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5 Tips on Maximizing Your Members’ Work Experience

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Of all the factors that go into creating a coworking space, the members’ experience is one of the most critical. From the first introduction through the workday, members must feel their business and personal needs are being met; if they’re not, there’s little to stop them from packing up and moving to a more amenable space.

So, at Vast Coworking Group’s Venture X and Office Evolution locations, we spend quite a bit of time making sure our community managers do all they can to make the member want to stay with us, with welcoming amenities and spaces that meet their individual needs.

This is where our brands’ franchise model helps to elevate the overall member experience. Each of our 130+ locations are independently owned and operated by people who live and work within their communities, so our franchise owners and managers are uniquely dialed in to the needs and demands of the businesses and professionals they call their neighbors.

This gives an advantage in not only curating personalized experiences for members, but also for the overall success of the location, because our franchise owners have vested interest in seeing their business succeed. 

Here are five ways you can achieve the same level of hospitality at your coworking business for a successful member experience:

  • Get to know your members and what they need.

The hospitality model really applies here. The hotel industry has done an excellent job of differentiating itself to attract specific demographic groups with tailored features and amenities. Hilton, for instance, has free afternoon happy hours and popcorn every day at its Embassy Suites brand, and a completely different experience for guests of the ultra-luxe Waldorf-Astoria. Some hotel guests want to be active and sociable, while others just want to lie on the sand and keep to themselves.

We should follow their lead and cater to members’ preferences in how they want to work in our spaces. Remember that, just like in any traditional office, you’ll have people who keep their doors closed all day and others who love to network and chat with each other. If you offer space for networking events, be sure they’re not disruptive to quieter tenants. Keep both “brands” in mind as you plan your space. 

  • Make members feel comfortable as soon as – even before – they enter. 

There should always be someone at the front desk to greet people as they come in and be sure they understand the space and where everything is. You’re going to have some who have never operated in a coworking situation, so you need to be ready to put those people at ease. 

But it really begins before they arrive. If you promote your space online, keep all the information and images up to date. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from people is that they can’t actually find the space. You don’t want people to arrive worn out and frustrated because they couldn’t find the building.

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A view of a coworking space.

  • Take care of the little things.

Business is about relationships, and taking care of small details can help build a rapport that will help you understand your members and create a memorable experience for them. 

I spent three years working in one of our coworking spaces, and when I went out to lunch, I would offer to buy lunch for the community manager. It was just a little thing, but it helped me build a relationship with them and show them some appreciation. Acts of kindness such as having someone to hold packages for delivery services, bringing in lunch or breakfast – these are small gestures that can have a huge impact. 

  • Offer space the members can use for a variety of needs.

This is where flexible space can make a big difference. We offer our members a lot of flexibility in how they use their location, like removable walls to configure different layouts, and of course they include basic services like Wi-Fi. 

As a result, we’ve had all types of events – not just conventional ones like networking and seminars, but book signings, whiskey tastings, Super Bowl parties, even weddings (and surprise proposals). You don’t have to organize these types of engagements, but your space should give members the option to do so.

  • Respond to feedback immediately.

Just like hotel and restaurant guests, our coworking members are using social media and review sites to give us immediate feedback on their experience. Keeping up with it and resolving issues as they arise comes back again to the community manager knowing the people in the space and being there for people to report when something’s amiss – and then fixing, or at least addressing the issues in real-time. 

It’s the same logic as when you check into a hotel room and it’s not up to standards. You’re going to call down to the front desk, and how they handle that is going to make a big difference in your experience. In the case of our industry, it’s a feedback loop of constantly monitoring the space and making sure that what the members are getting, what they are paying for and what they expect. You can never let your guard down at all.

You’re Welcome

No matter what industry you’re in, the user experience matters. Whether it’s a fast-casual restaurant, a five-star hotel or a coworking space, how the customer, guest or member is treated plays a critical role in whether they continue doing business with you. If they’re offered sincere hospitality and a comfortable, well-appointed place in which to work, they’re more likely to make your workspace theirs. 

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About Author

Jason Anderson is President of Vast Coworking Group™, the world’s largest coworking franchise company comprised of shared workspace concepts Venture X® and Office Evolution®. Vast Coworking is a division of the United Franchise Group (UFG) family of affiliated brands and consultants. The Vast network is building and connecting consumer focused brands to help meet the rapidly growing worldwide demand for flexible office space.

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