Interviewing several coworking managers and representatives in Asia, we found some of the secret recipes for building community inside a coworking space. Singapore is known as a global hotspot for many tech startups and small companies. An ideal coworking space is the cohesion of elements: collaboration, cooperation, social connection. According to the Global Workspace Association, people who use shared workspaces “come for space but stay for everyone.” Building a community in a coworking space in Singapore requires a lot of effort to cultivate and develop a sense of belonging and ownership.
1. Networking Guru: The Coworking Manager
Concentrating many talented, independent individuals at the same place is challenging. To ensure that your coworking space runs smoothly, consider training your coworking space manager as a community concierge. These people are often the first touchpoint for newcomers. They will give newcomers an overview of the overall workspace as well as introduce new residents to their neighbours.
The community concierge must be the person who solves problems that arise in a coworking space. They have to be willing to answer all kinds of questions users may have, even if these questions seem awkward or funny. Problems like broken machines and equipment, disputes among members are often resolved quickly and reasonably. A community concierges largely contribute to building a community in the concerned coworking spaces.
2. Host Networking Events
One of the keys to building a community in coworking spaces in Singapore is hosting networking events. As businesses become more aware of the value of experience in practices, organizing a practical event will get more people involved in your coworking space. Moreover, it can also help them feel more connected to the community.
Coworking spaces need to regularly host networking events that must be attractive, creative and professional to deepen the community spirit. A lot of people consider such activities as opportunities to learn from experts in many fields and have themselves introduced into the fold. Through this progress, a strong community among members will be established.
3. Schedule Social Events
To build a community, people not only need to work together but also to live, to collaborate. Do not just appreciate the cohesion of holding professional events. Make sure your community also includes fun, creative social activities. Ask members about what they want to do. Organize small playgrounds for people with similar interests such as watching movies, playing football and playing video games.
4. Involve Members in Decision Making
It is necessary to nurture and develop- the sense of community in each member in coworking spaces. The important thing is to make the members feel they are essential, and their suggestions are appreciated. When possible, let them decide a few issues directly related to their needs without affecting the overall. It could merely be what kind of coffee do they want? Which colours should be used to paint the room? Or you should consult the members before deciding to organize an event
5. Facilitate Group Communication
If you want your members to team up with, give them ways to connect. In addition to hosting live events, you can use social tools, chatting software, creating email groups, or coworking blogs to connect members online. They will have the opportunity to understand each other better through professional conversations or gossip, therefore, break the ice, and lay the cornerstone for building a community.
Be creative while giving some topics for your coworking space residents. Focus on some issues of entrepreneurship, creative industries, interviews with industry influencers and coworking space residents to attract them to join.
6. Create an Accountability Group
This is a great way to develop a sense of community among fellow members in every coworking space. An accountability group will encourage members to meet and discuss various aspects, from expertise to working environment issues. It not only contributes to improving the coworking space but also nurtures the community. The members feel like they are part of the community.
In different coworking spaces, the accountability group has different ways of promoting operations. But overall, they are still informal check-ins or organized norms in the system of coworking space.
7. Have patience
Patience is the key to building a thriving community. When someone enters space, take the time to listen to them. Only when you understand their ideas and desires can you make a true community. When you know the members, you can give them what they need. Thus they will surely be happy to be part of the community you create.
As the coworking spaces mushroomed in Singapore, the competition between spaces to attract customers became more fierce. Creating a coworking community spirit is the key to make something new members come for more and existing members stay loyal.