I wrote a guest post for The Power of Coworking, a blog by Alex at the coworking space SHHARED in Germany. In the post I gave tips for coworking space managers to expand their community into remote workers living rooms. This post is a summary of the most important thoughts and includes a link to the full article in case you want to learn more.
What can you do, as a coworking manager, to help people who prefer to work from home be part of your community?
Coworking communities are made of people with different backgrounds, lifestyles, and needs. These people also have a different degree of attendance to your space. Most coworking communities are a mix of full time and part time members.
As coworking ages, though, I have realised there is a third coworker type: the Absent Coworker. He or she may be working for a client in a traditional office or a different coworking space in your city. He or she may have moved abroad or be affected by the pyjama effect. Some coworkers, believe it or not, even start families and take paternity leaves. The Absent Coworker may not be present, but is a coworker that wants to belong. As your member’s professional and personal situations change, how can you make coworking Sustainable for them — and for you?
One way in which you can decouple belonging and presence, engage those who can’t (or just won’t) commit to a regular presence, and grow your community is to offer a Community Plan. Community Plans are all about belonging and very little about being around, which makes them not only great for your absent coworkers, but also a way to generate a recurring revenue with practically no associated costs.
Potential users of Community Plans are old coworkers, people who run events on your space, suppliers, sponsors or just people who talk too much on the phone or work late at night.
Attract them with your Openness, retain them with your Sustainability.