Managing A Space

Managing A Space

A Peak On The Inside

Operating a coworking space isn’t for the faint of heart. Those who are considering opening a space should join all the coworking groups and forums that you can to learn from those who have been there-done-that. Every space is different and how you operate may be different as well, but there are many commonalities that everyone can learn from. Learn from others mistakes so that you don’t have to!

What A Day Can Be Like

A day in the life of a space manager or coordinator can vary widely. From the time you enter the building in the morning, you never know what you could come into, especially if you have a 24/7 access space. By that I mean, after-hours meetings and teams working late, can leave a mess for you to clean up in the morning – depending on when your cleaning crew comes in. On that topic, I recommend having a cleaning crew come in Saturday night or Sunday daytime through every evening or early morning to Friday.

We know that coworking spaces run on coffee, lattes, or espressos – right? It’s a perk that members love and draws them into your space and not in the local coffee shop. Having a good system in place for your members to use and also staff to take care of during business hours is important. Even the best place system – all in one or just a brew/carafe – will not stop the mess. There will be members that don’t clean up after themselves all the time, no matter how many signs you put up.

Being conscious of the environment, you may use dish-ware, mugs, glasses, silver-ware in leu of paper/plastic. While all of this is good, the challenge is managing the loading/washing/unloading of dishwasher. Everyone has their own way to load a dishwasher and every dishwasher is different – technology today is amazing. It’s often best, to avoid damage and issues, to have a staff only policy on dishwasher loading/running. Missing silver-ware often is also an issue. They seem to grow legs and walk away quite often. Make it easier on yourself when you choose your flatware, but getting something relatively inexpensive and easily re-ordered or purchased.

All Work and No Play?

A majority of spaces have events. Events can bring interest into your space from people in the community and it is also a nice source for marketing. Events that bring in your members and build the community are a big part of what coworking is about. However, events are not without challenges for staff. If you are a brand that doesn’t have the capacity to have an event planner hired either internally or contract with a company, the Manager and Coordinator will be stretch to work a full day and manage after hours events or even events happening during business hours.

Keep a healthy balance for your community as well as your staff as you develop and grow. One way to do this is to poll your members to see what they are interested in your space host,  as well as see what is going on in the community you are in that you can be a part of as a host. Remember, let your programming add to your community not take away, continually evolving as your community changes and grows.

What do you have going on in your community? What has worked and what hasn’t? I’d love to hear from you!