How To Make Coworking Space Members Happy
The coworking space market is evolving. It is expected to grow at 13% per year, which is really cool. Though, with all those cozy to luxurious to sector-specific shared workspaces popping out daily, the customer is getting more demanding.
It’s really challenging at times to make clients happy but it’s absolutely critical to nail it for your business prosperity.
This article will help you find the key to future customers’ hearts and retain current residents more efficiently.
The question seems complex as all people are different as well as their requirements. You can’t please everyone and you don’t have to. Actually, you need to choose a smaller group of customers (target audience) and focus your efforts on making them happy, which is much more realistic.
According to Steelcase research, there are 6 dimensions of well-being associated with happiness in work environment.
- Optimism, which means people feel happier in work environments that foster creativity and innovation.
- Mindfulness, which means customers want to be able to fully engage with their work in the space.
- Authenticity, means coworkers want to have the freedom to be themselves during work.
- Belonging, entrepreneurs want to feel connected to the community of other people in the place.
- Meaning, the work must give an individual a sense of purpose.
- Vitality, the workspace must provide members all necessary tools for business growth and efficiency at work.
According to simple logic, to make members happy you just need to put a checkmark in front of each of the above dimensions. Let’s see how you can do this.
When you identified your audience and brand positioning, it will be easy for you to find the right approach to coworking space design that will inspire your members, and help them release the out-of-the-box thinking to get the job done the best and the fastest way.
For instance, Hera Hub is a women-focused coworking space brand that features spa-inspired environments with plants, art, calming colors, and the scent of relaxing aromatic candles in the air. Everything in Hera Hub including spa water, soft music in the background, seating arrangements, fresh coffee, and snacks is designed for the highest comfort level of members.
However, the workspace is not only about wellness, beauty, and relaxation. From the moment of its launch, the space is aimed at supporting female entrepreneurs who want to launch or grow their businesses. It’s safe to say that Hera Hub provides a perfect combination of professional environments that allow the five senses to flourish and makes it easier for business ladies to connect and collaborate together productively.
I believe you got the idea. To create a professional yet enjoyable environment for your members, you need to ground on their preferences. I.e.: If you are creating a coworking space for sport fans, you need to offer a gym, if you want to make eco-activists happier, go paperless, and so on.
We have already discussed workspace design that inspires members. Now let’s figure out how to let a person get that desired freedom of being themselves at work.
Undoubtedly, this is about flexibility. With the current popularity of remote work and intercontinental teams, freelancers and entrepreneurs don’t want any strong commitments, they need to be agile. There is no reason to stay at the same place all the time if they can work from any place on Earth.
You can easily meet your audience requirements with a variety of membership plans and 24/7 access to all amenities.
For instance, many companies today use a hybrid workforce when some team members work at the office and some work from home. You can equip your office with a desk booking system and offer this super flexible solution to hybrid teams.
This way, you can lease an office for 10 people to a company of 30, which is very cost-efficient for the customer. Company employees that need to come to the office, will book desks through the app on their smartphones to make sure that their workplace is waiting for them. If someday, the client needs more desks or a meeting room, they can always book those extras and include one-time expenses in a monthly bill.
Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t need to be physically present at a coworking space, they just want to use your address and participate in the community. Offer them virtual membership. This will help you sign up a client that wouldn’t convert otherwise.
I cited only a couple of examples of flexible membership plans you may offer customers. Be inventive and you’ll find more new opportunities to catch up with freelancers’ schedules and nomadic work styles.
According to Deskmag’s coworking survey, people choose a coworking space based on it having an enjoyable atmosphere (59%), to interact with others (56%), and to build a sense of community around themselves (55%).
It’s a proven fact that people are social beings and thrive only when surrounded by peers. This is a good reason to nurture a sense of belonging to the community in your members from day one.
There are many ways to do it. For instance, you can work out a special procedure for welcoming a new member. Your goal here is to let the noob feel your hospitality and the friendliness of other members.
To smoothen the awkwardness of the first moments, invite the newcomer to your coworking space app where they will have the possibility to browse other members’ profiles and create their own. Then introduce the newbie in your corporate communication channel where other community members can greet them and maybe appoint some meetings.
Invite new members for lunch or coffee, ask seasoned coworkers to join you. Organize networking events where members will have more opportunities to connect, acquire friends and business partners.
According to the science of happiness, people feel better when they help others and contribute to a higher purpose.
“An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.”
– Lydia M. Child
You can address this eternal aspiration to be useful to humanity in a million different ways.
For instance, if a member has better technical skills, ask them to take 20 minutes from their day to help the person that’s frustrated with their computer. I believe the computer genius will find a sense of accomplishment that will last all day.
If you want to participate in something bigger, you may follow the Hatcham House example. The founder of the workspace, Stephen Carrick Davies offers subsidized workplaces for young and unemployed people. Well-off members who want to help their peers in trouble stand up on their feet, cover those expenses, which turned Hatcham House into a social center that is always packed full of members and hatching something new and intriguing.
Besides, you can organize charity events such as blood drives or ask members to come by bike to work once a month to reduce air pollution. All these activities will help members feel important and motivated to contribute to social missions even more.
We talked so much about design, community, and motivation but a coworking space is about work in the first turn. If you have slow wifi, you can hardly make members happy even if the rest of the happiness dimensions are available.
Here is a brief list of tools that will help you exceed members’ expectations and cover all their business needs:
- Meeting rooms equipped with all necessary utensils for various types of meetings (online, offline.) You may walk the extra mile here and provide meeting room displays for the utmost members’ convenience.
- Mentoring program. This is especially important if you welcome startups in your flexible workspace. For many new businesses, the availability of knowledgeable advisors is a good reason to join a coworking space.
- Training classes. Entrepreneurs develop their businesses continuously because this is a mandatory condition for growth. However, they need to acquire new skills and knowledge to push their projects forward, and training is a perfect place to get essential information.
- Additional services. As members grow their businesses at coworking spaces, they often need to outsource the tasks they are not experts in or maybe have no time for. Such as HR, accounting, tax and legal help, web design, and others. You can make partnerships with relevant specialists (that maybe even belong to your community) and offer all those services to members through the app. This will significantly reduce the time and effort members would otherwise spend on finding the best experts in the field.
- Visitor management. Your members will invite guests and visitors and you need to make a good impression on them as well. The best way to manage visitors at a coworking space is to introduce a check-in system that will automate the process for all parties, make it safe and quick.
- Self-service app. It’s not enough to have a set of tools for members. You need to put all those tools in front of them. With a good-looking mobile app all services, benefits, desk and room bookings will become available to members in a tap. This will free them from multiple contacts with administrators and all associated inconveniences.
If you are reading these words, you are on the right way. You understand that the key to your success is in making members happy. Now you have a few ideas about how to do it. Start implementing them, then gather member feedback after a while. I am sure you will notice an improvement in member retention and many other essential aspects.
Don’t forget that if you are focused on members’ happiness, all your partners including software vendors must share your philosophy. Not sure how member-centric coworking software is different from other systems? Get the answer here: How to Choose the Best Software to Manage Your Coworking Space.