find existing mentor organizations to partner with to bring a mentoring program into your space. If necessary or preferable, start one of your own.

6. Create Local Partnerships

Beyond simply supporting neighborhood businesses, find ways to partner with these businesses. Doing so has the potential to help both of you.

When the NextSpace San Jose kitchen was out of commission, a local coffee shop sold them big pourers of coffee at a huge discount because we had a good relationship with them.

“When someone wants to grab a fancy coffee,” says Kodama, “of course I send them there.”

7. Support Local Initiatives

NextSpace San Jose fills Care Bags for local homeless. The bags are filled with everyday essentials, such as socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, snack bars and hygiene items. What local initiatives could your members easily participate in? Ask around and get creative.

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Care bags for the homeless member event

8. Provide a Platform for Community Discussions

Coworking spaces are home to a variety of professions, opinions, cultures, backgrounds and perspectives. Your space can be a place to further community discussions and dialogue in a supportive, respectful environment.

For instance, the mayor of San Jose has visited NextSpace San Jose numerous times for events and conversations. The goal was to have conversations about issues that affect all local residents.

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Event Mayor Sam Liccardo group discussion
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in a group discussion at NextSpace Coworking San Jose.

Beyond being a place to support your members, your space can be a place to make a positive impact in your larger community. What do you do to make an impact? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.