Coworking spaces attract independent professionals and start-ups for several reasons. They are cheaper than traditional offices, have better amenities, and enhance social interaction, to name a few. Besides these, management of a coworking space also entails managing the customers that use the area. Still, considering that you have different personalities in the same space, what are the etiquette rules you need to establish in a coworking space?
These may comprise the rules you want your coworking space customers' to adhere to. And also the right work environment conditions you need to provide in a coworking space. So, let's look at some of the etiquette rules to follow in creating a coworking space.
Your coworking space customers often work on a schedule. They probably set up meetings and have deadlines to meet. Thus your facility must be open at the right time. If you have advertised that your coworking facility opens at a specific hour, you should keep to time. It is because customers sign up for your space based on such details. So when they are creating their schedules, they do so working with time.
Also, if there's going to be a public holiday, or you need to close for fumigation or other repairs. Ensure that you inform all of your customers ahead of time. You can relay the message via email or post it on your community Stream, web, and social media platforms. And if your profile states that you provide 24/7 access to your members, stick to it. Do not lock up the building at night just because the facility is empty. You don't want to keep your customers stranded when they need to work at late hours.
While some coworking space customers may like working with music, others may not. To create a balanced coworking space, turn off the music. For those who want music, you can encourage them to use earphones when listening to any audio or video. You can put up signage to this effect for customers to follow the rules.
Furthermore, you can make the work environment peaceful and quiet. Carve out an area where members can go chitchat. Place signage that also requests that the coworking space members keep their phones on silent mode. Or they can turn down the ringer volume.
Just because you manage a coworking space does not give you the right to snoop around. It also does not give you the freedom to breach customer privacy. All members' data within your possession or custody should be kept confidential at all times. When their mails come in, make sure they get it right away. Do not be likes the nosey neighbor that holds onto your mails.
Another rule of the etiquette of creating your coworking space is to provide super-fast internet. Having a slow and unreliable Wi-Fi connection can be a definite deal-breaker for your customers. Therefore, you must invest in quality IT from a reliable internet service provider.
Ensure that you provide both wireless and wired options to cater to your different members. Network security should also be safe and protected with the latest software to avoid a data breach. Provide a portal login that has a 2-3 day login cookie or lease time. This way, your regular coworking space members do not have to struggle with logging in every day.
Members in a coworking space can be more productive when they're in a clean and serene recreational outlet. In most cases, coworking spaces provide amenities like a kitchen, game room, wellness center, nap rooms, etc. Most of these spaces are directly shared by all members, unlike the work table or rooms. The challenge now is keeping these general areas clean and organized. It is not easy to hold all members accountable for cleaning up.
Thus, your working space etiquette rules should ensure that you provide cleaning services. After proving the general cleaning, you can also encourage members to tidy up these areas after use. These amenities should also function at all times. The taps should be running. The printing machines should be always loaded with paper and ink. Restock all supplies, so you don't run out and have a backup power plan in case of a blackout.
Pro tip: Implement technology solutions like cloud printing to automate routine workspaces management.
A community manager holds coworking spaces together and helps to foster a sense of culture and community. The manager helps to answer queries and plan key community events. Also, the community manager welcomes those coming into the facility and gives tours to potential members.
Some coworking space community managers go the extra mile to check on all members. They're always abreast of what members are working on and what challenges they may be struggling with. And likewise, what things need to be done to make the coworking experience better for all members.
Pro tip: Integrate customer support platform with your main coworking software to resolve members' issues on the fly.
You want your coworking space members always to feel secure. When they are coming in very early in the morning or leaving late at night, customer safety is vital. Therefore, it means that your security protocols need to be efficient, intelligent, reliable, and have a strong presence. Remember that the members and businesses in your space want their data, business files, etc. to remain intact. Provide customers with smart cards or phone access codes into the building. So access is not granted to unauthorized persons.
Your coworking facility should provide high safety standards within the office premises and online. The surveillance cameras, alarm systems, and anti-hacking software need to be frequently updated. Invest in high-quality locks for the windows, doors, and cabinets. The Environment should also be well lit, particularly parking areas.
You rarely see coworking spaces ask members for feedback or have a feedback mechanism. You need to have one in place. It helps to let your customers tell you what works and what is not working. One form of getting feedback is via anonymous feedback. Using Typeform or Google Docs, you could set up simple feedback forms in a matter of minutes. Communication tools integrated with your coworking app will help you reach out to members and collect valuable info.
The feedback from members can help you improve in areas you need to provide an efficient coworking space for all. Whether it is leaking skin, power cuts, dirty toilets, complaints about staff or members, you get an idea of where to fix up.
Managing a coworking space can be a very enticing new venture for most people. You provide an environment for flexible work hours, networking, and other added values. However, managing a coworking space means that you have to manage the customers that use the area. You can provide etiquette rules that guide their usage of the coworking space.
It also means that you have to provide proper working conditions for the coworking space members 24/7. The security, amenities, Wi-Fi, and general facility management go a long way to keep your customers satisfied.