This past weekend, the who’s who in the Coworking Industry gathered in New York City for the annual Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC). The event started on Friday with a slew of incredible speakers who covered topics emphasizing community, social impact, and growth. Saturday, attendees participated in the ‘Unconference’ component where topics and questions were posted and voted for, creating the discussion sessions for the day. Besides catching up with old friends and meeting new industry partners, we also learned a few things worth sharing. Did you know that 1 in 4 millennials feel isolated? That’s right, according to Casper ter Kuile and Angie Thurston from Harvard Divinity School, a quarter of millennials do not have day to day peer support, or often nearby family, which means the sustained communities associated with coworking is a new century need. Coworking communities often provide ‘pastoral-like’ services to their members, serving as much more than just workspace, they offer a strong sense of belonging which is directly linked to productivity and overall performance. Amrit Dhir, Global Operations for Google For Entrepreneurs, shared a few lessons Google has learned from building Google Hubs for entrepreneurs worldwide. He offered takeaways, here are some of our favorites:
- Don’t just welcome diversity, demand it.
- Be uncompromising with your culture. Only 95% of what is said sticks, so it is important to remind members of your culture. It’s what draws people to your space and why they stay.
- Be flexible with your community.
- People need the connections, but allow time and space for quiet too.