Although each coworking space has its own individualized flair, the most successful spaces typically share a handful of common denominators.
We’ve gathered intel from no. of coworking owners and operators to discover what really makes a good coworking space great. In this article, we’ll share this invaluable information with you and show you the ten essential elements of every successful coworking space.
After learning what characteristics top-tier coworking spaces share, you’ll be able to take that knowledge and apply it to your own flexible workspace – transforming your business in the process.
What Should a Coworking Space Have?
We compiled a list of ten qualities – both hard and soft – that we believe are essential for every coworking space. Listed in order of implementation, here they are:
A Great Leader
Is one who is able to bring people together and create opportunities for them to connect. This ability to connect people often translates well into leadership skills.
One study from Harvard Business Review identified ten qualities that every leader should have, based on a survey administered to top leaders around the world. Those qualities were organized into the following themes:
A Good Coworking Space Leader:
- Demonstrates strong ethics and provides a sense of safety
- Empowers others to self-organize
- Fosters a sense of connection and belonging
- Shows openness to new ideas and fosters organizational learning
- Nurtures growth
Remember, you create the culture of your coworking space. A great leader is essential for any successful coworking space.
A Clear Mission
A great leader always has a powerful mission that they can rally their team around. This is what a shared mission or set of values is for.
Some people might hear the word “mission” and think it has to be something really big or excessively hopeful. Even so, a regular mission can be just as influential as something more complicated.
It’s important for companies to have a mission statement that resonates with their values and what they hope to achieve. Some of the most recognizable brands in the world have mission statements that reflect their goals, such as:
- Walmart: We save people money so they can live better
- Sony: To be a company that inspires and fulfills your creativity
- TED: To spread ideas
No matter the size or scope, it’s important that your mission statement be something you and your team believe in wholeheartedly. This is what will resonate with your members and market.
Your coworking space’s mission might be to bring people together, support small business owners, or provide childcare to working parents. By answering the question of why you’re starting a coworking space and who you’re hoping to serve, you can develop a statement that truly reflects the goals of your space.
A Key Differentiator
A coworking space is a business, and every successful business has a unique selling proposition (USP).
Consumers are faced with a multitude of choices these days. It can be difficult for the average person to determine what makes your coworking space different from the seven others in your city. So, what is your USP? What makes your coworking space the best one for potential members?
Having a strong differentiator is important for any company so that it can stand out in its market. A great way to make your company more visible is by promoting your differentiator everywhere. The best differentiators are the ones that offer more than just the basics, like events or free coffee for members. Instead, try to think about things that will really appeal to your target demographic, such as:
- On-site childcare for working parents
- A women’s-only space
- Donating a portion of your revenue to local charities
- Offering incubator services to tech start-ups
It’s important to make sure that your key differentiator aligns with both your mission statement and who you are trying to serve. This way, you can be sure that you are attracting the right kind of attention and business.
A Strong Brand
A clear mission and key differentiator are two vital aspects that make up a coworking brand.
Many people tend to misunderstand that a brand is simply aesthetic, like a logo or website design. However, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. A brand is defined as “an intangible marketing or business concept that helps people identify a company, product, or individual”. In layman’s terms, it’s the emotional response you have when you think of a certain company.
It’s important for coworking spaces to have a solidified brand because it sets them apart from the competitions and attracts members who fit with the space’s mission.
Your brand is your business’s identity. It’s how you make your members feel, the events you host, and everything in between. So, to build a strong brand, you need to make sure there’s consistency across all channels. Here are a few things that need to be on point:
- Design: Your design should reflect your mission and speak to your target market
- Marketing: Your marketing strategy should align with what you value
- Culture: Your culture should show how you feel about your community
- Member experience: Your member experience should place value on your community
By paying attention to these elements, you can begin to create a memorable coworking brand from the moment you open your doors.
A Delightful User Experience
The modern workplace should revolve around the user experience. Too often, workspace operators view the user experience as an afterthought instead of understanding that it’s a journey. By focusing on the user experience, businesses can create a more efficient and enjoyable workplace.
From the very beginning, you need to think about the user experience or the experience that your members have in your space. Start with the areas that are most important to your members:
Think about what your members care most about, or the areas of your business that are most frequented by your members. This could be payments, check-ins, or onboarding.
Then, determine how you can best serve them there: Brainstorm ways that you can provide your members with the absolute best experience in that specific area. What does a seamless check-in experience look like? How can you make payments easier?
A great user experience is one that’s memorable and positive from start to finish. To create a plan that will address these high-traffic touch points, consider how you can make each step of the user experience wonderful, and then put it into action.
A Powerful Technology Stack
The modern coworking space needs technology to stay afloat and compete against other coworking companies, big or small. By investing in technology, you’re opening up opportunities to streamline your operations, get detailed data measurements of your space usage, automate your business processes, and most importantly – create a delightful user experience for your members.
Technology can help you manage your coworking business with minimal overhead, so you can focus on more important things like growing your business and providing an elevated experience for your users.
Technology is an important aspect of any business looking to scale without necessarily scaling their costs. The earlier you can get it implemented in your space, the sooner it can start providing value and the less you’ll have to worry about migrating your members to a new technology down the road.
A Truly Flexible Workspace
A great coworking space is flexible in order to best suit the needs of its members. This means having a space that is accessible 24/7 with membership options that can be modified to fit the needs of each individual member. Also, have a variety of seating options to allow people to work in the way that is most comfortable for them. Creating a flexible workspace means you are putting the needs of your members first. You are providing them with options and modifying your business to fit their needs rather than expecting them to change their lifestyle to fit yours.
A connected community
You can bring people into your coworking space, but an important part of keeping a successful business is making sure those people stick around. Establishing a sense of community is one way to help with retention rates.
The most successful coworking spaces always have a thriving community because the members share common interests. They get something out of being around other like-minded individuals.
Creating a community starts with the basics, such as having a clear mission statement and providing an enjoyable experience for your members. If people feel like they belong somewhere, they are more likely to stay.
There are a few other tactics we commonly see operators use to create community:
- Hosting regular events
- Creating networking opportunities between members
- Your community resource partner
Community is central to the coworking experience, with many members choosing coworking spaces specifically for that sense of community. Keep this in mind when building a connected space.
A plan to grow
The best business owners always have an eye on the future. They know that in order to be successful in the long term, they need to do what they can now to set themselves up for success.
All of the best coworking spaces we’ve seen have a plan for growth. They know where they want to be and what they need to do to get there one day.
Create the best experience you can today, but don’t forget about the future. Have a plan for how your business can expand one day and grow into something really special.
A Fantastic Team
You can do everything listed above, but you can’t do it alone.
The best coworking spaces all have a fantastic team of people behind them – people who are passionate, dedicated, enthusiastic, and 100% committed to creating something truly special for the people that walk through their doors. By having a great team behind you, you’re setting yourself up for success from the start.
Creating an excellent team starts with you. Check out these best practices for hiring your coworking staff:
- Start by writing detailed and accurate job descriptions
- Then, post the jobs on well-known platforms and market them to attract the best talent
- After that, build a great candidate interview process
- And finally, use technology to enhance the experience, but make sure to include face-to-face interactions
- Hiring a top-notch team is an exhilarating first step in developing a strong company culture.
Creating a vibrant and unforgettable coworking experience for your members starts with laying a strong foundation in your space.
factors like fostering a connected community, creating a great user experience across all touchpoints, and establishing a recognizable brand are all integral to creating a wonderful coworking space.
Hire A Good Team
Lastly, if you want to run a successful coworking business, then you must do it with a great team. You need to make sure you hire people who understand this business as well as you do. You need to make sure they have all the necessary skills required and that they have a personality that matches the community that you plan to create.
The steps you take are very crucial because they will decide the success or failure of your business. If you need any assistance in starting your coworking business, then, do consider reaching out to our team because here at Propques, we have a panel of experienced professionals who can help simplify the process of starting your business and turn your business profitable.