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.

CloudVO City Guide: Boca Raton, FL

In today’s CloudVO City Guide, we are taking a closer look at some of our shared workspaces in Boca Raton, Florida. Boca Raton is the southernmost city in Palm Beach County, Florida. It is known as a business center, one of the wealthiest communities in South Florida and experiences significant daytime population increases. This makes it a prime location to conduct business meetings or obtain a professional business address.

CloudVO City Guide Boca Raton Florida

CloudVO partner, Zen Offices Boca Raton, offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms in the prestigious Bank of America Tower on the penthouse floor. It features panoramic views of the coastline and affluent coastal neighborhoods, an impressive boardroom overlooking the gorgeous beaches in Boca, and offices with stunning views of Mizner Park and Royal Palm Place. This shared workspace is sure to awe your clients and give a lasting professional impression.

CloudVO Partner Zen Offices Boca Raton Florida

CloudVO partner, Boca Office Center, provides Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms in a Class A facility on Congress Avenue. This shared workspace offers small companies and professionals a way to have a stunning office presence at a fraction of what a traditional office would cost. With a Virtual Office, you’ll gain access to professional mail and phone services in addition to a luxury space complete with meeting rooms, a document center and more. This space is sure to meet your business needs.

CloudVO Partner Boca Office Center Boca Raton Florida

Another partner, TDL Centers West Boca Raton, has Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms that are prestigious and professional. This space is a great place to have your business meetings, or to have a virtual office to receive mail and a professional business address. Boca Raton- West Palmetto is ideally located within walking distance to coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping.

CloudVO Partner TDL Centers West Boca Raton Florida

CloudVO partner, TDL Centers East Boca Raton, provides Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms that are conveniently located two minutes off of Interstate 95 and within 30 minutes of the West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Boca Executive Airports. It’s the perfect location to touch down and have a meeting. This prestigious shared workspace is the largest Class A Building in all of South Florida, so it’s sure to impress.

CloudVO Partner TDL Centers East Boca Raton Florida

Another partner, Quest Workspaces Boca Raton, offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms in a prominent location with exceptional service, total flexibility, and quality design making this a great place to work. This shared workspace merges modern edge with elegant and traditional Boca Raton style. Nestled in the affluent city at the intersection of Glades Road and Federal Highway, the 1200 Corporate Place building is truly South Florida’s “crown jewel” of office locations.

CloudVO Partner Quest Workspaces Boca Raton Florida

CloudVO partner, CendynSPACES- Boca Raton provides Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms ideally located east of I-95 in downtown at 980 N. Federal Highway, between Glades Road and Palmetto Park Road. It’s in a very convenient location if you have a business lunch or dinner as it’s within walking-distance to upscale shopping and dining. It’s also two blocks from Mizner Park.

CloudVO Partner Cendyn Spaces Boca Raton Florida

If you’re planning on staying in a nearby hotel, here are a few of the noteworthy places to check out in the area. The Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center is a casual hotel with a stylish café/bar and an outdoor pool, hot tub and fitness center. The Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel is a refined property offering relaxed rooms and mediterranean fine dining, plus a pool and hot tub. For a more upscale option, The Boca Raton Resort and Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, is a beachy vibe with high-end rooms and suites, plus dining, spa, golf, and pools.

CloudVO City Guide Boca Raton Florida Waldorf Astoria
Photo credit: Waldorf Astoria

The affluent city of Boca Raton is known as a great place to do business. So, whether you’re there for a business meeting or looking to add a prestigious business address to your portfolio, we have a multitude of great options. Virtual Office plans are available at all of the aforementioned partner locations and offer standard mail services, sophisticated meeting rooms, as well as use of the business address with options to add live phone answering services.


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.



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

In the past week, I’ve watched a dozen or so 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 sbdc

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.


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.


CloudVO City Guide: Orlando, FL

Orlando, Florida is best known for its world-famous theme parks, shopping malls, golf courses, nightlife, and beaches. If you head away from the theme parks you’ll discover Downtown Orlando, the largest urban center in Central Florida. The metro area has experienced extraordinary growth in the past decade which makes it a great place to conduct business or add an Orlando business address to your portfolio. We are taking a closer look at some of our Virtual Office and Meeting Room spaces in Orlando. 

CloudVO City Guide Orlando Florida

CloudVO partner, Executive Office Suites of Baldwin Park- Orlando is a state-of-the-art shared workspace which offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms with all of the amenities you need to run your business. From a mailing address and answering service, to meeting space and video conferencing, Executive Office Suites of Baldwin Park will give you the professional image and office services you need at an ideal location near plenty of shops and restaurants.

CloudVO Partner Executive Office Suites of Baldwin Park Meeting Rooms Orlando Florida

Another CloudVO partner, Execu-Suites Downtown Orlando offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms and is situated in the historic Angebilt Building close to Wachovia Bank, City Hall, and State and Federal Buildings. This Orlando workspace is centrally located in downtown Orlando just minutes away from Orlando International Airport. Business professionals utilizing this space enjoy covered parking and being within walking distance to shopping and restaurants. World-renowned entertainment in the area includes Epcot, Walt Disney World, MGM Studios, and Universal Studios.

CloudVO Partner Execu-Suites Downtown Orlando Meeting Rooms

CloudVO partner, Your Office Orlando has Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms in downtown Orlando located in a state-of-the-art facility. With convenient and easy access to courthouses, City Hall, restaurants and hotels, this is the ideal location for any business. Take your business to the next level with this premier business address.

CloudVO Partner Your Office Orlando Florida

Another partner, Orlando Office Center Millenia, provides Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms situated in a modern building with access to a multitude of shops and restaurants being that it’s located near the upscale Millenia Mall area. Minutes from the I-4 turnpike, this location is ideally situated with easy access to both Orlando and Florida as a whole. This space would be great for startups or small businesses.

CloudVO Partner Orlando Office Center Millenia Day Office

If you’re planning to stay in Orlando and need hotel accommodations, here are some of the most popular in the area. DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando is a casual hotel in a great location with easy access to freeways. Hilton Orlando offers modern rooms and suites in an upmarket hotel and features four restaurants and is close to a lot of the activities Orlando has to offer. The Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport provides upscale modern rooms.

CloudVO City Guide Orlando Florida Hyatt Regency

Whether you are in Orlando for a business meeting or looking to acquire a professional Orlando business address, we have many options that are suitable for your needs. Virtual Office plans are available at all of the aforementioned partner locations and offer standard mail services, sophisticated meeting rooms, as well as use of the business address with options to add live phone answering services.


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.


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.


CloudVO City Guide: Miami, FL

Miami is the cultural, economic and financial center of South Florida. It’s also the most populous county in Florida and is known for being a major center and leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. All in all, this is a great place to run your business, hold business meetings, or add a professional address to your portfolio. Take a closer look at some of our shared workspaces in Miami with great options for Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms.

CloudVO City Guide Miami-Florida

Downtown Miami

CloudVO partner, Capital Business Center, provides Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms found in the heart of Miami’s Downtown area on the Famous Brickell Avenue. This shared workspace is the perfect location for any company. It has convenient access to public transportation and is centrally located. It’s a great shared workspace for business meetings or lunches because it’s in close proximity to numerous dining and entertainment options as well as a plethora of high-end hotels.

CloudVO City Guide Capital Business Center Miami

Another CloudVO partner, Quest Workspaces 1395 Brickell, is located downtown on the world-famous Brickell Avenue in the heart of Miami. This space boasts Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms with great views. Found in the Class A Espirito Santo Building, this virtual office space is surrounded by fine dining options, restaurants and shops.

CloudVO City Guide Quest Workspaces Brickell Avenue Miami

CloudVO partner, Quest Workspaces 777 Brickell, offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms where you’ll only pay for the office time or meeting room hours you need but still receive all the perks. This workspace solution is perfect for start-ups, home-based businesses, or those expanding to new markets. This workspace is ideally located near a plethora of restaurants and shops only minutes from the water.

CloudVO City Guide Quest Workspaces Meeting Room 777 Brickell Miami

Flagler Street

CloudVO partner, Starthub has Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms located on Flagler Street off of I-95. This location boasts a professional atmosphere and services, a conference room, and coworking space to help accommodate all your business needs. There are a variety of dining, retail, and entertainment options in the immediate area.

CloudVO City Guide Partner Starthub Miami

Another CloudVO partner, Next Workspaces, has Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms that feature a stylish design and great pricing combined with great service. This is a great option for startups or small businesses. This workspace is ideally located in Miami’s financial district within walking distance to several local bars and cafes.

CloudVO City Guide Partner Next Workspaces Miami

Northern Miami

CloudVO partner, Empire Executive Offices, offers upscale Virtual Offices with an abundance of business options for your benefit. Everything you need to run your business smoothly is readily available. This location has free onsite parking with easy access to I-95 and the Florida Turnpike.

CloudVO City Guide Partner Empire Executive Offices Miami

Goldbetter provides Virtual Offices in an ideally situated park-like setting that’s minutes from major roadways, sporting venues, shopping centers and entertainment attractions. This is the perfect location for a business that requires a Miami-Dade presence.

CloudVO City Guide Partner Goldbetter Miami

Central Miami

CloudVO partner, Latitude One offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms fantastically located in the center of Miami. This means that Miami International Airport is only 7 miles away and there is easy access to major landmarks like the American Airlines Arena. In addition, there is a unique selection of boutique shopping and fantastic dining. This is the perfect location if you need to conduct business and also entertain.

CloudVO City Guide Partner Latitude One Miami

If you’re planning to stay in the area, here are a few of the most popular hotels. For a more budget friendly option, the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay offers classic rooms and suites right on the water. The Kimpton EPIC is a 4-star polished hotel in a high-rise that offers plush rooms plus free wine hours. For more upscale options there is the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove and the Four Seasons Miami that both offer refined rooms and stunning bay views.

CloudVO City Guide Miami Biscayne Bay

Miami is a hub for international trade, business, and culture making it a prime location for business. So when it comes to your professional business needs, CloudVO has an array of great options for you. Virtual Office plans are available at all of the aforementioned locations and offer professional meeting rooms, digital mail services, as well as the use of a business address with options to add live phone answering services.


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.



CloudVO City Guide: Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is a region in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, and is largely known for its tech presence and perhaps the famous American TV comedy, Silicon Valley. It serves as a global center for technology, innovation and social media. It is home to companies like Apple, Amazon, eBay, and Google and is one of the wealthiest regions in the world. This makes it a perfect location to run your business. We are breaking down Silicon Valley into its respective regions and discussing our amazing options for Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms.

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley

San Jose, California

CloudVO partner, Pacific Workplaces San Jose, offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms that put you next to the world’s top tech companies and financial institutions. Downtown San Jose boasts corporate residents like Adobe Systems, Acer, UBS Financial Services, and Ernst & Young. This virtual office center puts your on-demand office in the center of this prime real estate and directly across from the Superior Court of California, the U.S. District Court, and the State Building. Enjoy the farmer’s markets and fine dining on adjacent San Pedro Square, and enjoy an easy walk to HP Pavilion and the McEnery Convention Center. This San Jose workspace is in a prominent location and has easy access to multiple options for public transit in addition to onsite parking.

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley Pacific Workplaces San Jose Meeting Rooms

CloudVO partner, NextSpace San Jose is a professional workspace community providing Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms that are located in Downtown San Jose near the San Jose Museum of Art. Local public transportation gives you easy access to everything San Jose has to offer. Restaurants, bars, cafes, spas, hotels, and shopping centers are located within walking distance if you need a mid-day break from work. NextSpace San Jose is also conveniently located alongside Interstate 280 and Highway 87. The San Jose McEnery Convention Center, the Social Security Administration Office, and San Jose City Hall are minutes away.

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley NextSpace San Jose Meeting Rooms

CloudVO partner, Silicon Valley Business Center- San Jose, offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms and is found in a beautifully furnished and well-equipped building near top Camden and Hillsdale, just seconds from the West Valley Freeway. Surrounded by many dining, shopping and entertainment options, this is a great location for any company looking to establish itself in the local area.

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley Business Center Meeting Rooms

Cupertino

Another CloudVO partner, Pacific Workplaces Cupertino, provides Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms in a great business environment with immediate access to the world’s biggest names in technology – Apple, HP, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, IBM, Symantec, Packeteer, and Portal Software, all within two miles of this location. The meeting rooms are adjacent to the Cupertino Main Street and Vallco Shopping Area which provides a variety of restaurants within easy walking distance. It’s also conveniently close to the 280 and 85 Highways which connect this location easily with the rest of Silicon Valley and greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Sunnyvale

Another CloudVO partner, The Satellite Sunnyvale, features a variety of quality services including from Virtual Offices, Meeting Rooms and Coworking space that are fully- equipped with all of your office and business needs. Get right to work in a beautiful, connected workspace. Everything you need including electrical outlets at each workstation, wifi, comfortable chairs, and free coffee are readily available to aid in the ease and success of your business. There is also an outdoor work area.

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley The Satellite Sunnyvale Meeting Rooms and Coworking Space

Los Gatos

CloudVO partner, The Satellite Los Gatos, provides Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms located in the town of Los Gatos, known as a great place to work, live and play. This Satellite location also offers everything you need to be successful including electrical outlets in workstations, wifi broadband internet, comfortable chairs and free coffee. Also, be sure check out the outdoor work areas!

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley The Satellite Los Gatos Meeting Rooms and Coworking Space

Palo Alto

CloudVO partner, Pacific Workplaces Palo Alto offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms that are fully-equipped for your business needs. This location is minutes from Stanford University and Downtown Palo Alto- just off Highway 101 and Embarcadero Road. At the heart of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area’s most prestigious business addresses, this virtual office center allows easy access to the East Bay via the Dumbarton Bridge, San Francisco, and San Jose while you rub elbows with major CEOs who base themselves out of Palo Alto.

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley Pacific Workplaces Palo Alto Meeting Rooms

CloudVO partner, Enerspace Coworking Palo Alto provides Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms. This space has amenities like high-speed wifi, printing, copying, and scanning. Here you will find a perfect mix of productivity, privacy and community. This workspace is in the heart of Silicon Valley and has easy access to all of the East Bay.

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley Enerspace Coworking Palo Alto

Silicon Valley is a prime location when it comes to professionals and workspace needs. Whether you need a professional business address or a place to hold meetings, CloudVO has an array of options for you. Virtual Office plans are available at all of the aforementioned locations and offer professional meeting rooms, digital mail services, as well as the use of a business address with options to add live phone answering services.


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.