The Importance of Customer Reviews to Market Your Coworking Space

If you’re not focused on getting customer reviews for your coworking space, you’re missing out on a golden marketing opportunity. Reviews for your workspace can be found on Yelp, Google, Facebook and more. Potential members pay attention to these reviews and you should, as well.

Forbes reports that online reviews are the best thing that ever happened to small businesses, explaining that “97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses and three in four people who use their smartphones to search for something nearby end up visiting a local business within a day.”

The Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces

When people search online for a coworking space in your town, reviews can attract them to you if they’re positive, or keep them scrolling if they’re negative or if you don’t have any.

Customer Reviews and Social Proof

We rely heavily on social proof, including customer reviews, when making decisions about where to shop, eat, visit and work. We tend to search for these things when we actually need the product—meaning that people searching online for a local coworking space are likely to need a space right now.

“When a consumer uses a review platform like Yelp or Google My Business, the decision and urgency to buy are exactly what prompted the person’s search,” the Forbes article points out. “If traditional advertising is a megaphone that enables businesses to shout and see who’s listening, review sites are tractor beams that pull consumers toward local businesses precisely when they’re actively looking to spend money. That’s an invaluable opportunity for small businesses with tight — or non-existent — marketing budgets.”

Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces NextSpace San Jose Yelp Reviews

The Importance of Reviews for a Coworking Space

Karina Patel, Director of Marketing at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces explains that customer reviews are important for workspace operators because they:

  • Help provide a baseline for prospective members because customers rely on reviews from peers more than they trust the taglines of a brand.
  • Boost local listings for SEO. The more reviews, the more likely your local listing appears in search results, including, Yelp and Google. These local listings are integrated into organic search, paid ads, and map views.
  • Search engines see that you are an active brand when you receive a steady stream of reviews.

Customer reviews can also help strengthen your brand and, as Patel points out, “Brand reputation is everything.” Here are four ways customer reviews can help with your branding and marketing, from Patel and Kim Seipel, Marketing Manager at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces:

  1. Reviews establish brand authority and trust. Reading what others have to say about your space and services will move prospects further down the sales funnel.
  2. Having a healthy mixture of ratings allows customers to trust that you aren’t soliciting reviews or incentivizing for 5-star reviews. If a brand only has 5-star reviews, customers are less likely to trust that brand.
  3. With coworking spaces becoming increasingly popular, prospects have more options to choose from. A solid establishment of reviews can differentiate your space from another.
  4. Customers trust online reviews as much as they value personal recommendations. They look to reviews in helping them make their final purchasing decision.
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces CloudVO Trustpilot Review

Using Third-Party Review Products

The CloudVO team recently started testing Trust Pilot, a reputation service that enables companies to automate the review collection process for online purchases. Trust Pilot users can add rich snippet widgets to webpages, which optimize those pages in an organic search by displaying a Google Seller Rating (GSR).

Google gathers ratings about your business from licensed review sites, including Trust Pilot. Strong seller ratings not only speaks to the validity of your business, but also helps the performance of your Google Ad Campaigns.

As Seipel explains, “There are 32 Google licensed third-party review sites, and after research we decided Trust Pilot would serve our particular needs best. Pricing and features vary between all the review sites, so it’s best to compare several and choose the platform which is aligned with your business goals.”

Benefits of using a third-party review platform for a coworking space include:

  • Automating the collection process saves time
  • Space operators don’t need to remember to follow up with all new purchases and incoming members on a daily basis
  • Space operators can trigger invites for new purchases by sending people a customized invite several days after a purchase, with at least one reminder if they haven’t submitted a review. “The invite template is easy,” says Patel. “You just select the star rating and add a comment if you wish.”
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces CloudVO Trustpilot invite

Soliciting Customer Reviews for Your Coworking Space

When soliciting reviews, make it easy for customers. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Be consistent with how you ask, and when you ask, for reviews. Creating a process will also allow you to keep track of members you have asked per time frame (month or quarter)
  • Do not set a precedent with incentives for reviews. Members will expect a reward for submitting a review.
  • Use templates for your community managers to send out with customized information, links, do’s and don’ts.
  • Handle negative reviews with patience and understanding. Responding to a negative review is a potential opportunity to mend a relationship, demonstrate your brand values, and express your calm, cool handling of an uncomfortable situation. You can use a template for this, as well, but be sure to personalize your response to address—and fix when possible—the complaints of your unhappy customer.

Turning Casual Searches into Marketing Leads

Customer reviews can (and should) be part of the strategy for marketing your coworking space. Reviews help showcase your space and community, they provide social proof to people looking for a workspace, they provide a glimpse into your brand values, and they’re a powerful tool for turning casual web searchers into marketing leads.

How do you use customer reviews to market your workspace? Contact us and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

by Cat Johnson, storyteller and content strategist for the coworking movement.


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  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and 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.

Crush Workspace Tours with These Five Tips

When giving a tour of your space, keep in mind that it takes as little as seven seconds to make a good first impression.  Maya Delano, Community Manager of NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz has compiled a “NextSpace-tastic Tour” video where she breaks down the art of touring a workspace prospect into five important steps. Read along and watch the video to see the “must-do’s” when giving a workspace tour that have been successful in curating a cohesive and involved community at NextSpace.

Get the digits

Introduce yourself with a handshake, exchange names, and have them sign into the iPad (this is very important). Having them sign into the iPad allows you to gather some information about them that you may use to follow up with them after the tour, and helps keep track of who toured and when.

CloudVO Blog Five Workspace Tour Best Practices Capture Contact Information

Engage your prospect

People usually like talking about themselves.  Get the conversation rolling by asking your potential new member about what they do: What brought them here, what projects they are working on, etc. You can do this right at the beginning or spread your questions throughout the tour (it shows that we’re genuinely interested in our members’ work, and gives us a good feel if they are a positive fit for the community). This is important, because as much as you want to fill up your coworking space with hard-working and involved community members, not everyone will be a good fit, and that’s OK.

Your unique elevator pitch

Give them a well-rounded elevator pitch about what makes your space unique. We’re talking who we are, what we do, why we do it, and why they want it! Keep it simple, but have a little fun with it too, because this industry is fun! Nothing brings folks to snores quicker than a lame and over-the-top “salesy” elevator pitch. Be sure to put a strong emphasis on our commitment to combining space and community.

Coworking Day Passes to Generate Leads NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz First Friday Special Day Pass
CloudVO Partner NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Meeting Rooms and Workshop Events

Know your tour footpath

Map out the exact path you want to take for the physical tour of the space beforehand.  The order in which you show particular areas of your space should be intentional.  Space tours should have a nice flow that naturally highlight the uniqueness of your shared workspace environment.  Since all coworking spaces are not created equal, you’ll need to come up with the footpath that works for you while making sure to hit the following points:

  •   Membership levels you offer and all of their perks (Open Coworking, Dedicated Desks, Private Office, and Virtual Office plans)
  •     Show off all your meeting rooms
  •     Phone Booths
  •     Kitchen (showcase coffee, tea, appliances, cleaning policy, etc).
  •     Touch on mailbox services
  •     Printing, scanning and faxing
  •     Events board (give some examples of networking events held in the space, including happy hour and member lunch)
  •     Member wall (explain the importance of having one in every space i.e. for networking, a sense of community, engagement in the space, etc.)
CloudVO Blog Five Workspace Tour Best Practices NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Member Wall
NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Events Board

Always remember to periodically break for questions, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm them with too much information. Although your space may not offer all of these exact amenities, it’s imperative to showcase the amenities you do have. You want prospective members to feel empowered and visualize themselves in the space and utilizing the amenities.  

Offer a test drive

The final step is to let them know they can contact you with any questions and thank them for coming. Be sure to give them a rate sheet and one of your business cards, and, after using your trusty ‘superhero senses’ to determine whether they’re a good fit, offer them a free Day Pass to come and try out the space for themselves. Offering them a Day Pass is ideal because it will allow them to feel welcomed into your space and help them to determine if the space will work for them. Lastly, kindly show them to the door, shake their hand(s) and release them back into the world.

We offer resources for shared workspaces operators. Get more invaluable information like this when you join our global network of 700 locations.   Visit us at   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location for free.


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   CloudMeetingRooms.com     and   CloudVirtualOffice.com    e-commerce sites and 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.

Checklist for Terminating A Member (from your coworking space)

You just received notice from a member that although they loved being part of your awesome shared workspace community, it’s time to move-on.  After consoling yourself from that “break-up” feeling, you make note of all that has to be done from an operations perspective to terminate the member from your space.

Whether its remembering to stop recurring monthly invoices in your billing system, or ensuring their electronic key card access is de-activated once they move-out, there are several actions that need to be completed to ensure a smooth termination process.

Termination Checklist for Workspace Operators CloudVO Resource Library

Our Termination Checklist details what typically needs to be done to streamline this process and get you focused on what you really want to be doing – onboarding new members and connecting with existing members in your space.  

Workspace operators can download our high-level Termination Checklist below and customize to fit your specific processes and procedures.

Want access to resources specific to shared workspaces operators?  Join our network of 700 locations around the world. Visit us at  www.CloudVO.com    to list your location for free.


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   CloudMeetingRooms.com     and   CloudVirtualOffice.com    e-commerce sites and 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.

Marketing a Coworking Space: 5 Things Operators Can Do Right Now

Marketing a coworking space is an exercise in multi-tasking. Between content creation, social media, working with channel partners, staying up on reviews and doing paid advertising, a workspace marketer’s work is never finished. We’ve rounded up some of the CloudVO team’s go-to marketing strategies for coworking spaces. Here are five of our favorite.

1. Learn to Love Social Media Marketing

Let’s start with the big one: Social media is an essential part of marketing a coworking space. People are scrolling Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn right now looking for content that speaks to them. It’s important that they see you.

As CloudVO Marketing Manager Kim Seipel says about social media, “Sorry, you have to do it—not because it’s the in-thing, but because that’s where your future coworking members are.”

Express your unique community, workspace offerings and brand on social media, and follow best practices for each different platform. Social media is oftentimes the first impression people get from your brand, and it gives you an opportunity to engage people and invite them to explore more of your content and offerings.

Marketing A Coworking Space and Social Media

Keeping up with social media trends takes time and effort, but the payoffs for staying in front of your target audience can be big. Here are some tips for using social media:

Post regularly: For Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, aim to post at least once a day on those platforms.  On Twitter you can post numerous times throughout the day, but if you need to streamline things to start out, Instagram and Facebook can be your primary focus, especially at the local level.

Keep your social media content fresh: Post about different things in your social media feeds, and post different things on each platform. If someone follows you everywhere, you don’t want to serve them up the same content over and over. Post about recent content, industry news, events in your space or community, etc.

Leverage trending hashtags: Keep an eye on trending hashtags and creatively work them into your own social media. One note about this: Make sure the hashtag has relevance to your space, town or community. Otherwise, you may see a traffic bump, but no engagement because you didn’t hit your target market.

Create hashtags: You can create your own hashtags for your space, as well as for specific campaigns. Monitor the performance of the hashtags to measure interest and to gauge what resonates with your target audience.

Use scheduling tools: There are a growing number of social media scheduling tools available. These tools help you set it and forget it, so you don’t have to constantly interrupt other work to create social media posts. Popular scheduling tools include Hootsuite, Meet Edgar and Buffer.

2. Solicit Reviews from Your Community

If you depend on Google and Yelp for leads, then solicit reviews from your existing community. The platforms prioritize businesses with good reviews because they want to serve up the most relevant, useful results to searchers.

Potential members of your space—and even people just looking for a place to work for a day—depend on reviews to get a sense of the space, amenities, vibe and community. Make sure you’re listed on both Yelp and Google My Business, and encourage people to add reviews and their own photos. Note: Facebook also enables people to leave reviews.

Marketing A Coworking Space and Google Reviews

3. Get on Google My Business

As a follow-up to the above tip, make sure your space is on Google My Business. It’s great for local SEO; it increases your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder and Google Maps; it helps strengthen your brand; and it can drive traffic and leads.

Marketing A Coworking Space and Google My Business

It’s free to claim and verify your Google My Business profile. Make sure your profile is complete with description of services and pictures. Add new images to your profile regularly and properly tag and label photos with relevant keywords.

4. Publish Blog Posts

Publishing regularly to your blog is a powerful way to drive traffic, establish your brand, share your company values and showcase your community. Demonstrate your expertise by publishing content that offers audiences insights into specific shared workspace topics and incorporates how your space and brand offers a unique solution to the subject matter.  Blogs on current trends such as The Rise of Women-Focused Coworking Spaces   are also good content since they speak to your credibility by highlighting you as an industry expert, and can help attract your target audience.

Post content regularly and hire a content writer if necessary (yes, it’s worth it!). Research keywords and utilize them in your posts to help with SEO and driving traffic to your website. Cross promote blog posts through your social media channels.

Marketing A Coworking Space Cross Promote Blog Posts on Social Media


5. Paid Advertising

The task of setting up Google Ads and paid advertising campaigns can be a bit complicated. But paid advertising strategies can be effective, so they’re worth considering.

With Google Ads, you pay to show up in search results. Depending on your market and target search phrase, it can be expensive, so set a reasonable budget limit and track results. Google provides a library of helpful videos and tutorials on how to get started. The beauty of paid ads is that they allow you to increase the amount of people reached and stand out within specific search results.

You can also pay to advertise your space on Facebook and Yelp. As with Google, set a reasonable budget, track results, and test different ads to see which ones give you the best ROI.

As with all marketing, test a strategy, track results and course-correct to optimize your efforts. Consistency is key to a successful marketing campaign and overall strategy, so start with a simple and sustainable plan and stick with it.

by Cat Johnson, storyteller and content strategist for the coworking movement.


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  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and 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.

How to Create Community Norms in Your Coworking Space (and Why You Should)

Community norms are an essential element of a coworking community. They set expectations and values and give new members a guide to what is, and isn’t, acceptable in the workspace.

NextSpace Senior Community Manager Maya Delano is a wealth of information and experience around creating community norms and keeping them in place. Here are some of her best tips and insights.

Creating Community Norms in your Coworking Space

Create Community Norms Early
Member norms are created out of necessity. You want everyone in the space to be very clear about what they can and can’t do, as well as what they can expect from their fellow coworkers. Create member norms early and involve the community members in creating them.

“Creating member norms early-on is key because it gets member buy-in,” says Delano. “Before you have a community, you can’t make up your rules—it’s just not going to work that way. You do the heavy lifting beforehand.”

Create Community Norms with Your Members
Delano advises hosting a town-hall-style event to co-create norms together with members.

“Create community norms by gathering a group of members and you, as a group, come up with the norms,” she says. “Then people have a voice around what the community norms are, so they’re going to have more ownership of them and, as a community manager, you’re going to have a much smoother experience.”

Let People Know Why Norms are In-place.
“Community norms are all about setting expectations,” says Delano. “That’s what member policies and community norms are: setting everyone’s expectations.”

Start with the Basics
When you’re creating community norms with your members, start with the basics, including kitchen norms (Who makes the coffee? What do you do with dirty dishes? How long can you leave things in the fridge?), and noise levels (Can you use a headset for your phone in the common area? What about speakerphone or videos? Are there any quiet areas where there is no talking allowed?)

Coworking Space Community Norms Kitchen Norms

“I let people know during orientation that if they have an opera voice, I’m going to let them know,” says Delano. “I do it in a fun way because most people don’t want to annoy others, they just have no idea their voice level goes up—it’s natural for people’s voice to go up when they’re on a headset.”

Respect the Humans Behind the Norms
Once you set community norms, your job as community manager is just beginning. As Delano explains, the “community norms are the standard, but there’s a lot of humanness in them.”

She advises leaving wiggle room in them and letting members know that, as the space grows and evolves, the norms will, as well.

“Community norms are there to set markers, but you can’t be black and white when it comes to community,” says Delano. “If you have a community manager who is rule-binding, they are not in the right business. It’s all about the psychology of the human experience—there has to be a lot of grey matter.”

Community Norms are not black and white

Get New Members On-board with Norms Immediately
Make sure new members read and sign the community norms when they sign up. Delano advises making the norms a simple, one-page, paper document they can see and sign during onboarding.  “It’s setting your members up for success,” she explains.

Go with the Positive
When creating community norms, try to stay positive. For instance, rather than saying, “Don’t leave your mug in the sink,” say, “Yes, do your own dishes.”

“It’s really important for your community norms to be positive,” says Delano. “If you’re having a hard time figuring out how to do that, write all the no’s down on one side of a paper, then, on the other side of the page, write down what all the yes’s would be.”

Keep it Simple Sweetheart
A lot of the community norms at NextSpace are, as Delano puts it, “the things that you learned in kindergarten, like being kind to others.” Don’t overthink the norms. What you’re trying to do is create the best possible work environment for all your members.

Remember, Community Norms Help Everyone
Norms are in-place to make it easy to know how to behave in a workspace. They help new members, existing members, visitors and community managers. A lot of people are still not familiar with coworking and working in a shared space, so community norms help them comfortably find their way.

NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Community Norms Kitchen Guidelines

“Member norms help everybody sort through this wild world of coworking, which is still so new to so many people,” says Delano. “If you’ve never walked in a community space and you’re overwhelmed, you want to know the rules—you want to know what you can and can’t do.”

Norms are also a powerful tool for community managers who are tasked with the sometimes difficult task of enforcing the norms. Having them formalized and accessible to everyone means community managers can point to them when an issue comes up.

Norms also give members behavior guidelines in advance so they don’t need to figure out the rules as they go along.

“It’s not trial by fire,” says Delano. “No one wants to be told that they can’t use a speakerphone. It’s a lot easier on a tour, or when you onboarding somebody, to let them know they’ll need to use a headset. Then, if someone is using the speakerphone in the space, it’s a simple, ‘Hey, just a reminder of our community norms. Thank you so much. Let me know if you have any questions.’” Having the norms to point to takes the personal out of this aspect of community management.

“It’s something they agreed to when they walked in the space and you’re just reminding them of that,” says Delano. “It’s a lot easier to refer people to something official.”

Member Norms will Evolve
As your space grows and community evolves, your member norms will, as well. In the early days of NextSpace Santa Cruz, the team didn’t anticipate members trying to market to other members in the space. Once they realized what was happening, a new norm was created.

“We didn’t know, when we first started, that we would have people marketing, face-to-face, in the space, to our members, and trying to schmooze and hustle their wares, when people were just trying to get to work,” says Delano. “People want to market to our members, so now, we let them sponsor a happy hour—they get to pay to play. If you bring tacos or ice cream, we’ll listen to you.”

Using Day Passes to Generate Leads NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Happy Hour

Now, one of the community norms in the space is that members don’t blatantly sell themselves in the space.

“Of course, natural conversations are going to come about,” says Delano, “but you can tell when someone’s selling—you know the difference.”

Know Your Space and Community
Community norms will be different in every space. Kitchen expectations, noise levels, rules around guests in the space, norms around meeting room use and a variety of other things should all be created around your unique space and community.

Your space, and how it’s set up, is going to determine what kind of members policies you need to implement. In a small, open space, noise will be more of an issue than in a space with an abundance of closed door offices. At NextSpace Santa Cruz, the open space is generally bustling with activity and a fairly steady buzz of voices. Because the open space is busy, members have access to a quiet area dubbed Library Row, and four different meeting and conference rooms.

With the addition of more meeting rooms came a new member norm: “We ask people not to squat in the meeting room,” says Delano. “We have a community norm of going into the meeting room on time and leaving one minute before your scheduled time is up.”

NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Manresa Conference Room

What About the Dogs?
An ongoing conversation in coworking is whether spaces should be dog-friendly or not. At NextSpace Santa Cruz, dogs are allowed, but there are member norms—or doggie norms—around them being in the space.

“We don’t allow dogs in our open coworking space,” says Delano. “We’re very cozy and it would not work to have a distraction of dogs. There are not too many places to go.”

Dogs are allowed in enclosed offices once members sign off on the “pooch policy.” But, the dogs have to prove themselves before they’re officially welcomed into the community.

“They get one week to prove themselves,” says Delano. “They can’t bark in the space or pee on the carpet. If they’re quiet as a mouse, then they’re good coworking dogs.”

NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Community Norms and dog policies

Addressing Sensitive Issues
When you come upon serious member issues, it needs to be clear what is acceptable and what is not. One of the community norms at NextSpace is not sleeping in the space overnight. It has only come up a few times over 10 years, but it’s a sensitive issue because the community manager is accusing someone of doing something.

“Situations like this call for a face-to-face, off-to-the-side conversation,” says Delano. “Tell the member you need to talk with them about something that’s important and that, to keep our community norms, you cannot have them spending the night—or whatever it may be. You’re just reminding them of the community norms.”

Delano advises listening to the members to find out if they’re struggling with personal issues, or if there’s a way the community can support them, but staying firm.

“Give them a warning,” she says, “but by the second time, they’re out. If the person doesn’t listen to me the first time, I don’t put up with that. You can’t. You have to set the standards that this is not okay.”

Delano explains, however, that napping in the space is part of the NextSpace Santa Cruz culture.

“Napping during the day is totally okay and encouraged at NextSpace,” she says. “If I got rid of our sleeping couch, all hell would break loose. I’m not allowed to get rid of that couch.”

Don’t Send Blanket Emails
When addressing violations of community norms, go right to the source to deal with the issue, says Delano. You can’t email all the members and tell them not to put their dish in the sink. It just won’t work.

Talk to the person face-to-face so you can see their reaction and really listen to them. When you have community norms to fall back on, it removes the responsibility of being a rule-maker from the community manager. Instead, you’re pointing to community norms that the member has already agreed to.

“It sure is nice to have community norms to fall back on,” says Delano, “so I don’t have to make up rules and scold people as we go along.”

View and download the Community Norms Document for NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz below.

Written by  our awesome  content strategist,  Cat Johnson.

Want access to resources specific to shared workspaces operators?  Join our network of 700 locations around the world. Visit us at   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location for free.


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   CloudMeetingRooms.com     and   CloudVirtualOffice.com    e-commerce sites and 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.

Checklist for Setting Up A New Coworking Space

Are you opening up a new coworking space?  We know it can be overwhelming or easy to forget what is next on a long list of tasks when planning a new workspace. That’s why our team at CloudVO created a simple checklist to keep you on track during each phase.

Many of us have imagined what our new coworking space would look like and how it will be different from the thousands of new spaces opening up each year, but opening a coworking space is so much more than just finding some real estate and filling it with furniture. Everything from establishing a clear business model, considering the type of community you are creating a space for, thinking through your marketing and operations strategy, and planning information sessions or pre-launch events to ramp up interest all need to be addressed.

Setting Up New Coworking Space NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz New ArtworkThis Setting Up a New Coworking Space Checklist serves as a high-level outline of the things a space operator should be prepared to tackle throughout this challenging, yet exciting, process.

We’re always eager to hear your story about your space, so if you have any other suggestions, please share with our team.


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  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and 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.

How to Curate Community in a Space with Private Offices: 15 Tips for Shared Workspace Operators

In open coworking spaces, casual networking and connections take place throughout out the day. People sit near each other, they ask each other questions, they share resources, they visit over coffee. By being in the same space, community-building happens naturally.

But what about shared workspaces that have a lot of private offices? How do you curate community when a majority of members are working alone, or with their team, in an office separated from the common space?

Here are 15 tips for curating community in a workspace with private offices, including several pro tips from Lori Campbell, community manager of Pacific Workplaces, our partner location in Sunnyvale, California. Campbell manages 15,000 square feet and 51 full-time offices in her space and is still a community builder extraordinaire.

1. Introduce New Workspace Members
When a new member joins your workspace, whether as a coworking member or an office member, introduce them to existing members. By breaking the ice for new members, you accelerate their transition into the community and help them start building their network of friends and professional connections.

“Members feed off the other members’ personalities,” says Campbell. “When we have a new coworking member, virtual office member, or office member, I introduce them around, and tell our existing members to make them feel at home. That’s an icebreaker.”

2. Make Sure the Community Manager is Accessible
In her Sunnyvale space, Campbell sits in the open area so, as she explains, “members can’t help but see me.” She’s able to greet members and guests, make connections between people and start group conversations.
“I describe our environment as electric,”  says Campbell. “Once I make the introductions between people, it takes off from there.”

Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space Community Manager Extraordinare
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space Community Manager Lori is accessible to members and always welcoming (clearly!)

3. Celebrate the Seasons and Holidays
Seasonal and holiday events are a great excuse to get members out of their office and into the common space. Campbell advises celebrating major holidays, as well as inviting members to suggest holiday or cultural events and celebrations.

Celebrations in Sunnyvale include St. Patrick’s Day, the winter holiday season and the 4th of July, as well as Cinco de Mayo, Mardi Gras, and international celebrations.

Pacific Workplaces Coworking Space Sunnyvale Community Member Event International Holiday Mixer
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space International Holiday Event
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Shared Workspaces 4th of July Member Event
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale 4th of July Member Event

4. Host Impromptu Events
One of Campbell’s best tips is to host impromptu socials. She and her Pacific Workplaces team have hosted wine tastings with cheese and grapes, lunch socials and community breakfasts, where they cook eggs and bacon for everyone.  “Everyone comes out of their offices to join in those, Campbell says with a laugh.

Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Shared Workspace Wine Tasting Member Event
Wine Tasting Member Event at Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space

5. Be Creative with Event Ideas and Let the Community Help
“I call my mind Disneyland,” Campbell says. “I think of the craziest things to do and our coworking members and office members are onboard with my madness.” She advises letting members suggest events for the community and explains that one of the most fun community-building things they’ve done was a mannequin challenge, which was suggested by a member. Plans are in the works for a 1970s disco party, another idea suggested by a member.

Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space At The Beach Event
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space ‘At The Beach’ Event
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space Game Night Member Event
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale ‘Game Night’ Member Event

6. Create a Member Wall in Your Workspace
A member wall in your coworking space lets people see who their fellow members are and what they do. Member walls can also be informal networking tools so when a member needs a service or product, they can see, at-a-glance, if there’s an office member or coworking member who might be able to help them.

7. Know Your Community and the Culture of Your Workspace
Every shared workspace is different, and every workspace community is different. Some spaces are informal and casual, while others are more traditional business spaces. Workspace staff should have a good understanding of the community in your space and its unique culture. This way, events, communications and connections are relevant to members and aligned with the culture of the space.

The Sunnyvale Pacific Workplace has a lot of mature, established businesses, including attorneys, financial planners and CPAs, as well as startup members in the coworking area. For her community, Campbell has found that members prefer surprise socials and traditional holiday socials to regular networking events, such as weekly happy hour.

“The socials give them something to look forward to without burning them out,” she says.

Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space High Tea Member Event
Coworking members of Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale enjoy ‘High Tea.’

8. Celebrate the Diversity in Your Workspace
Shared workspaces, including those with a lot of private offices, cater to a diverse array of professionals and personality types. Make sure all your members, regardless of what they do, where they’re from, who they are, and whether they’re introverted or extroverted, feel welcome in your space.

“We go the whole nine yards with celebrations,” says Campbell. For example, the team decorated the entire common area for the community’s Cinco de Mayo social. “It seems over the top, but members love it.”

For one social, a member prepared dosa, which is an Indian pancake that’s rolled like a taco. For an upcoming Culture of Celebration day in the space, Campbell encourages members to walk in another person’s shoes by wearing traditional clothing from a culture different from one’s own.

Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Shared Workspace Dosa Event
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale coworker and Community Coordinator Lauren making dosas.
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Shared Workspace Cinco de Mayo Member Event
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Shared Workspace Cinco de Mayo Event.

9. Greet Members, Clients and Guests
When the workspace staff greets office members, coworking members, clients and guests, they set a tone of welcoming and belonging. Campbell says she focuses on making sure whoever is in the space feels comfortable, relaxed and welcome.

“Whoever walks in the door,” says Campbell, “is greeted with a smile and asked if they want coffee.”

10. Get Members Invested in the Safety and Wellness of the Space
Creating community in a shared workspace means that members look out for one another and they care about the space. This is a benefit to members and the community as a whole. As one Pacific Workplaces team member explained, “We don’t need a security guard because we have 300 security guards.”

11. Communicate with Office Members and Coworking Members
Communication is key to building community. This communication can be via email, in-person conversations, flyers in the space, whiteboard notices, etc.

“We have constant reminders about things,” says Campbell. “When members walk in the door, we remind them that we have a social coming up and we encourage them to take out their phone and put it on their calendar so they don’t forget. We do have some introverted members who are very shy, and we have some coworking members who work from midnight to 7 a.m., so we make a point of letting them know we have a social coming up and asking them to join us.”

12. Engage New Members
Existing office members of a shared workspace likely already know how and when to connect with people in the space. New members may need a little guidance. If there’s an event or other community gathering in the space Campbell makes a point of reminding new and established members, in-person, that something’s taking place. NextSpace Santa Cruz, a coworking space powered by Pacific Workplaces, has a chime that community managers ring whenever there’s an event, speaker or happy hour in the space. This way, everyone, including new members, is made aware of any gatherings or events.

13. Community-building at Lunchtime
People are busy, and members of shared workspaces, whether private office members or coworking members, are busy and focused on their own businesses. But everyone has to eat, so lunchtime is a good time to invite members of the community to connect. This way, members who can’t stay in the space for an evening event can still network and connect with fellow members.

Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space Soup Day Member Event
Soup Day Event during the lunch hour at Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space

14. Encourage Informal Networking Conversations
Informal group conversations can lead to network connections, referrals and closer connections between community members. Campbell advises simply engaging people in a conversation in the common area. These conversations often grow into what she describes as “informal round table discussions.”

“I’ll just keep the dialogue going,” Campbell says. “That’s how most of our discussion and networking happens.”

15. Create a Comfortable Environment
If your workspace is comfortable and inviting, office members and coworking members will want to spend time in it. Greet people, make human connections and introduce community members. The community manager sets the tone in a shared workspace and they are key to cultivating community—especially in spaces with a high concentration of private offices. There’s no reason office members can’t be as engaged in a workspace community as coworking members are.

“Create a professional environment,” says Campbell, “but make sure it has a cohesive feeling where everybody is nice and everybody is saying hello.”

Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Coworking Space Member Community
Pacific Workplaces Sunnyvale Community Manager Lori, and Community Coordinator Lauren (both wearing reindeer ears), set the tone for a vibrant and welcoming member community.

Learn how to join the CloudVO family of 650 shared workspaces around the globe at www.CloudVO.com. Partnering is free and easy!


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   CloudMeetingRooms.com     and   CloudVirtualOffice.com    e-commerce sites and 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.

Commute with our CEO Episode 11: How did PAC and CloudVO start?

Episode 11 of “Commute with our CEO” video series is now live! Laurent explains how Pacific Workplaces and CloudVO started.

It started when Laurent worked for a large Silicon Valley company last century. He realized the workspace that they provided to the thousands of employees was just not adequate. That is what led him to co-found Pacific Workplaces in 2003. The company was created to provide professional space, meeting space, collaborative space; a space for people to cowork and build a work community. However, he also wanted to provide members with access to workspace on-demand wherever they were, which is what led the team to start CloudVO in 2009, providing on-demand workspace and virtual office space. Today, CloudVO offers on-demand workspaces and virtual office spaces at over 600 locations worldwide.

 

commute-with-our-ceo-episode-11-how-did-pac-and-cloudvo-startListen in to the Commute with our CEO video series, perhaps during your commute, or while taking a break at your desk, and be sure to send your questions and thoughts to Laurent along the way!

Click here to view the full catalog of published episodes, upcoming episodes, and future topics.

You can also subscribe to the series and receive notifications when new episodes are available.

Do you have any questions or suggestions for future topics? Submit them below.


About Laurent Dhollande

Laurent Dhollande is the co-founder and CEO of Pacific Workplaces (www.PacificWorkplaces.com) and CloudVO (www.CloudVO.com). He has set the agenda in Alternative Workplace for more than 15 years. Pacific Workplaces is a shared office space operator with 16 locations in the West Coast. CloudVO is a provider of on-demand office and meeting room space with a network of 600 locations worldwide. Laurent is a frequent speaker at professional conferences that focus on coworking and other forms of on-demand office space. Prior to his current activities, he held various executive and management positions at Sun Microsystems, Litchfield Advisors, and Hewlett-Packard Company, with responsibilities in Corporate Real Estate, Corporate Development, Operations, Finance, Customer Service, and Marketing. He holds an MBA from the Haas School at UC Berkeley.

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 CloudMeetingRooms.com and CloudVirtualOffice.com e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms at close to 600 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Commute with our CEO Episode 10: Ubiquitous Work and Car as a Workplace

Our tenth episode of “Commute with our CEO” video series is now live! Laurent shares his perspective on working from your car – part of the ubiquitous work concept that CloudVO was built upon. For example, several business professionals, freelancers, mobile workers, etc. spend a lot of time on the phone. What is really exciting to Laurent is the self-driving car and how they are becoming a part of our everyday lives much faster than we anticipate. Laurent sheds light on the gain of productivity – drafting and sending emails or creating a presentation – basically, we will be facing our laptops while we drive. When compared to the amount the work we avoid right now during our commute, this is a great gain in productivity. The way we use our cars will be redesigned and we will be able to conduct meetings facing each other with four or five people in a car going to a client site. Laurent wraps up the idea that started this company – the workplace was going to be ubiquitous – and that includes a Car-as-a-Workplace.

image of episode title - car as a workplace

Listen in to the Commute with our CEO video series, perhaps during your commute, or while taking a break at your desk, and be sure to send your questions and thoughts to Laurent along the way!

Click here to view the full catalog of published episodes, upcoming episodes, and future topics.

You can also subscribe to the series and receive notifications when new episodes are available.

Do you have any questions or suggestions for future topics? Submit them below.


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 CloudMeetingRooms.com and CloudVirtualOffice.com e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms at close to 600 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Commute with our CEO Episode 9: Your Non-Compete Provision might be worth $1 million – Continued.

Episode 9 is now live! This is a follow-up to our last episode of the Commute with our CEO video series, where we learned why a non-compete provision is important to include in your master leases. In this episode, Laurent explains a situation where a landlord would pay off another operator to move into the same building. This is why that non-compete provision (in your master lease) becomes extremely valuable!

Listen in to the Commute with our CEO video series, perhaps during your commute, or while taking a break at your desk, and be sure to send your questions and thoughts to Laurent along the way!

Click here to view the full catalog of published episodes, upcoming episodes, and future topics.

You can also subscribe to the series and receive notifications when new episodes are available.

Do you have any questions or suggestions for future topics? Submit them below.

For more resources and information specific to workspaces providers, visit our LinkedIN Workplace-As-A-Service discussion group.


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 CloudMeetingRooms.com and CloudVirtualOffice.com e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms at close to 600 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.