How software can help co-working spaces improve member interactions
A complete guide on how software can be used to create meaningful, lasting relationships among people in your co-working space.
First, lets start by looking at why people join a co-working space. There are many benefits.. But the main ones are:
- It’s inspiring to be around people — from freelancers to startups to bigger businesses — who are all very focused on growing their business.
- Many have successfully done what you are trying to do (from sales to hiring new people for your business), and you can easily learn from what’s worked for them.
- There is always someone in the building (or someone they know) who needs your product or service, so it’s a great way to get new work.
Apart from having a nice space to work from, most people join a co-working space to do the following:
- Meet people and build new relationships
- Get new projects, clients for their business.
- And to be a part of a bigger community.
To help your co-working members do the above, and to create meaningful, lasting relationships among members in a co-working space, you should provide the following.
Giving your members an easy way to stay updated and talk to each other
A central newsfeed will help your members stay updated with what’s happening in your community. Think of the newsfeed like the main space to hang for your co-working members online.
They can do many things over here — from sharing what they have been working on with the rest of the community, to seeing what other members are working on. They can learn of new events that are happening in your co-working space, confirm attendance, and also see all the other members who are already attending. They can read popular comments, views status updates from other members, reply to posts in community groups and do more from the newsfeed.
Adding a newsfeed will increase member interaction in your co-working space.
The newsfeed is the central base for your co-working space. It’s the easiest way for members to stay updated on what’s happening in the community.
Each of your members should see a newsfeed that is customised for them based on their interests.
Giving your members an identity in your community
Each of your co-working members gets their own identity — their own profile and company pages — which highlights their specific skills and services.
From their profile pages they can share updates with the rest of the community — from what they are currently working on to asking for help from others in the community.
All this is connected to the central newsfeed, so that your co-working members can easily stay updated with others in the community. When a member shares something with the community, there is a possibility that someone else in the community will find it helpful, and it can lead to new projects and new work.
Giving your members an easy way to get new sales
Your co-working members should add their skills (e.g. digital marketer, designer) to their profile pages, and also add services (e.g. architect, real estate developer) to their company pages. This is in-turn should be connected to a central search database, so that if any of your co-working members are looking for a specific skill or service, the right members pops up and they can connect.
This is really important as most of your co-working members are always looking for new work, new projects and an advanced search feature can easily connect members who are searching for something specific to members who provide that particular service.
Most of your community members come to a co-working space to get new work for themselves, so the advanced search features is a great way to help them do this.
Connecting your members with others who have similar interests and hobbies.
Groups and community events are a great way to strengthen relationships among your co-working members, and to make them feel a part of something much bigger.
You should make it really easy for your members to see who all are attending a particular event, and to confirm attendance themselves. Groups are a great way to increase community participation among members. Your community members have different interests and groups are one way for them to interact and find people with similar interests.
Prompting your members to download your app to their mobile phone
You should prompt all your community members to download your web app onto their mobile phone — which means they can add your business icon onto the home screen of their mobile phones — and there it will feel and look like a native app, so that they can open it like they open any native app like Facebook, Youtube, Whatsapp etc.
This is important as users no longer have to constantly type the URL to visit your website. Instead they can just click on your business icon from their home screen which will result in better user interaction.
About the Author
Arjun Rajkumar is a developer and online marketing consultant based in Bangalore, India, and he likes building digital products that your customers will love.