What is important for coworking spaces

CUBB 2016

What is important for coworking spaces​

In the start of october we had the honour to take part in the first of its kind Coworking Uconference Bansko - an unforgettable weekend, in one of the most visited winter resorts in Bulgaria.​​

For two days we exchanged coworking experience, ideas and useful information, we met interesting people and gained unfortgettable memories and mountain experiences.

There was lots of exciting sessions about coworking:
The first was “What we need first - community or space?”. Then we discussed the community “Sinergie is the big thing”- the spirit that comes from the community. It’s all about diversity, inspiration comes from foreigners. People come together around a culture. They needed the vibe with like-minded people.

The restarting activities are extremely useful in a coworking space, for example a massage or hiking in the mountain. People need to recharge their batteries to be more productive and energize.

How to build a community?

It is important to aim to build a culture. All the members of the community need to share similar mindset, not similar skills or interests, similar understanding of life.

It is of great importance to investigate what makes all members of the community interested in this 'spirit' ,culture ,lifestyle , mindset ,motivation ,shared struggle.

But we have to accept that sometimes we just need convenience - members have to know they can connect to the internet and find a chair, the rest doesn’t always matter in the beginning.

Specialisation

Rather than grouping by skills, we can group by passions / areas of interests.

Look for people who share a common goal, skills. Often the grouping is unintentional - it’s an organic specialisation based on the network of the founders and their interests, the group organises itself.

Meeting people

In a diverse community, you meet people you wouldn't have had the chance to meet. In a specialised community, you know who you can expect to meet there - if you need to meet a certain kind of person, you know where you can find them.

Sense of community

As a psychological construct, there are 4 aspects of the sense of community

-Membership

-Integration and fulfilment of needs

-Influence

-Emotional connection

The community reflects the team dynamic

So how can we expect the community to get involved if the team doesn't?

The teams feel a stronger sense of community than the members

This isn’t really surprising, since the teams are building the coworking community and are therefore more deeply invested.

Members see the community as a resource (eg people who can help them with their job) - they're mainly there for the fulfilment of their needs.

For the team, however, shared emotional connections are more important - it's not just work.

No matter how much you love your work, you have to think about yourself first.

Take care of yourself so that you're able to take care of others.

Avoid burnout from giving too much social energy.

Dunbar’s number suggests that we can only maintain 150 connections, think about how much of that is taken up by work relationships. Think about how much you’re asking your community managers to give and give up.

The most efficient work group size (org psych) is 8 +/- 2.

Dealing with negative feedback / terminated membership well increases bonds.

Asking the community for help makes them feel more engaged.

The team feels more engaged because they're building it, so get everyone to help build.

An interesting (and fabricated) chart about transmitting messages:

Say we think of an idea 100% accurately.

We might be able to communicate it to someone else with 80% accuracy.

They might hear it with 60% accuracy.

And understand 40% of it.

Then retain 20%.

These figures are made up but hopefully you get the picture! Remember that things get lost in transmission from one person to another.

Digital Nomads

They find their happiness in travelling and they find their passion through travelling. They seek cheap places and use webwork travel groups in Facebook. They spent 1000 - 2000 $ average worldwide to earn a living. The top three important things to choose a coworking space according to Lulu are: online presence, the cost and responsiveness. It is important to receive prompt answers when it comes to your working space. Then it comes the need of a moderator to rule different activities and inspire. Digital nomads are also interested in events, cheap accomodation, close co-living and co-working space. The choice of a coworking space is also influenced by the fact how open the coworking space is and the hospitability. A shared google map with the local coworking spaces would be really useful for the global digital nomad community.

Influencers and how to work with them?

Bloggers are the digital “word of mouth”. The influencers and bloggers influence people’s opinion what to do, they can help you connect with others and take care of your SEO. Thus your online presence will boost, you will distinguish your coworking space from the local ones. Working with the influencesrs is a kind of business approach, first you need to reach the local bloggers. All you need to do is to organise a press trip for a few bloggers with a programme and they will write not only about your coworking space but the region as well thus your online presence and recognition will boost.