A Survival Guide for Coworking Conferences: A Workspace Operator’s Playbook

Over the last five years, I’ve been to eight coworking conferences and dozens of coworking-related events, meetups and retreats. I’ve covered these events for various publications, I’ve given presentations, moderated panels, participated in unconference sessions, created content for the events, set up tables and even re-potted centerpiece plants for one.

Coworking conferences provide resources for operators and valuable insight into the workspace industry. They also serve to strengthen and grow the community of coworking space operators, which is remarkably close-knit. Flexspace operators, workspace owners and community managers, industry service providers and coworking movement pioneers all gather at these events to share ideas, resources and best practices.

Here are my best tips for surviving–and thriving–at a coworking conference.

Global Coworking Unconference Conference Opening Session

Before the Conference

Know who will be there

Take a look ahead of time at the people attending the conference. It’s challenging, in a sea full of people all wearing little badges, to know who is who. Take time to get a sense of who will be there and who you’d like to connect with. 

Make contact ahead of time

Reach out to people and let them know you’re interested in connecting. Give them some context about why you’re interested in talking with them.

Schedule must-have meetings in advance

Don’t wait until the conference to try to schedule time with someone. Set up a coffee, breakfast or meeting in advance of the conference.

Set your intentions

What will make the conference a great success for you? What would you like to learn? Who would you like to connect with? What would you like to leave with? Get clear about your intentions in advance.

Bring business cards

I find that the only time people ask for my business card is when I don’t have them. Be sure to bring some cards along so you’re prepared when the moment comes.

Get social in advance

Before the event, get active on social media using the event hashtags. Mention that you’ll be attending, connect with other attendees, and start conversations around hot topics. This will help you make connections and generate interest in the event.

During the Conference

Be human

No one wants to be spammed at a conference. Show up as you, be real, focus on making genuine connections.

GCUC2016_JamieRussoBeckyandLD_2

Ride the social momentum

Once the event has started, take advantage of the social media momentum. People will be using the event hashtag to share quotes, thoughts, feedback and photos. Join the conversations. Twitter and Instagram are particularly good platforms for conferences.

Participate

Don’t be a conference wallflower. Get in there and participate. Introduce yourself to people, share generously of your experience and ideas, and take part in as much of the event as you can.

CloudVO Blog Platforms and Tools Global Workspace Association Conference

Ask questions

Now is not the time to sit back and pretend you know everything. Now is the time to ask questions, keep an open mind and learn. Everyone there has something to teach you, even if they’re a brand new space operator. Plan to leave the conference knowing more than you did when you arrived.

Take notes

You think you’ll remember everything you’re hearing and experiencing, but you won’t. Take notes throughout the conference. When you get home, you’ll be glad to have a record of highpoints, things to research, and people to connect with. Most venues have wifi access, but don’t count on it. Have an offline option on your laptop, or keep it simple and just take a notebook.

Talk to vendors

Now is the time to learn about all the products and services available to level-up your coworking space and operations. Get to know the vendors, ask them questions about what they offer, and don’t worry about being sold at. I know many of the coworking conference vendors and most of them are in this business because they truly believe in coworking and they want you to succeed.

CloudVO Booth at Global Coworking Unconference Conference Denver

Don’t try to do everything

If you race around trying to do everything, you’ll likely miss the most valuable things. Go to the panels and presentations that most resonate with you. You can’t take it all in, so don’t try. If you’re in the middle of an engaging, important conversation, then by all means, continue it. Don’t rush off to the next thing if you’re making a great connection.

Be present

Conferences can be exhausting. Do your best to be present in whatever you’re doing, whether that’s listening to a presentation, having lunch with colleagues, or making new connections at a happy hour.

Charge up

Access to power is almost always an issue at conferences. Charge up your devices, use power when you have access to it—even if you’re not particularly low at the time. If you tend to use your gadgets a lot at events, bring a portable charger.

Take care of yourself

At some point during every conference, I burn out. It’s hard to be mentally, physically and emotionally present for days on-end. When this happens, I usually go outside and walk around for a bit. Be sure to take care of yourself during the conference. Don’t worry about missing out on a panel, or skipping a group lunch. Take time to refresh and decompress. Doing so will improve your whole conference experience.

Connect with industry leaders

Conferences are one of the best ways to connect with industry leaders. Workspace pioneers, visionaries and game-changers are all there to connect, learn and share. Take advantage of the easy access you’ll have to speakers, sponsors, industry insiders and your workspace colleagues.

Global Coworking Unconference Conference Panel Discussion New York 2018

After the Conference

Get organized

After the conference, take time to organize your contacts and todos. Who do you need to reach out to? What do you need to research? Which items do you need to take action on? 

Be speedy

Follow-up with people within a few days. This keeps the conversation fresh and, let’s face it, if you don’t connect within a few days, you’re probably not going to reach out at all.

Implement what you’ve learned

Hopefully you’re now full of ideas and insights. How will you implement and incorporate them into what you’re doing? Create clear strategies to put your conference experience into action.

Share your experience

What were your big takeaways from the conference? What was your experience? What went well? What would you like to see in the future? Share your thoughts and ideas in a blog post, on social media, or in online groups. It’s always interesting to hear other people’s takeaways and your insights help conference producers make improvements for the next one.

Cat Johnson is a writer, teacher and content strategist. She blogs about coworking at catjohnson.co.

CloudVO is looking forward to seeing you at the 2019 Global Workspace Association Conference on September 18th in Washington, D.C. Let us know of any conference tips you would like to share!


About CloudVO

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


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

In the past week, I’ve watched a dozen or so people come into NextSpace Santa Cruz to meet with Keith Holtaway, business advisor for the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

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

coworking and sbdc

Coworking and the SBDC

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

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

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

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


In-house Strategy and Success

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

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

Cloud VO Partner NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Partners with SBDC

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

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

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

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

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

Win Win Win

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

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

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

Small Business Development Centers across the United States

Creating an SBDC Partnership

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

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

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

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

Coworking and Small Business Development Center Partnership for Members

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


About CloudVO

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


8 Ways Coworking Communities Can Make Positive Local Impact

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

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

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Carebags for the homeless 2019

1. Support Neighborhood Businesses

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

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

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

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

2. Be a Connector

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

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

3. Support Local Organizations

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

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

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

4. Participate in Food and Clothing Drives

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

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

5. Get Involved with Mentor Programs

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

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

6. Create Local Partnerships

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

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

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

7. Support Local Initiatives

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

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Care bags for the homeless member event

8. Provide a Platform for Community Discussions

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

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

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

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


About CloudVO

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


Instagram Stories: an Introduction for Coworking Space Operators

Instagram Stories are temporary posts—photos, graphics or videos—that have a 24 hour lifespan and play in the sequence they were added.

They take some getting used to, but Stories can be a fun, effective way to drive traffic, sales and membership sign-ups in your coworking space.

You can add as many Stories as you like to your Instagram, and use them to target new audiences and generate leads to your coworking space.

You can also add calls to action (CTAs) in Stories, which can be especially useful for workspace promotions or highlighting new posts and content about your space.

CloudVO Tips on Instagram Stories for Coworking Operators

Behind-the-Scenes Content

Stories can be used to capture behind-the-scenes content that doesn’t have to be as high quality as regular Instagram posts. Because Stories disappear after 24 hours, they tend to be more in-the-moment and timely. They can, however, be used very effectively to market upcoming events and promotions.

One of the benefits of Stories is that the most recent ones appear in the top of your followers’ app, directly below the Instagram logo. So, unlike posts in your feed, which may or may not be seen depending on the platform’s algorithm, Stories are always there.

Using Stories to market your workspace takes consistency. Post regularly—even daily—to stay in front of your followers. If you have too many Stories, however followers will just tap through to the next account. We suggest doing 5 or 6, with no more than 10.

Posting frequently ensures that you’ll end up in the top five or six Stories, where you have a better chance of your followers seeing your content than they will in a post.

Link to Your Content

Once you have momentum with your Stories, link people back to your profile and, eventually, to your content, website or landing page.

If you have over 10,000 Instagram followers, viewers can “Swipe Up” to see more information or an outside link. However, if you have fewer than 10,000 followers, best practice is to link viewers back to your Instagram profile where they can click a link in your bio.

CloudVO Blog Instagram Stories for Coworking Space Operators Link to your content

You can share other Instagram Stories onto your Story, if the other account is public. Tagging other Instagram accounts in your Stories is ideal for collaborations as you can easily share each other’s Stories, posts and information.

Stories include fun additions, such as the ability to ask questions, conduct polls, and add text and stickers to edit images on-the-go. Hashtags in Stories allow you to extend your reach and make your Story discoverable to anyone following specific hashtags, including #coworking #coworkingspace #coworkinglife and over one hundred more.

Highlights

While Instagram Stories only have a 24 hour life, you can add any Story to your Instagram Highlights, which are the circles between your Stories and your feed.

Highlights are curated collections of Instagram Stories that your followers can tap into and watch any time they like. They live permanently on your profile and are a fun way to group your best Stories thematically.

CloudVO Blog Instagram Stories for Coworking Operators Highlights

To create a cohesive brand experience, create thumbnail images or graphics for your Highlights.

Instagram Stories Tools

Stories have built-in tools, including GIFs and stickers, and there are plenty of apps to help you level-up your Instagram Stories game. Here are some of our favorites:

Livestream: You can stream video to your audience as part of your Stories. If you do livestreams consistently, consider posting them to your Instagram TV (IGTV). (IGTV best practices will be shared in a future post).

Boomerang: Boomerang is a fun, built-in tool that creates mini-videos that loop back and forth.

Superzoom: Superzoom is what it sounds like—a tool that lets you zoom in on an image. It also includes numerous effects so you can let your creativity play.

Rewind: Rewind is a tool that rewinds video footage to provide a special effect.

Unfold: This tool provides templates for Instagram Stories

Inshot: Inshot is a video editor and photo editor created for Stories

Canva: Canva is an easy to use image editing tool, with templates and graphics for Stories.

Pro Tips for Creating Instagram Stories

  • Add text to your photos
  • Play with size and color
  • Tag people in your Stories using an @ mention
  • Draw on your photos using different pen styles
  • Use stickers. You can access them by swiping up
  • Add your location
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Create polls
  • Ask questions
  • Swipe right or left to apply different filters to your Story
  • Add additional images to your story. Pick the image you want to use, pinch it to make smaller, copy the image then paste it into your story.
  • Check performance by swiping up while viewing your story. You’ll see how many people have viewed it. You’ll also see the results if anyone took the poll or answered the question
  • Add music to your Stories. You can find this option in the sticker pop-up
  • Post anytime of day, whenever something interesting is happening
  • Use the built-in emoji slider tool to get feedback from followers
  • Use the built-in countdown timer to promote an upcoming event or launch

Be Strategic

As with all your marketing, be strategic about how you use Instagram Stories. Plan it out and create a schedule that’s realistic and focused. If you post a lot of Stories all at once, your followers will expect that trend to continue.

That said, Stories are a somewhat informal way to share your brand, company, community and values. If you’re creating Stories in real time to share with your followers, don’t think about it too much, just share.

CloudVO Blog Instagram Stories for Coworking Space Operators Share Special Events

A Landing Page for your Brand

Instagram is like a landing page for your brand and Stories can be an important part of developing and sharing your brand identity and creating a cohesive experience for your followers.

Instagram Stories has its own culture and norms. Spend time researching how other brands and workspaces use Stories and start experimenting with your own Stories. It’s a powerful tool for expanding your reach and showcasing your community and brand.

CloudVO Blog Instagram Stories for Coworking Space Operators Showcase your brand

On May 29, CloudVO Marketing Director Karina Patel is co-hosting, along with Coworking Content founder Cat Johnson, a virtual training on using Instagram to market your coworking space. Register here: Instagram Marketing: an Introduction for Coworking Spaces


About CloudVO

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


CloudVO City Guide: Silicon Valley

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

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley

San Jose, California

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

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley Pacific Workplaces San Jose Meeting Rooms

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

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley NextSpace San Jose Meeting Rooms

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

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley Business Center Meeting Rooms

Cupertino

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

Sunnyvale

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

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

Los Gatos

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

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

Palo Alto

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

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley Pacific Workplaces Palo Alto Meeting Rooms

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

CloudVO City Guide Silicon Valley Enerspace Coworking Palo Alto

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


About CloudVO

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




6 Telltale Signs It’s Time to Update Your Coworking Space Website

As the workspace industry continues its remarkable growth, potential members have an increasing number of spaces to choose from. So it’s essential that your website catch—and keep—the attention of people browsing for coworking space, meeting rooms, a virtual office, mail services, event space etc.

CloudVO Blog 6 signs you need to update your coworking website

If potential members encounter a website that is slow, sluggish, non-intuitive, confusing to navigate or lacking essential functionality, they will leave and move on to another one.

It’s easy to set-it-and-forget-it when it comes to your workspace website, but it’s important to revisit and update it regularly to turn casual web searchers into leads, customers and members. Here are six telltale signs that it’s time to update your workspace website.

1. Pages Load Slowly

You have a few seconds to catch peoples’ attention with your website. Searchers have lots of options and will take any excuse to click away from your site.

If your pages take more than three seconds to load then your website speed is an issue. As CloudVO Marketing Manager Kim Seipel explains, “Users expect fast loading times when it comes to websites. If your pages take too long to load, it creates a poor user experience and a bad first impression for your brand.”

Seipel adds, “Most users will simply give up, move on to the next site, and probably never come back.”

In July of 2018, Google’s algorithm changed so that slow-loading mobile sites would suffer the consequences. It was a call for action for quite some time before last year, however, Google officially decided to use loading speed as a metric for mobile search result rankings last summer.

2. Your Site Isn’t Mobile Friendly

It’s no longer acceptable to have a website that renders well on a desktop or laptop, but falls apart (or becomes a user nightmare) on mobile. Many people use mobile devices to research, shop and purchase workspace offerings, so your website has to serve them.

CloudVO Blog 6 signs you need to update your coworking website and make mobile friendly

Make sure your site is mobile responsive, meaning that it will detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.

“A mobile responsive site will look just as good on a smartphone as it does on a desktop,” says Seipel. “People need to be able to use their fingers to scroll, move from page to page, and easily access buttons, links and calls-to-action from their mobile device. Google also now indexes the mobile version of any website and uses those metrics to rank your site, so it’s a must.”

Google suggests the following steps:

1. Visit Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites. This page offers several ways to make your site more mobile-friendly, such as using software or a third-party developer.

2. Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how optimized your website is for mobile viewing. You can test a single page on your site or several landing pages and see exactly how Googlebot views the pages when determining search results.

3. Use Webmaster Tools to generate a Mobile Usability Report, which helps identify any issues with your website when viewed on a mobile device.

3. Your Website Lacks Visual Appeal

Website first impressions should be high priority. Visitors to your website are making snap judgements about your space and brand from what they see on your site.

Photos and images of your space and community should be high-resolution and reflect your workspace brand. Include a variety of images and be sure to include people in them. Visitors to your website want to see the space in use to see if it’s the right place for them.

Use images to break up large amounts of website copy, and make sure your text is easy to read and your site navigation intuitive. Site visitors should easily be able to identify all the services you offer without too many clicks. For instance, if you offer coworking memberships, virtual office plans, meeting rooms, and private office space, have separate areas on your home page for each service, with buttons that allow the user to quickly access the information they’re looking for.

CloudVO Blog How Coworking Spaces Can Redefine Marketing Strategy Partner YourOffice

4. Your Website is Not Optimized for SEO

If you’re not thinking about SEO in your website copy, start today. Google (and other search engines) can be powerful traffic drivers and vehicles to amplify your brand messaging.

SEO includes on-page target keyword usage and optimization, metadata, page names, URLs, content headlines, alt tags, internal and external links, H1-H6 tags, your calls to action, and a focused and distinct messages on each landing page.

This is all done in an effort to help search engines understand what your site is about and what services you offer so they can serve up the most relevant results to user queries. Create clear, focused, compelling, helpful content and website copy, and you’ll be well on your way to an optimized site.

SEO tools can be helpful in determining target keyword phrases and developing your SEO strategy. However, having a clear understanding of your target market and their challenges and goals is equally important. As CloudVO Marketing Director Karina Patel explains:

“There are many extensions you can integrate into your website that will audit the on-page SEO items before you publish the pages. For example, Yoast SEO is fantastic. It’s a WordPress plugin that makes it very easy to complete all of the on-page SEO components that Google loves. SEMrush is another great tool. With any tool or plugin, you take the recommendations with a grain of salt.”

5. No Clear Next Step for Site Visitors

Once someone is on your website looking at your offerings and services, it’s essential that you provide a way for them to take the next step. For instance, can site visitors book a tour of your space through your website? This call to action is a powerful, yet low-commitment, way to get people into your space.

“We highly recommend you offer this functionality,” says Seipel. “There are a ton of scheduling software platforms, such as Calendly, which let visitors schedule tours of your space without having to send an email or call. With Calendly, you can pre-set blocks of availability so when a user books a tour, they can easily see open time slots available and schedule straightaway.”


CloudVO Blog Platforms and Tools Calendly for booking workspace tours

Giving people an easy way to book tours saves time for space operators, improves the customer experience, and allows you to capture user information. As Seipel says, “Your website visitor just became a qualified lead since they booked a tour online.”

6. Your Website Lacks E-commerce Capabilities

If your current workspace website does not allow users to purchase coworking memberships, meeting room time or virtual office plans, then it’s time to upgrade. Online shopping is growing at a tremendous pace and people want instant gratification. If someone shopping for your services sees something they like or need, they want to be able to purchase it immediately. An effective website gives them an easy way to do so.

“If your website is effective at educating users on the different types of memberships you offer, they should be able to buy what they need and checkout,” says Seipel. E-commerce allows you to sell coworking memberships to a global audience 24x7x365.”

Using Day Passes to Generate Leads Pacific Workplaces Coworking Membership Plans
Coworking Memberships for CloudVO Partner, Pacific Workplaces

Seipel adds that cross-selling or upselling is automated as you can provide suggestions or recommended add-ons for the buyer to consider once they are in the shopping cart.  You can also leverage your e-commerce to gather data on your overall sales effectiveness, which then can be used to personalize future promotions or other service offerings.”

A bonus to automating your e-commerce is that you save your community managers and other coworking staff members time.

“They can spend less time manually processing coworking or virtual office membership purchases,” says Seipel, “and focus on the important things like community building and member programming.”

Enjoy more free resources specifically for workspace operators when you partner with us. Listing is free and you automatically become a part of a larger network of 700 shared workspaces around the globe. Go to   www.CloudVO.com   to learn more.


About CloudVO

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


Re-purpose Furniture in Your Shared Workspace.
A Sustainability Tip for Coworking Operators

Tracy Wilson, Managing Partner at our sister company Pacific Workplaces, shares her experience on a simple and cost-effective way coworking space operators can freshen up the furniture in their space while achieving sustainability.

Pacific Workplaces Sacramento Capitol Repurposed Reception Chairs

As we close out the month of April, the month that we often spend a bit more time considering Mother Earth and what steps those of us can do to improve sustainability practices in our shared workspaces, I want to share an experience I had at one of my locations in Sacramento, California.

One area of the flexible office business that causes me angst is the disposability of office products, especially inexpensive furniture items.  As much as anyone, I struggle with the value of purchasing a $400 chair vs an $800 chair.  I wonder if, over time, the durability, quality, and style mean the pricier version is actually a better value.  Will it withstand the use and “abuse” my members will certainly impose on it, so I am not forced to get rid of it in 3 years?  At the forefront of my thought process is that, when I do dispose of furniture, even donation centers don’t want extremely worn or broken furniture, which means the only alternative is sending it to the dump which puts more burden on our landfills. 

Recently, the chairs in our Pacific Workplaces Sacramento boardroom were starting to look worn, so I realized I needed to start thinking about a solution, but the economics of purchasing twelve new boardroom chairs was overwhelming.  Basically, I was stalling. Then, nearly overnight, these chairs went from getting worn to a down-right embarrassing situation (shame on me!), so replacement was mandatory … or, was it? Could I really send these twelve chairs to the local dump?  We decided to see what hiring a re-upholsterer might entail, and I am proud to share the results.  Twelve new boardroom chairs would have likely cost nearly $12,000, but re-upholstering the old ones only cost $1,500. 

Pacific Workplaces Sacramento Capitol Old Boardroom Chairs

Pacific Workplaces Sacramento Capitol Repurposed Boardroom Chairs

Based on the success of this project, we decided to use the same technique on four of our reception area chairs.  While they still had a nice style and were holding up well, we always seemed to get negative comments from our member’s clients.  The chairs were so uncomfortable to sit on and you couldn’t lean back without the experience being physically awkward.  In addition, they didn’t exactly pop with color or energy.  So, in came our re-upholsterer.  Four new high-end reception area chairs could have cost as much as $6,000, but our re-upholstering guru gave us “brand new” (comfortable!) chairs for only $1,200.

Pacific Workplaces Sacramento Capitol Old Reception Chairs

Pacific Workplaces Sacramento Capitol Repurposed Coworking Furniture

I hope this will inspire my coworking industry friends to re-think the use, and mostly RE-use, of our shared workspace amenities.  Cheers to Mother Earth AND our bottom line!

Join our global network of 700 shared workspaces when you partner with us. Go to   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 grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

8 Types of Content to Post on Instagram: a Guide for Coworking Space Operators

Instagram is hot right now. A reported one billion people use the platform every month, with 38% of people using it several times per day.

As a coworking space operator, you’d be wise to leverage the popularity and reach of Instagram. But coming up with original content to share, day after day, week after week, isn’t always easy. If you’re overly promotional, Instagram users tune you out, but if you’re not promotional enough, you may not get the marketing impact you desire.

The CloudVO marketing team rounded up our favorite types of content to post on Instagram, specifically with coworking space operators in mind. Here are our top eight.

CloudVO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on IG

  1. Highlight Community Members (and Their Brands)
    When you highlight your members, their companies, their projects and their brands, you support them in growing their business. You also establish your space as a place and resource for other business owners and can showcase your brand values and vision.

A couple of things to keep in mind when highlighting members:

  • How long have they been a member?
  • What are some fun facts about them and/or their brand?

Quick win:
Create a member profile email template—say five questions—that you can easily send out to members. This is the basis of your content. Ask them to stop by the front reception or connect with the community manager so a team member can take a photo of them using the space. This way, you can control the colors and composition of the photo, as opposed to them sending in a headshot. Then schedule the content into your calendar. It’s an easy way to create content without having to do much work.

Suggested hashtag: #featurefridays

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Member Highlight

 

  1. Spotlight Team Members
    Team members are an integral part of your workspace. They quietly do a lot behind the scenes and, without them, things in your space would quickly fall apart. Put a face to your community and brand by spotlighting the people running your workspace. This way, your external community knows who to contact when they have questions about space rental, membership, events, etc., and you let your new and existing community members know who runs the space and who to turn to with questions.

Suggested hashtag: #teamtuesdays.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Team Members

  1. External Events in Your Local Community
    One of the smartest things a coworking space operator can do is to connect with—and support—other organizations and businesses in your community, especially those that are aligned with your space, community and target market.

By promoting, sharing and mentioning events and news from your extended community, you show members, potential members and neighbors that your space is not just for members—that it’s a resource for the local community.

Create Instagram posts about events that benefit the entire community. Include the topics, speakers, panelists, venue, etc and tag them all. Tagging local partners and businesses is key to boosting engagement and reach.

  1. Showcase Guests and Members Utilizing the Space
    Do you feel like you have nothing to post on Instagram?  You have the best content right in front of you: your members working in your space.

Time and time again, we find that simple posts of members working or collaborating in a coworking space gets, not only a high amount of likes, but great engagement. People want to see themselves working in your space, so Instagram posts that reflect your members working and your community in action are great go-tos.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Members Working and Member Community

  1. Awesome Reviews
    Customer reviews are an important piece of marketing your coworking space, so leverage your great reviews into Instagram content.

Third-party review sites like Trustpilot make things easy with built-in Image Generator tools that allow you to pick quotes from specific reviews and choose a background image. The Image Generator will also size your graphic for the specific social media platform you intend to use. Once you have the quote and preferred graphic, you can simply download and share.

Reviews serve as testimonials that strengthen members’ bond with your space and community, and demonstrate social proof to people who may be interested in learning more about becoming a member. People put a lot of weight on reviews. One great review can drive far more attention, interest and word-of-mouth marketing than you talking about the benefits and features of your space.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Awesome Reviews

  1. Share Space Refreshes
    Keeping your coworking space interesting, useful and visually fresh shows that you take pride in it and are constantly maintaining it.

Sharing space refreshes on Instagram gives people an insider’s look at what it’s like in your space. Whether it’s something small like a new coffee maker, or something large, like a space remodel, keep people in-the-loop about changes, improvements and enhancements in the space.

Members appreciate when the space is well-kept, and they are inclined to take more photos within the space and post. Encourage user generated content and people sharing that they are working from your space by liking, engaging, commenting and sharing their posts. And remember, anytime you update or add something cool or new to your space, share it.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Space Refresh

  1. Promote Blog Posts
    Each time you publish a new blog post you should promote it on Instagram (as well as the other social platforms). Social media is a great way to drive people to your blog content. If you have a featured image you use for a specific blog article, just take that same image and post to Instagram with a caption that draws people to want to read your blog.

ProTip: Make sure the link to your latest article is in your bio. The less work people have to do to get to your post (or website), the more likely they are to actually click through to it.

  1. Show Decor and Workspace Set-up
    Each coworking community has members who “nest” or take the time to make their workspace their own. Capture some of these fun and interesting workspace areas and share them.

Whether it involves someone working amongst plants, flowers, artwork, or gizmos and gadgets, snap a photo of someone’s work set-up for the day and share it around. These types of posts are very humanizing and relatable—they let people see what it’s like to work a day in your space.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Workspace Setup

Bonus: Popular Instagram Daily Hashtags
Find ways to incorporate Instagram daily hashtags into your post. Remember to also keep an eye out for hashtags around holidays, theme months or seasons, news, events and more. Here are some of the most popular daily hashtags on Instagram:

MONDAY
#mondaymotivation

TUESDAY
#teamtuesday

WEDNESDAY
#wednesdaywisdom

THURSDAY
#throwbackthursday
#tbt

FRIDAY
#flashbackfriday
#fbf
#featurefriday

Cat Johnson is a content strategist and storyteller for the coworking movement.

Want more resources geared specifically for workspace operators?  Join 700 shared workspaces around the world and partner with us. Go to   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 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: Denver, Colorado

On today’s city guide, we are highlighting a few of our shared workspaces in Denver, the capital of Colorado and an American metropolis dating back to the old west era. Denver makes for a great place to do business thanks to its third fastest growing economy in the United States.  Besides traditional industries, Denver also invests in and promotes creatives with its “Creative Districts” that have seen annual job growth since they were formed in 2011. The work environment in Denver is more relaxed, not to say employees don’t work as hard, but the culture allows for people to take advantage of the outdoors and focus on their overall well-being. Being that you’re encouraged to get out of the office to balance work and play, Denver is a great place to build or further your career if you are someone who appreciates and thrives in that type of environment.

CloudVO City Guide Denver Colorado

We are excited to take a closer look at these shared workspaces in Denver, since the CloudVO team is heading to Denver on April 15th for the 2019 Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC)! 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.

Downtown
CloudVO partner, Your Office- Denver, offers fully equipped Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms and is located in the heart of the financial district on 17th Street, known as Denver’s Wall Street of the West. Just half a block from the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall and all of its abundant entertainment, shopping and dining options. Your Office is near the State Capitol, the City and County Court House and a large concentration of oil and gas companies, and one block from the RTD Light Rail stop and numerous bus lines pass along the cross streets of their building.  CloudVO partner, ZEN Offices- Denver- Johns Manville Plaza is located in the heart of the Central Business District in downtown. These Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms are on the 19th floor and feature outstanding views of Downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountains. It is newly renovated and has an outdoor plaza where you’ll find Starbucks, banks, shopping centers, and hotels like the Marriott City Center.  Johns Manville Plaza is known for offering professionals high quality office space in a stress-free work environment with amenities like weekly yoga, massage therapist sessions, aroma therapy rooms, a spa inspired café, and daily nutritional meal deliveries. Another CloudVO partner, Novel Coworking- 16 St Denver, provides Virtual Offices and Coworking Space adjacent to the popular 16th Street Pedestrian Mall and just two blocks from the Colorado Convention Center. This location offers easy access to Downtown Denver’s restaurants, hotels, and Light Rail transit.

CloudVO City Guide Denver Zen Offices Conference Room

CloudVO City Guide Denver Novel Coworking 16th Street Meeting Room

 

Speer
CloudVO partner, Shift Corona- Denver, provides Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms in a productive, yet dynamic work environment. Hit the gym for a free yoga or boot camp class, or conduct a cuddle sesh with resident dogs on your break. At Shift, it’s about finding how you work best. This location is in the hub of Denver and offers an ideal workspace just minutes from some of Denver’s best restaurants and shops.

CloudVO partner, Shift Workspaces Bannock- Denver, provides Virtual Offices that are sure to impress with its refined industrial style featuring numerous pieces of locally sourced art, furniture, and wall hangings. In addition, you can obtain a professional business address, mail services, and other virtual office services.  

CloudVO City Guide Denver Shift Workspaces Lounge

Denver Tech Center
CloudVO partner, Executive Business Centers- Denver, offers Virtual Offices and Meeting Rooms in a prime place for your next business meeting. Centrally located on Belleview Avenue in the Denver Tech Center, this space has great panoramic views and easy access to major highways like I-25 and I-225 which make this an ideal location. Onsite ample and free parking is available for your convenience. Additional services available include notary services, word processing, copy/scanning, courier services, and catering.

CloudVO City Guide Denver Executive Business Centers Day Office

Where to stay?
Here are a few of the most notable places to stay in Denver. The Curtis Denver Doubletree is a uniquely fun boutique hotel conveniently located smack dab in the center of Downtown Denver and is where the CloudVO team will be staying in April for GCUC! Embassy Suites is also in a great location and is a perfect place to stay for business or pleasure. Another great option is the Hyatt Regency Denver, also centrally located and steps from the Colorado Convention Center and minutes from Paramount Theatre.  All of the hotel options are in close proximity to GCUC if you are planning to attend. 

CloudVO City Guide The Curtis Denver Doubletree

Want more info on the free resources we will provide operators who visit our booth at GCUC USAContact us  and we’ll give you a sneak peek of what we have in store at the 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 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 Coworking Operators can Create A Positive Work-Culture for their Employees

There’s  interesting data  about how coworking makes members happier, more social, and more successful.

But what about the people who run coworking spaces?

Their jobs are fast-paced and require a skill set that ranges from being tech savvy, responsive and organized, to having high emotional intelligence. Space operators and community managers have to handle a lot on a day-to-day basis, and they have to do it while running a space, making sure members have what they need, and staying calm.

It’s not an easy job.

As workspace owners and operators, it’s important to create a positive work culture for the people running your space and business. Coworking is an exciting field to work in, but it has small profit margins and requires flexibility, both personal and professional.

As Tracy Wilson, managing partner at Pacific Workplaces  explains, “Our business is not a high paying business. No one will get rich, and there aren’t a lot of layers when it comes to climbing a career ladder.”

For Wilson and the Pacific Workplaces team, creating a positive culture is vital to attracting and retaining talented, engaged people.

“The culture does matter,” Wilson says. “It’s worth something, and that’s one of the things we can provide.”

positive work environment and support

She offers the following tips on creating a positive culture for workspace teams of all sizes.

Be of Service to Your Team

Perhaps the most important thing for a workspace owner or operator is to be of service to your team. It goes hand-in-hand with running a sustainable business. This is something that is woven into the cultural fabric of Pacific Workplace and CloudVO.

“Our management and employment style is to be of service to our employees,” says Wilson. “We’re here to hopefully make their day-to-day job as happy as it can be, within the context of work. When issues come up, we do everything we can to accommodate and to help them. We are here to help them do a better job.”

Train People to Go On to Bigger and Better

Challenge people to bring their best to work, both intellectually and emotionally. And give them your best so they can go on to bigger and better things.

team decisions at a meeting

“I believe the best thing is to give people whatever skills we can give them while tuning into their passions, and helping them build a repertoire to leave us,” says Wilson. “We like it when people stay, but it’s always a little bit happy when they go, because they always go onto something bigger, and, hopefully, better.”

She adds, “We do have people leave and come back though.”

Establish Caring as a Company Value

One of the sayings at Pacific Workplaces is, “We care.” The leadership team sets a tone that the company cares for its clients, its investors, its vendors but, as Wilson says, “Mostly we care for each other.”

She stresses that the ownership group is “very tight around this topic” saying that it’s probably the only thing they’ve never had a disagreement about. Whatever is going on in the company and in individual spaces, a sense of caring and mitigating frustrations and challenges is always top-of-mind for the team.

Be Accessible

At Pacific Workplaces and CloudVO, any employee is free to go to the top with questions, challenges or concerns.

Wilson explains that the top “isn’t very high in our small company,” but says if anybody in the company wants to talk to her or COO Scott Chambers, or managing partner Keith Warner, or CEO Laurent Dhollande, it’s just a matter of sending an email.

Team Gatherings

It’s important for members of a team to meet in real life and get to know each other—even when that team is distributed across cities or regions. Plan regular in-person gatherings that go beyond business meetings.

pac day 2018 - east bay team

Create fun opportunities for your team to connect, get some work done, and celebrate together.

“It’s important,” says Wilson, “to give people the one-on-one experience of getting to know one another.”

Be Human

When someone makes a mistake, acknowledge the humanness of imperfection, whenever possible, and find the best solution. This approach to problem-solving is contagious and can be found throughout a workspace once the tone is established.

Empower Community Managers to Empower their Members

Find ways where members can help themselves and take a load off of your team. For instance, empower members to install their own print drivers and to make coffee when they take the last of it.

As Wilson explains, “We’re here to help, but we don’t need to do everything. Having the technology and norms to take some things off their to-do list is important.”

Give All Employees Ownership of the Space

Support team members in the day-to-day running of the workspace. If something needs to be done, find ways for people to help, regardless of what their role in the company is.

“There is no job that an owner is too big to do,” says Wilson. “If you walk into a center and there’s a copier jam, and it requires being on the floor finding the problem, that’s what’s required. Or there’s no coffee, or the sink is full, you deal with it. It’s everybody’s job to help with whatever needs to be done.”

She adds that, “It’s all hand on deck, so these jobs don’t always fall on one person.”

Get to Know Your Team (and Their Goals)

Take the time to get to know your team members. This includes having a Q2 QMM Photo Strip at NSBEclear understanding of their career goals. For instance, if a team member plans to be a CPA when they finish school, find finance-related jobs for them to do.

As Wilson advises, “Help them start building a repertoire of skills they’ll use later on.”

For instance, Pacific Workplaces has one staffer who wants to be a corporate health and wellness professional, so Wilson gave her a regular column in the company newsletter called “Health Corner.”

“By the time she goes into job interviews,” says Wilson, “she can show them this column as an example of what she did in her last job.”

It’s not always possible to align people’s passions and work goals with their job duties, but be creative about finding ways to engage peoples whole selves. One Pacific Workplaces team member is a horse lover. She and Wilson are looking for ways to potentially align these seemingly disparate interests.

“I asked her to help me identify how to bring her passion into the office,” says Wilson. “Maybe we do a fundraiser. We make a concerted effort. It doesn’t always work. If it really is just horses, I might not be able to, but I’d like to try.”

The Benefit of a Positive Work Culture on the Bottom Line

In addition to providing an enjoyable workspace experience, positive work culture is also good for business.

“We’re in a tight job market,” says Wilson. “For all the workspace operators, their employees have a lot of other options right now. There is certainly a practical reason for being the employer of choice. And, even in not-so-tight job markets, being the employer of choice in our industry gives you all sorts of advantages.”

Wilson says that a positive work culture should “always be what you strive for, for practical business reasons.” In addition to that, she adds that “there’s more joy when you’re surrounded by people who are happy, and you can contribute to their happiness. That’s a reason in and of itself to keep coming to work and keep doing what you’re doing.”

She adds, “If you’re somebody who is motivated by a large paycheck, then you’re probably not for us. But, if a pleasant place to work, with a lot of unique people and a lot of different things to do, and no day being the same, and having part of your job being chatting and getting to know people is your thing, then we’re for 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 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.