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.

CloudVO City Guide: Los Angeles, California

In this CloudVO City Guide series, we are highlighting a few of our shared workspace partners in Los Angeles. The “City of Angels” is famously known as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry, as well as the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. It happens to be one of the most substantial economic powers within the United States, making it a prime location for your distinguished business address, as a headquarters, or for business expansion. L.A. holds a large and diversified market that is making headlines in Silicon Valley in terms of new business growth and tech startups. We are breaking down Los Angeles into a few of its most popular areas: Downtown L.A., Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Glendale.

CloudVO partner, Titan Offices, provides three locations in downtown. One is located at 5455 Wilshire Blvd., offering Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms in a prime spot on Miracle Mile. It’s conveniently within walking distance to several restaurants and cafes, including the “Original Farmers Market”, making it a great location for business meetings.

CloudVO City Guide Los Angeles Titan Offices Meeting Rooms on Wilshire Boulevard

The second one is located at 1055 West 7th Street and offers Virtual Office and Meeting Room solutions for those who wish to work remotely, but maintain the professionalism of having a penthouse in downtown L.A. West 7th Street offers workspaces in the heart of Los Angeles’ financial district. The third location has Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms available at 811 Wilshire Blvd., and is also located in Downtown Los Angeles’ Financial and Central Business District. Both shared workspaces are conveniently situated across from the well-known Staples Center, Convention Center, city courthouses and more. There is also easy access to Interstates 110, 10, and the ever so popular Highway 5,  commonly referred to by locals as “The 5.” A few of the most popular restaurants in the area include SUGARFISH, Tender Greens, and Bottega Louie.

CloudVO City Guide Los Angeles Titan Offices Meeting Rooms 1055 West 7th Street

CloudVO partner, Apollo Business Centers, located in the respected Beverly Hills 90210 area, offers Virtual Office services that allow you to have a business presence in one of the most desirable areas in the country. A Beverly Hills Virtual Office will not only lend credibility to your business, but also reduces overhead costs associated with full-time office space. Another partner in Beverly Hills, California Virtual, provides you with all of the essential tools and services necessary for running a professional business, while giving your company the prestigious corporate image it desires. Our Virtual Office and Meeting Room solutions are ideal for start-up companies, small or home-based businesses, international businesses looking to expand to the U.S., and any company invested in reducing costs while maintaining a professional presence.

CloudVO City Guide Los Angeles California Virtual Beverly Hills Day Office
California Virtual Day Office located in Beverly Hills.

CloudVO partner, IgnitedSpaces Hollywood, offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms located on the top floor of 7080 Hollywood Spaces and has spectacular #views. This is home to a dynamic community of entrepreneurs and thriving businesses.  A “radical convergence of workspace and content creation studios,” IgnitedSpaces is a community for brands and artists to leverage their voice for cultural and technological advancement. Another CloudVO partner, 8335 Sunset- West Hollywood, is perfectly located on the iconic Sunset Strip and offers Virtual Offices designed with modern flare.  Members here range from a wide variety of professionals from the entertainment, internet, social networking, and creative entrepreneur sectors. After work, enjoy incredible hotels and restaurants in the area including the very hip Standard Hotel right across the street, which is also a great place to stay. The world-famous Chateau Marmont is next door, and world-class shopping is minutes away.

CloudVO City Guide Los Angeles Ignited Spaces Meeting Rooms

CloudVO partner, Virtuoso Offices, is located in Glendale and offers Virtual Offices within a stunning building that will give your clients a powerful first impression. This building is strategically placed next to high-energy commuter Glenoaks Boulevard giving you quick and easy access to the Ventura Freeway. One of the greatest amenities is the street level and garage parking available at this building. In addition, the immediate area offers tons of fine restaurants and retail stores due to its close proximity to the Glendale Galleria and The Americana at Brand. There are also a wide variety of top-notch golf courses nearby, which makes for a perfect business outing opportunity.

CloudVO City Guide Los Angeles Virtuoso Offices Meeting Rooms

Whether you are looking to make Los Angels the headquarters of your business or you need a professional L.A. address, we have many options that are up to par. 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. Being that Los Angeles is a very high-profile city, it would be an ideal location to have a business address or to hold meetings.

Check us out at  www.CloudVO.com  to list your location for free and become part of an awesome network of operators.


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.

Coworking Supports Mental Wellness, But We Can Do More

Mental illness used to be talked about in hushed voices behind closed doors. It was stigmatized and relegated to fringe conversations. The alarming rise in mental health issues has brought the topic of mental health and overall wellness from the fringes into the mainstream. But we still have work to do around destigmatizing it.

Nearly one in five U.S. adults (44.7 million people) lives with a mental illness. Of those, an estimated 56% don’t receive treatment. People who suffer from mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, often try to manage alone.

CloudVO Blog Coworking and World Mental Health Day Working alone is isolating

Coworking and Wellness
The coworking movement, at large, is making remarkable strides in supporting wellness and connection. Shared workspaces around the world prioritize well-being for members, through fitness programs, on-site yoga, meditation rooms, nap pods, wellness challenges, work-life balance programming and more. Steve King from Emergent Research argues that reducing loneliness is the new value proposition of coworking.

Workplace Wellness Emerges as a Core Theme NextSpace Coworking San Jose Wednesday Walkabout
NextSpace Coworking San Jose members walk to a local lunch spot together each week during their Wednesday Walkabout.
Workplace Wellness Emerges as a Core Theme in Coworking Spaces Treadmill EcosystmSF
Treadmills in coworking spaces to promote wellness in the workplace 

Mental Wellness in Shared Workspaces
There’s a growing notion in our industry that coworking spaces should contribute to our well-being—not just give us a place to work. Coworking is already ahead of traditional workplaces when it comes to member happiness and well-being.

Surveys of coworking space members found that 83% of respondents are less lonely since joining a coworking space; 89% report that they are happier since joining a coworking space; and 79% said coworking has expanded their social networks.

CloudVO Blog Coworking and World Mental Health Day Expand Social Networks
CloudVO Blog World Mental Health Day Coworking Reduces Loneliness

The Power of the Global Workspace Network
We are, as an industry, working to dismantle loneliness, and the growing wellness trend is heartening. The global coworking network is uniquely positioned to respond to member needs. What would it look like if we put the power of our network behind addressing mental well-being? We could do something truly remarkable.

Angel Kwiatkowski, Cat Johnson, Iris Kavanagh - Exhibiting The Power Of Being Vulnerable In A Group | Women Who Cowork
Angel Kwiatkowski, Cat Johnson, Iris Kavanagh – Exhibiting The Power Of Being Vulnerable In A Group | Women Who Cowork

Moves are being made in that direction, with increased focus on wellness at industry conferences, breakout sessions, small industry events and in-space conversations. Space operators are taking mental health first-aid courses, the CheckYoMate movement reminds us to check in on one another, and there’s a growing awareness around destigmatizing mental illness in coworking spaces as part of our movement to dismantle loneliness. But we could be doing more.

World Mental Health Day
October 10 is World Mental Health Day. The objective for the day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

As the website explains, World Mental Health Day “provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.”

CloudVO Blog World Mental Health Day Coworking Creates Collaboration

So let’s talk about it. How do you address mental health in your space? How could members of the global coworking movement better harness the power of our network to bring more mental wellness to coworking? What mental health resources would you like to see, both in your own space and from the global coworking community? Contact us and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

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

Join our network of 700 locations around the globe. 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.

Yes, Working Alone Does, In Fact, ‘Suck’!

I was able to experience recently the truth, for me, at least, that coworking is a very real social/emotional requirement.

I’ve always had an office job with a place and people to go to and see every day.  On occasion, I love the very real privilege of getting to work from home, if for no other reason than a change of pace.  I’ve always been pretty sure that I do not have the personality conducive to regularly working from home – as in, having no office space to go.  If I ever had a doubt about this, I now have none.

Remote Work Has Its Benefits

I recently realized a dream of spending an appreciable amount of time experiencing my favorite city, Edinburgh, Scotland.  I did a Home Exchange for 6 weeks, including the whole month of August – during The Fringe, Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Coworking in Edinburgh Scotland

As COO of CloudVO, online provider of virtual offices, meeting rooms, and coworking spaces, my job has become more and more achievable with just me and my laptop, so I decided that I could manage some extra time working VERY remotely. I swapped houses with an architect and university professor and temporarily ‘moved in.’  (Side note … another amazing option in this sharing economy, house and car swapping.  It’s brilliant!)

Working Remote: The Loneliness Problem

At first, my work/life/vacation balance worked great.  The time difference (8 hours) actually wasn’t much of a problem because I was able to enjoy the sites and delights of Edinburgh with my son during the day and then start work in the afternoon. I’d planned a few days of actual vacation, plus weekends and I was able to also enjoy the Festival and nightlife.

Festival at Edinburgh Scotland and working remote

My problems arose when my son left to start school and I was alone doing activities and alone working. Within only a few days of his departure, I started feeling an uncomfortable depression settle in, I felt stuck – realizing I’m mostly without friends and family, and was unhappy in the place I worked so hard to be.   Finding the energy to do any work that wasn’t mandatory was difficult.  I started thinking I’d made a terrible mistake, that I really couldn’t stand being that unhappy and was looking into options for going home.

Edinburgh Scotland and working remote
Tracy’s homeshare in Edinburgh, Scotland. Cozy but lonely.

Overcoming Loneliness and Isolation through Coworking

Thankfully, my very career held the answer.  I booked myself for a half-day at The Melting Pot, a coworking space I’d worked in on a previous trip.  Honestly, it was nothing short of magical.  Just the initial interactions with the staff, and particularly, Sam, returned me from my emotional teetering off-balance.  ‘I’m not alone’, ‘the world is my oyster’, ‘look at all these nice people working next to me!’

CloudVO Tracy Wilson Coworking at Melting Pot Coworking Space Edinburgh Scotland

When I left the office I was marveling at the activity along Rose Street, the loveliness of the city and relishing my opportunity to be there.  It took less than a week before I needed another ‘fix’ of coworking – but, it was there for me.  Although it meant that I needed to work off hours from my home base in California, I ended up needing the space, the vibe, two more times before my adventure was over.  For some of us, loneliness is real, and coworking can be a solution.


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.

CloudVO City Guide: Austin, Texas

CloudVO’s City Guide Series continues. Today, we are highlighting our partner location, Executive Workspace (EWS), located in Austin, Texas. Austin is not only the capital of the state of Texas, but it is also known for being the live music capital of the world, home of the Longhorns, The University of Texas, and so much more. We are excited to share more details about these workspaces in Austin, since the CloudVO team is heading to Austin in September for the 2018 FlexOffice Conference! If you are also heading to the conference and are planning to stay an extra few days in the city and need a space to work, be sure to check out these shared workspaces.

CloudVO partner, Executive Workspace, offers a professional, ready-to-work environment, prestigious business address, featuring  fully-equipped meeting rooms and private day offices with high-speed internet. These spaces also offer a friendly administrative team to greet your guests and receive mail and packages, and a community lounge serving coffee, tea, and water. They are equipped with all the amenities necessary for promoting success in a workspace.

CloudVO Partner Executive Workspace in Austin Texas

Luckily, we had a chance to hear first hand from Nick, the Executive Workspaces Austin regional director about these spaces. “One of the, many ☺, great things about Executive Workspace is that we will customize your office needs to fit you. We won’t charge you for services that you don’t intend on using; but we have so many services to choose from! Memberships, phones, mail options, custom office build outs, day office rates, private offices, group offices, conference rooms…. We can do it all.

Our locations are each unique to themselves but have a great culture. Downtown is right in the thick of things. Many of our clients walk or bike to work. It’s a fun floor and everyone gets along. We have people who have officed there for 10+ years, and some who are just starting. One of the great things we see that I really think embodies Austin, is that the clients all help each other. Many end up referring business to one another, or will talk shop in the break room. Our Wild Basin location is beautiful. It’s modern, clean, and some offices have their own private balconies. The building has a live forest and creek in the atrium! If that doesn’t sound like Austin, well, it sounds like Austin.

For me, Austin is a community of friendly people, including business people. Everyone is willing to sit down and have a cup of coffee and discuss what partnerships we can create. I love that about this city. It’s vibrant, innovative and active. My family and I kayak every weekend; this place is beautiful. EWS is creating something to match that culture and environment.”

If Nick doesn’t have you ready to move your business to Austin, here are some more facts: There are two Executive Workspace locations offering virtual office plans and meeting rooms in Austin- Wild Basin and Downtown. All of the meeting rooms available are furnished, beautifully decorated, and include complimentary beverages for you and your guests. These meeting rooms provide a quiet, collaborative environment to host your next meeting, conference, or training session. Other resourceful amenities include Wi-Fi, whiteboards and projectors, state-of-the-art technology and video conferencing equipment.

As we heard from Nick, Wild Basin offers excellent Virtual Office Plans and Meeting Rooms, located in the West Lake Hills across from The Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin, Texas. Highway 360 is also easily accessible from the Wild Basin location which makes it an ideal spot for anyone traveling to the area due to its convenience.

CloudVO Partner Executive Workspace Wild Basin Meeting Room Austin Texas

Located in the heart of Austin’s Central Business District, the downtown location also offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms and is just a few blocks from the Texas State Capitol. This beautiful Austin Virtual Office is an ideal location for anyone wanting a business presence in downtown Austin. Within walking distance is the Courthouse, fine dining restaurants and everything else that downtown Austin has to offer.

CloudVO Partner Executive Workspace Downtown Austin Central Business District

For breakfast and lunch, Bird Bird Biscuit is a fast-casual breakfast- and lunch -only biscuit spot with savory and sweet options. This spot is very unique and Instagram-worthy. For dinner, Arlo Grey is an in-hotel, lakeside eatery that’s open everyday from 5-10PM. This debut restaurant from Top Chef’s Season 10 winner Kristen Kish features her fresh take on classic dishes and techniques using Texas ingredients.

CloudVO City Guide Austin Texas Bird Bird Biscuit

Join the CloudVO team at the Hyatt Regency in Austin for the 2018 FlexOffice Conference. This is a sophisticated hotel on Lady Bird Lake that offers an exceptional location near SoCo, 6th Street and Downtown. The Omni Austin Hotel Downtown is another great option that offers modern comfort and luxury amenities. With either hotel, you’ll be in close proximity to the conference action.  If you are planning to attend, be sure to stop by and say hello to the CloudVO team at our booth!

CloudVO City Guide Austin Texas Hyatt Regency Site of 2018 FlexOffice Conference

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.