After traveling extensively, Success Manager Lizelle Smith decided to bring her international worldview to the coworking community at Work & Co in Cape Town, South Africa. Now, the space and its members have become her home, bolstering her passion for shared workspace environments. Here’s why.
How did you discover coworking?
I first discovered coworking in 2016 when I was introduced to the owner of Work & Co. I soon became a member at Work & Co, and it’s been the most amazing work experience for me personally which is why I am a true ambassador for inspiring shared workspace environments.
What is your involvement with Work & Co?
I am the Success Manager at Work & Co and I joined the team in January 2020; however, I have been part of the community for quite some time.
How would you describe the community at Work & Co?
I would describe the community as authentic, hardworking as well as a community with a real entrepreneurial spirit who love connecting with and supporting fellow members.
What other unique elements make your coworking space stand out from all the rest??
I would definitely say it is the host of facilities offered at Work & Co (including high-speed Internet, bottomless tea and coffee, meeting rooms, our NOVA: Mobile Office Pod, onsite IT support, fingerprint access and CCTV, full-time reception assistance, couriers, networking socials and events, printing, and scanning).
Our services are offered to every Work & Co member regardless of the specific membership package they choose. NOVA is also a unique service and provide members and non-members the opportunity to work in the most magical places!
Do you host any events to bring the community together?
Yes, we try to bring our community together as much as possible with different events and workshops all year round, focusing on topics related to wellness and business as well as other topics of specific interest to our community. We also collaborate monthly with local food trucks and cafes to bring pop-up lunches to our members, and every Friday afternoon, we invite our members to some drinks on our balcony.
What are the three key ingredients for operating a successful coworking space?
- Ensuring a beautiful, comfortable as well as professional work environment.
- Providing a high level of service so that individuals may focus on their core business.
- Establishing a positive community culture that inspire individuals to put out their best work. Our community loves coming to work!
What is your favorite part of coworking?
Very simply put, it is the non-isolation aspect — being able to work in an environment where I can be productive and be part of a supportive community where I truly feel a sense of belonging. The knowledge and skill-sharing aspect allows members to grow as individuals as well as grow their business.
What was the most challenging part, thus far, of operating a coworking space?
The most challenging part is to create a strong community. Another challenge is that it is very difficult to get members involved in the community in the beginning, as they don’t see the immediate value. You really have to drive the onboarding of members on different occasions. Once they’re part of the community, they know and understand the opportunities inherent in that, such as business opportunities, hiring new talent, and cutting costs.
Do you have any advice or tips for someone who is looking to open a coworking space?
Make sure all of the necessary processes are in place and functional, as the business is ultimately about the processes driving efficiency and service to members. We are here to help members start and develop their business. We have to enable them to spend less time on admin and IT tasks, so our processes must support our members in focusing on their core business. Remember: coworking is a service-based industry that’s not only about the space, decor, and internet…but the service you can offer members.
How would you like people to remember Servcorp Madison Avenue?
We want members to feel that they are in a working environment yet very at home in this environment. We want them to feel that the space belongs to them and that it is a professional environment which offers a relaxed, efficient, and different way to work.
For more information about Work & Co Cape Town, visit their page on Coworker here.