How Coworking Improves Human Performance

This article published on the Mind Rocket site and entitled “Technology Drives Community” was authored by our CEO, Laurent Dhollande. In it, Laurent observes that while remote working is providing desirable flexibility to professionals, it also too often leads to unwelcomed isolation, intrusion into our private lives, and ultimately the potential for loss of productivity, but coworking can offer a solution.

Laurent postulates that this isolation and lack of motivation often experienced by remote workers are the flip side of the new empowerment and flexibility brought to us by the technological developments of the last two decades. That’s why, he writes, teleworking has actually not taken off as much as anticipated, in spite of many corporate programs that support remote work. He explains why joining a coworking community helps transcend these performance-hindering side effects.

Coworking provides more opportunity for members to learn and grow professionally, by interacting with people who are not fashioned by the same corporate mold, sometime serendipitously and other times via organized events. In the end, he explained that the social fabric of a coworking place can greatly help improve the individual member overall work experience. Coworking communities, no-doubt, bring much needed counter-balance to the downfalls of isolation inherent in remote work.

Coworking Day Passes to Generate Leads NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz First Friday Special Day Pass

What’s interesting here is that a high level, someone secretive, consulting firm like Mind Rocket, who among other things advise foreign governments on how to leverage technology to improve Human Performance, sought out the opinion of our CEO, a keen observer of, and participant in, the flexible office industry, to explore how coworking communities may help soften the down side of remote work enabled by remote technology, and enhance human performance.

At CloudVO, we want to support all research efforts that might help gather data to support that claim, which we, as operators and coworkers, experience in our daily lives. If you have an academic project, or any kind of research, going in that direction, do not hesitate to contact us!

Meanwhile, we highly recommend you read the Mind Rocket article.

Visit us at   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location for free and join our coworking family of 700 shared workspaces around the world.


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 to Reinvent Your Marketing Strategy: 9 Tips for Coworking Space Operators

When was the last time you revisited your marketing strategy? Or your website, for that matter?

We get it. As coworking space operators, you have a lot on your plate. But if your marketing is not working, you’re leaving leads, members and money on the table.

The CloudVO marketing team sees first-hand how partner spaces present and market themselves online. Some have a streamlined strategy and others, not so much. The good news is that you can always improve, and doing so doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking.

CloudVO Blog Reinvent Your Coworking Space Marketing Strategy

I spoke with Karina Patel, Director of Marketing at CloudVO, about simple things coworking space operators can do to improve their digital presence and marketing.

I also spoke with David Middleton, Vice President at YourOffice, who turned to the CloudVO team when the company needed to update their marketing approach.

As Middleton explains, they weren’t getting the results they wanted from commercial real estate brokers and their “overall strategy was to increase conversions from inbound channels.” As he puts it, Patel “brought us into the new world and made sure we’re where we need to be.”

This meant strengthening SEO across their seven workspace locations, getting up-to-speed with social media trends, investing in pay-per-click marketing, focusing on content creation and revisiting their website copy.

Here are nine marketing tips for workspace operators, taken from our conversations.

1. Audit Your Website

Is your website up-to-date? Does your copy reflect keyword phrases you’re currently targeting? Is your site mobile responsive? These are all common issues with websites in the workspace world and beyond.

Be open to changes as Middleton of YourOffice was and take an honest look at your site, including images, videos, copy and layout. You may be using phrasing that’s outdated and missing opportunities to boost your SEO. Consider enlisting a few people to help with this (including a member), as their perspective and observations may be different from yours.

CloudVO Blog How Coworking Spaces Can Redefine Marketing Strategy Partner YourOffice

 

2. Make Check-out Easy

When someone visits your site, it’s because they need something. How easy is it for them to get the information they need and take the next step, whether that’s purchasing a membership, a meeting room rental, a virtual office or digital mail services?

As Patel explains, you want to provide instant gratification for the user.

“If a lead comes to the website, what is it they’re looking for,” she says. “How many clicks does it take them to get to it?”

Here are questions to ask yourself about the user experience on your site:

● Can people checkout on your website? If so, what is that process? Do they have to fill out a long form or is it easy?
● How easy is it for someone to navigate to what they need?
● How many clicks does it take to go from information to checkout?
● Do you have a call to action on each page to invite users to take the next step?
● Is your e-commerce integrated with your website?
● How easy is it for a casual browser to get a day pass, virtual mail membership or book a meeting room?

CloudVO Blog Reinvent Your Coworking Space Marketing Strategy Online Meeting Room Bookings

ProTip: Utilize analytics to glean valuable information. The CloudVO team found in their own analytics that a lot of people were reserving meeting rooms, coworking daypasses and virtual office services in the evening, after business hours. If reservations required filling out a form and waiting until the next day for a response, people would be more likely to keep browsing. It’s important to give people a way to book and pay immediately.

3. Refresh Your Images

An easy way to keep your website fresh and relevant is to update your photos regularly.

“You can immediately freshen up your website by updating the pictures,” says Patel. “Especially if you’ve renovated, added new furniture or painted. If the first thing I see is an office space with fluorescent lighting and bulky wood furniture, it looks like an office from the 90’s or 80’s. That’s the first thing an end-user would be turned off by.”

If you have photos of people using your conference room, those should be on your website. If you have photos of people working in an open coworking area, those should be on your home page.

CloudVO Blog 6 Tips on Integrating Virtual Offices into Coworking Spaces Meeting Rooms

CloudVO Blog Coworking and World Mental Health Day Expand Social Networks

“Take photos all the time and replace the ones on your site regularly,” Patel advises, adding that event photos can be particularly valuable in differentiating your space from those around you. But even if you don’t host events, photos are key to user engagement.

“If your space isn’t an event space, and you may not be exposing it to people who aren’t community members, you have to compete a little bit more,” she says. “An easy way to do that is with photos.”

4. Get Access to Your Website

It’s nice to have a web developer you can call when you need to make a change to your website. But, if you’re completely dependent on them to make changes, you may be less likely to actually make changes to photos and copy.

Many websites are built on WordPress, Squarespace or other platforms that have a built-in content management systems (CMS). These give you easy access to make changes. And, bonus, they’re designed to host content, so you’ll have a good foundation for your content marketing.

“You don’t want to have to rely on a developer to update your images or copy, because how often will you really do that?”, says Patel.

5. Step Up Your Social Media

Social media platforms are marketing powerhouses—especially Facebook and Instagram. Take a close look at your social media strategy and find ways to strengthen and improve it, including posting more consistently.

“When I look at a company’s social media, I’m not looking at the number of followers,” says Patel. “I’m looking at their consistency. How often are you posting?”

Patel advises the following to improve your social media strategy, consistency and quality:

● Clarify your products and services: What do you offer people?
● Clarify your message: What are you trying to tell people?
● When people are using your space, take photos
● When you have an event, take photos
● Highlight your team members
● Highlight your community members
● Feature things going on in your community
● Feature local tech events
● Feature local organizations aligned with your space
● Feature guests who visit or work in your space
● Share posts about how people use your space
● Share motivational posts
● To avoid social media overwhelm, take one day a week to create and schedule your social media content
● Actively engage in social media, including in groups. This is a great way to teach people about your brand.
● You don’t have to post every day

“It doesn’t always have to be a picture of your conference room,” Patel says. “Only one in every few posts should be promotional. People want to understand you. Especially with Instagram, you’re telling a story of your brand, the people in your space and your community.”

She adds, “What’s unique about your space? That’s what people want to see.”

Cloud Blog Reinvent Your Marketing Strategy Social Media Branding

Middleton points out that it’s important to have someone on your team who is dedicated to social media. This is the approach they took for YourOffice.

“If you don’t have someone on your team who can do that, then align yourself with the resources that can provide that service,” he says. “They are out there.”

6. Utilize Google My Business

When auditing your coworking website, one of the first things to look at is your presence on Google. This includes organic SEO as well as Google My Business. To get started with Google My Business, claim your business, add images, add your services and hours. Google makes it quick and easy so there’s no reason not to claim your business today.

7. SEO

To determine where your workspace brand ranks in Google, do a search for coworking (or whatever services you’re targeting) in your area. If your space isn’t listed on the first page, you need to dedicate some time to SEO.

SEO is a big topic, but it includes getting your website architecture and copy right, including your target keyword phrases on pages, and creating content that supports your marketing efforts, and drives traffic and inbound links to your site.

There are plenty of great SEO tools, including SEMRush and Moz, but, as Patel advises, “Take what they give you with a grain of salt. Don’t get too into the weeds with SEO. Just focus on your keywords and strengthening website copy and content.”

For Middleton, that meant revisiting the phrasing they were using. For instance, they ranked high for terms such as “executive office space,” but few people were searching for that phrase.

“It might make us feel good that we were in the top five,” he says, “but that’s not what people were looking for.”

To remedy the situation, they implemented “coworking,” and “shared office” into their copy and created a content marketing strategy with those keywords in them.

8. Think Local

For Middleton, an important shift was to start thinking about inbound marketing for each of their seven locations across the Southeast, Denver and Philadelphia. The team is increasingly focused on marketing each space with local keyword phrases and content, rather than the company as a whole.

“We’re going to end up having more localized sites that will link back into the main YourOffice site,” says Middleton.

9. Get Started

To do a refresh of your marketing, determine where you need to make improvements, whether with your website, e-commerce, social media or SEO. Then lay out the next steps you need to take.

Cloud Blog Reinvent Your Marketing Strategy action plan

“Make an assessment,” says Patel, “based on what your strengths are, and what your weaknesses are. Where do you need help? Determine that and spend some time working on it.”

Want more resources like this? 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 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.

Are Coworking Operators Like WeWork a Threat or an Ally for Commercial Landlords?

A recent blog post published in Finance & Commerce entitled “Landlords, rivals push back against WeWork” expresses concerns from some landlords and their brokers that WeWork is stepping on their turf.

The article is interesting, and I thought it would be worthwhile for me to highlight some partial agreement with the author’s analysis, while sharing some divergent and expanded views as well on the evolving nature of Landlord/Operator relationships.

WeWork Window Sign San Francisco 201 Spear Street

  1. A new $42 bln valuation for WeWork.
    This is the highest number I have come across so far and a mind-blowing reflection of WeWork’s disruptive nature, as seen by WeWork’s investors. We could be a bit skeptical of that number until we can review the (private) agreement for the last capital infusion by SoftBank. Restrictions and conditions applied to WeWork on capital repayments, conversion options, and other features in the deal may considerably lower any nominal valuation. But no matter the exact number, that valuation remains gigantic, and way out of range of the multiples experienced by publicly traded companies in the sector. Clearly SoftBank is comfortable with the progress made by the company as they keep on funding. Clearly WeWork, and by extension, the entire coworking industry, is perceived as a disruptive force in the traditional commercial real estate world.

2.   Landlords’ Attitude is changing.
“More than a dozen real estate and banking executives interviewed by Bloomberg expressed misgivings about working with the start-up,” says the Finance & Commerce article – well, maybe, but let’s not forget that for one dozen skeptics, you have several dozens of landlords who are raising their hands to attract WeWork in their buildings, even though WeWork has, in many cases, replaced the fat Letters of Credit or Security deposits of the past with meaningless guarantees for the first 6 months or 12 months of rent. It’s not difficult to guarantee the first year of rent… when 9+ months of it is free! If landlords’ attitudes have changed, it is that WeWork, and the entire coworking industry, is being more actively sought after by landlords throughout the country than it ever has. A dozen skeptics won’t stop this powerful wave.

3. Reduced Collateral in Leases.
We can also point out that the considerable drop in security collateral experienced by landlords with coworking players in the last few years does not put their project necessarily in a more fragile financial situation. The best collateral of a coworking operation is the operation itself, with hundreds of members sending recurring payments every month which won’t disappear, because their business identity is tied to that location. There is more than meets the eye than an apparent threat to the financial stability of these collateral-less transactions.

Lease Agreement CloudVO Blog WeWork and Landlords

4.   Debunking the myth of Corporate Guarantees.
Corporate guarantees can be very dangerous for landlords by giving a sense of false security. They were the reason why Regus filed for Chapter 11 in 2002, by creating a domino effect due to growth that was too aggressive in the Western US during the dot-com boom of the late nineties. The majority of their assets were performing well, but a series of imprudent leases, with corporate guarantees, at the peak of the market created a domino effect that affected all landlords. Under Chapter 11, Regus could attempt to restructure all of their leases, including with well performing locations. That did not help the Regus landlords in any way, corporate guarantee in hand or not. What saved them were other flexible space operators taking over the locations vacated by Regus.

That is how Pacific Workplaces (Pac) experienced its initial growth 15 years ago, by taking over a former Regus franchise location in Walnut Creek, California when they failed on their rent obligations. The Landlord in the end did not need the collateral, corporate guarantees, or personal guarantees that Pac would not offer (at the time Pac had only 2 existing locations). They cared that a knowledgeable operator would optimize the operation and pay market rent. That approach served them well. Two lease renewals and two lease expansions later, Pacific Workplaces Walnut Creek has never failed on its rent obligation, has become the largest tenant in the building, all to the delight of happy asset managers!

CloudVO Sister Company Pacific Workplaces Walnut Creek new coworking space and lounge

Formerly a Regus/HQ, Pacific Workplaces acquired its location in Walnut Creek, CA in 2004.  The location just completed a successful space refresh and offers all shared workspace options including coworking memberships, virtual office plans, private offices, and meeting rooms.

 

  1. Disruption of the tenant-landlord-broker relationships.
    “It’s more about disrupting the relationship of tenants to landlord, of tenants to brokers, of brokers to landlords,” writes the author in the Finance & Commerce article. There is much truth in that statement. WeWork is understandably in the spotlight, but the entire coworking industry is a threat to brokers in that it dis-intermediates the function of a broker for small space requirements, an increasingly large section of the market. The demand is meeting the supply online. For example, 85% of the leads of Pacific Workplaces, a California-based coworking operator with 18 locations, come from online channels, and only 1% come from traditional brokers. Online leads can originate from the operator’s own digital marketing efforts and from resellers and marketplace providers like CloudVO or Liquidspace, who are successful disrupting the role of traditional brokers, in part due to the more transparent nature of their online transactions, a refreshing approach, in contrast to the chronic opacity of traditional commercial real estate transactions. On the Enterprise segment of the market, companies with a large network of locations like Regus, WeWork or CloudVO have their own corporate account infrastructure that relies a lot less on traditional brokers and feeds off of what was once the brokerage word reserved territory.

6.  WeWork and Coworking Operators a threat to Landlords?
That is what the author of the Finance & Commerce piece argues. I think the truth is more subtle than laid out in that article. First, as a buyer of commercial buildings, it seems to me that WeWork is a beneficial player for the owners of assets they purchase, in that WeWork was the highest bidder. Otherwise the owner would presumably not have sold. Second, the trends towards mobility, the consumerization of the workplace, the continued decrease in corporate footprint per employee, are all threats to landlords in that the need for traditional commercial space is shrinking. Coworking and other forms of flexible office spaces are enabling these trends, but the threat to landlord is the trend, not the flexible office space operators. In fact, Coworking operators are natural partners for landlords to take advantage of that new secular trend. Managing coworking spaces is an entirely different profession than property management. Just as hotel landlords bring in franchise operators to manage the hotel (and don’t try to do it themselves), commercial office landlords need professional coworking operators to manage that new exploding demand.

Written by  Laurent Dhollande, CEO of CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces


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.

14 Ways Coworking Spaces Can Build Community Over the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, in our homes and in our workplaces. If the traditional office holiday party elicits a been-there-done-that sort of feeling, we encourage our CloudVO partners and friends to shake things up with events and projects that build community both inside and outside of your space.

CloudVO 14 Ways to promote community over the holidays

Here are 14 tips for spreading holiday cheer and giving back to your community inspired by the community managers from our sister company, Pacific Workplaces (PAC).

1. Potluck Lunch
Keep things low-key with a potluck lunch. Invite employees and members to join and have each person bring something. This is a great addition to any of the other events, drives, or contests you’re planning to hold in your space. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring members together to enjoy food and chat. Themes can be around a specific holiday or just to celebrate your community.

Pacific Workplaces Oakland Holiday Potluck Event

2. Charitable Drive
This holiday season, several PAC locations are hosting charitable drives for clothing, food, coats and jackets, sleeping bags, blankets, toys, monetary donations, socks and more. The East Bay spaces have a competition to see who can collect the most food donations for the local food bank, the San Mateo location is holding a relief drive for those affected by the California wildfires, and Greenhaven is doing a blood drive.

Pacific Workplaces Oakland Food Bank Drive Holidays 2018

The Sacramento Capitol location is doing a donation drive for My Sister’s House, an organization that helps women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing a safe haven, job training, and community services.

Pacific Workplaces Sacramento My Sisters House Dontation Drive Holidays 2018

3. Celebrate Member Strides
PAC Sunnyvale is hosting a New Year’s Social and “champagne day” to celebrate members whose businesses have made great strides during 2018. Members of the space have published books, had multiple FDA approvals and landed major accounts, so the community wants to celebrate with them.

4. Workspace Decorating Contest
Bring holiday cheer to your shared workspace by holding a decorating contest. Encourage members to decorate their dedicated desk, meeting room, or office in an effort to win best décor. Winners can be voted on by community managers and the award ceremony can take place during a holiday activity.

5. Gift Wrapping Stations
One of the simple joys of the holiday season is wrapping presents in cheerful paper and ribbons. Make it easy for members to wrap their gifts (and keep them secret) with an in-house wrapping area. Pleasant Hill and Palo Alto PAC teams create gift wrapping stations or rooms for members. PAC provides the wrapping paper, bows, gift tags, tape, hot cider, snacks and holiday music.

6. New Year’s Wish Board
A wish board is a great way for members to participate in something and have it displayed for everyone to see. In preparation for the new year, have members fill out a paper star, snowflake or other design with their 2019 resolutions and anything they’re looking forward to in the next year.

Pacific Workplaces Greenhaven Wish Board for Holidays

7. Ugly Holiday Sweater Day
Spark fun and laughter all day long with an ugly holiday sweater day. This is also the perfect opportunity to snap some pics for social media.

Pacific Workplaces Ugly Sweater Party Holiday Member Event

8. Care Bags
Holiday traditions at NextSpace San Jose include making care bags for the homeless. These bags are filled with everyday essentials, such as socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, snack bars and hygiene items.

NextSpace Coworking San Jose Care bags for the homeless member event

9. Secret Santa
A Secret Santa is a fun way to spread holiday cheer. The Bakersfield team makes Secret Santa gift buying easier on members by displaying a poster in the lounge showing all the Secret Santa participants’ names and “Things I Like” underneath each name.

Pacific Workplaces Bakersfield Secret Santa Display Holiday 2018

If you want to add a new twist to your workspace Secret Santa, try doing a “modern” secret Santa where members exchange e-gift cards. No one has to worry about running around and shopping for something. Plus, who doesn’t love Target or Amazon? Tip: You can still draw names the old-fashioned way.

10. Holiday Tree
In Palo Alto, PAC members participate in a group tree decoration and lighting event, complete with popcorn strings, ornaments, tinsel and lights.

11. Gratitude Projects
You may have heard of a gratitude jar, where people write down things they’re grateful for and put them in a jar to be read later. Pacific Workplaces San Mateo is putting a twist on the practice with a Thankful Tree, where members can write what they are thankful for and display as little notes on the tree.

Pacific Workplaces San Mateo Thankful Tree Holidays 2018

12. Cocktail Classes
In San Francisco, PAC VO member company SF Mixology does various cocktail-based events for the space’s annual holiday party. This year, they’re teaching a cocktail class for members.

13. Giving Tree
The San Mateo PAC team has an annual Giving Tree to helps kids in need. The tree has a list of children’s names and what they need (basketball, toothbrush, backpack, etc.). Members can choose a name and supply the requested items.

14. Here Comes Santa
PAC Capitol in Sacramento invites Santa to make an appearance in the space. They have a member who volunteered for Santa duties and they invite parents to bring a small pre-wrapped, pre-labeled gift before the event for Santa to give to their child(ren). It’s a great photo-op and a good way to spread the holiday cheer to members and their families.

However you celebrate the holidays in your workspace and home, be safe and may your days be cheery and bright. Happy Holidays from all of us at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces.

Ways Coworking Spaces Can Build Community Over the Holidays

Written by   Cat Johnson  and Sasha Bonar.


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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


About CloudVO

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