Guide to Onboarding New Members

As a coworking business owner, you need to bring in new members into space as easily as possible. Also, the first impression lasts to the new members coming into space. From signing a lease agreement to sorting themselves out for the first time will form a clear impression about the venue of your space. Just like in a traditional office setup, the onboarding has to be more than filling out forms and getting a tour of the break room.

Community is what differentiates coworking spaces from other shared offices. Community helps coworking operators to build and retain a vibrant and collaborative member base. However, some space owners miss a great opportunity during the on-boarding member process to plant the seeds of engagement that will help the new members thrive within the space.

Steps to Onboard New Coworking Members:

1.) Customizable Sign up

Have a web form where the new members can fill out the information about themselves and chooses the membership that suits their needs.

2. ) Sign a Lease Contract

The lease contract can be sent in advance via email. Make sure that the new member has read and understood the Terms and Conditions laid out in the agreement.

3.) Give access to your software and services

In the software, allow the new member to book meeting rooms, receive invoices, change membership if needed so he or she will be familiarized on how to use the software. Orient the new members on the services offered within the coworking space.

4.) Set up access control

You can give your new members with access cards, or they can make use of their mobile credentials depending on the technology you are using.

5.) Show them around office amenities

Let them walk through the place and show them where are the private offices and open space is and where the different amenities are located.

6.) Ask them Questions

Throughout the process listed above, try to answer any question that the new members might have. Help them to clarify their doubts and worries.

More Tips to Improve Onboarding Process

One of the biggest mistakes of space owners is to forget what it was like to be a newbie in a coworking space. Think outside the box on how you welcome the new onboarding members and make them integrate with the community the moment they join your space as that will help to create quality members. Here are some tips on how to do it:

Don’t make the orientation solely about rules and regulations

Instead of handing a 20-something page boring manual, leave some space for human interaction and communication. Moving beyond the do’s and don’ts create opportunities for new members to interact with each other and embrace a new ritual that makes them want to come back.

Try to achieve inclusion

As you walk new members along the hallway, introduce them to other coworkers whom you meet on the way. You can group each month’s new members so you can facilitate the orientation process easier and at the same time, it allows the group to make connections in their comfort place. It is a good idea to ask the veterans to talk to the newbies as they group together or invite them to certain events.

Gamify the orientation process

To break from the monotony, start with an ice-breaker question where everyone can relate to. Then prepare the rest of the community to do their part in welcoming the new onboarding members. The goal of this to make the new members comfortable within the coworking space and make them able to familiarize themselves on how the place works.

Empower members to discover

It’s normal for people to be curious with other members but they don’t know the way on how to connect with them. Encourage them to ask questions to their peers, rather than going straight to the community manager or operator. You can also do role play on the onboarding process, such as a mock conversation when someone is talking too loud over a phone. This way they have an idea on how to handle when a real conflict arises.  If you create an environment where they rely on you for more things, you will feel burdened and stressed about it. But, if you give them tools to work with and encourage them to discover what they will learn inside, then they’ll thrive on their own.

Don’t make it a mandatory

At the end of the day, the community doesn’t work the same way with corporate. Every activity within the space is more on invitation rather than mandatory. It’s “were doing this, would you like to come? and “we’re really excited to have you.” It’s not about making them feel bad, but it’s reinforcing to them that their attendance is important to you. When some new members don’t want to join events, then be okay with that. You might lose a lot of members if you force them to.

Create opportunities for coworkers and new members to collide naturally. Encourage experiences that lead to interaction. Every newcomer is excited to meet new people, so make them feel welcome by everyone. So that’s it, are you now ready to level up your onboarding process?

10 Best Ways to Turn Coworking Members into Advocates

Whatever you do, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to do marketing on your own. With competition arising on the market, each day, fresh ideas are formed and new companies are launched, and yet, other startups are failing. Of course, we don’t want to be part of the latter. One way to do that is to focus not just on gaining customers, but to turn these customers into brand advocates.

10 Ways to Turn your Members into Advocates

Find your Advocates

The reality is, customers will visit the space then create bookings and leave. Some will become regulars and others have the potential to become advocates. ‘Potential’ because not all members can become an advocate right away. They must find a reason first to be one, so they can really identify and feel with your coworking space.

You can start by sorting your customers or members by letting them answer a quick question or survey: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends,  family, or colleagues?” Then the members who answered 9 or 10 are your potential space advocates.

Ask and Give Incentives for Referrals

Having a referral program is a great way to strengthen the loyalty of your members. Through this, they can bring in new customers through word-of-mouth sharing rather than just waiting for the customers to come in. Don’t make the referral system complicated, but let it be easy for them until it becomes already a culture already inside your coworking space. This can be done by including links on your websites and social media profiles. Reach out to your long-term clients or regular visitors and encourage them to share your business. Those who have placed a higher rate on the survey, encourage them also to share their experience with their family and friends.

As they give referrals, it’s also good to give back by offering incentives. This shows that you have acknowledged the efforts of your loyal members and in response, this will increase the desire to refer more. Incentives can come in many ways, you can consider giving them free hours of using conference rooms, a free day pass, free coffee or meals, and many others that you can specifically think that will be best for them.

Online Reviews

Word-of-mouth marketing strategy can evolve in the digital world by doing positive online reviews. You don’t have to wait for a 5-star rating to just pop out right away, but you can make your members become advocates by encouraging them to give an online review. Utilize social media and your website for them to leave online reviews. Don’t make it hard for them, but make the online reviews accessible. People nowadays would look on online reviews before they check into something, so make the most out of every opportunity you have.

Do Fun Things

Provide opportunities for coworkers and members to have fun. Just as other organizations have their own parties and events, you can also create it on your coworking space. Big events or even small ones such as having meals together, going to parties can create fun moments for your coworkers. You don’t have to make it compulsory for everyone, but only for those who are willing. Give them a heads up first so they can fit it in their schedule. Through this gatherings, you are creating moments that are memorable for them. All the more, your members will have a connection with your space that new members will be excited to join also.

Remember their Names

Many of us want to be remembered with names right? Though it doesn’t create a big impact for the company, but it stirs up trust and it shows that you value your members. It makes them feel that they are part of the community and they belong. In addition, it shows that you value them as a person and not just their referral. Make it natural and don’t go overboard by trying so hard. Your members will notice if you’re not doing it genuinely.

Create Shareable Content

Another way to leverage social media sharing is to create unique and shareable content. Such as inspirational quotes, beautiful photographs, group photos, or photos of your space that can be easily shared by the followers and members. If this will be done consistently and able to build connections with your members, this can become a natural part of the members’ journey.

Reward Employees

Not just the customers, but even your employees are the best prospects to become advocates. Encourage your members to brag about their jobs and their experiences in working at your coworking space. Give incentives to employees who are able to share their work and bring in new members. Involve your employees in planning creatively, as they are more involved, all the more they will speak highly of your workplace.

Diversify your Offerings

As a flexible workspace, you have to acknowledge that your customers are also changing. As customers are changing, their interest also varies. If you can observe, many are looking for unique layouts, cute and colorful designs, even with the tables and chairs, people are seeking for a variety of layout options. With these constant change, consider how you can diversify your offerings on amenities, special offers, layout options, equipment used, and others to inspire members’ loyalty.

Remain loyal to your brand

Stay loyal to your brand. Whatever space you have created, stand by your brand. If you have advertised that your place is for entrepreneurs, then continue to cater for entrepreneurs. Whatever it is you provide, make sure that you are creating a true value for your members. As you want loyalty from your members, be loyal to your brand. Don’t be alarmed or get overwhelmed right away from the competition. Keep doing what your members love about your space. Give them a reason to stay and be an advocate still. Remind them of your services and make sure that they know what you offer. If they do not, it will have an effect on the way they will share it to others.

Act on Feedback

As you gain feedback and learn from people what they want about your brand, don’t forget to act on it. Improve what is needed and excitingly share your progress to them through various platforms such as social media or through a word-of-mouth sharing.


How to Improve Workspace Culture

Workspace culture is the environment that you create for your employees. Positive workplace culture attracts talent, drives engagement, impacts happiness and satisfaction. It affects performance which is the mix of your organization’s leadership, values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors and attitudes that contribute to the emotional and relational environment of your workplace. It plays a powerful role in determining their work satisfaction, relationships and progression.

Workplace culture is an important factor to all workplaces. It determines how pleasant or toxic your work environment is. It has a direct influence on how your employee fits into the organization and your organization’s ability to attract and retain employees, because it shapes the environment that they work in. It is very important to have a good workspace culture, it’s natural to want to work in an environment you enjoy spending time in. This means that if you want the best staff for your team, you’ll have to invest in creating a strong workplace culture. A good workspace culture drives financial performance. It also encourages your employees to voice their opinions and ideas.

You already understand the importance of having a strong company culture, but even with the desire to build one, it’s not always obvious what steps to take.

Here are some important and simple features for you to follow to improve your workspace culture:

Management and leadership

Your management system should be strong as to get better output. Whereas good leadership plays an important role in improving your workspace management. It should use a wide range of tools and techniques to gain insight and clarity about who they are, what they are good at, and what they can strengthen or delegate. A good management and leadership thinks of the employees and coworkers as integral part of the team, and not just as another group of people to work with.

Trust your employees to manage their responsibilities effectively, and let go of the idea that work has to happen a certain way at a certain time. Embrace and inspire employees’ autonomy. Letting them do so, will allow them to make the sometimes difficult but incredibly rewarding leap from being held accountable to their responsibilities to embracing accountability as they take on, and own initiatives.

Digital Workspace Strategy

This can also be one way to improve workspace culture by implementing digital tools in your workspace. Don’t just do it with phones and Google Docs. The key to success depends on the implementation of a digital workplace strategy – requiring one that is capable of driving true change within the organization.

By intelligently combining the technologies that many businesses already use, the digital workplace has broken down the communication barriers and is transformation employee experience to one promoting efficiency, growth, and innovation. Here are a few examples:

  • Chat rooms, private and group messaging
  • Discussion Forums

Chat and Collaboration

  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Apps for Business
  • Video conferencing
  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Google Hangouts

Project Management Tools

  • Trello
  • Jira
  • Asana

Strong Co-Worker Relationship

It is very important to build strong relationship with each other. Working relationships take time to mature, so focus on being consistent and dependable.

  1. Develop trust with colleagues – Develop trust by guarding each other, encouraging confidence and not gossiping.
  2. Work with your Team – Communicate well by listening and speaking clearly.
  3. Be respectful of others –  If you work in a shared office space, limit personal phone calls and distractions such as radios. Maintain a professional and courteous attitude.                                            
  4. Take responsibility for your mistakes, rather than casting blame on someone or something else. Integrity is central to trust. Be fair and honest in all your dealings. Share resources and information with coworkers.

Creating an Employee-Centric Workspace

An employee-centered workplace is one in which all individuals, programs, processes, and systems are focused on helping employees become fully successful. Assess your employees’ level of satisfaction with their supervisors. Ensure that all employees are in the right jobs –  that their talents are appropriate for the work they must do. Few things are more miserable than doing a job for which one is not a good fit.


As the business or space owner, ask this question to yourself, do your employees see work as a way to make an impact? Are they passionate about the work they do? The better you understand their aspirations and goals, the better you can help your team to see the purpose in their work. A great culture attracts the best workers, increases overall retention and improves performance.

Is a Fab Space like a Coworking Space?

Yes, a fab space is somewhat an extension of a coworking space, but it is in no way a FabLab or TechShop. We know you might be confused on these terms, so let us try to clear it up a little for you.

FabLab & TechShop are a Trademark Name

As Gui Calvancanti has nicely defined in his article, FabLab and TechShop are a trademark name, just like TechShop. So no, you cannot just go around calling every fabrication place a FabLab or TechShop, that’s like calling every french fry shop McDonald’s. Hence the more generic term that seems to be used these days – Fab Space.

Is a Fab Space a Coworking Space?

Fab Space – a short form of Fabrication Space, has been experiencing rapid growth all around the world as more and more people get into inventing and making their own creations.

A Fab Space is basically a collaborative, open community space that offers a wide range of fabrication and ‘maker’ machines such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, as well as a variety of workshops and events related with these machines. Yes, it is similar to what TechShop and FabLabs do, you just cannot use those names due to the trademark on them.

So yes, you can view a fab space as a coworking space simply because the basis of the spaces are the same: it is an open, community environment where people of the same mindset come together to build, share and collaborate. The only difference being that the fab space would probably have more equipment than your regular coworking space.

Can you manage a Fab Space the same way as a Coworking Space?

Of course you can! The same way you manage desks, meeting rooms and event spaces in a coworking space is the way you can manage the various machines and equipment in a fab space. For easier management, you can always use a software like the one we have to help you manage with a zen space!


Photo credit: 3D Printing Technology @ Siggraph 2011 via photopin (license)

Infographic – What do coworking space members expect from each other?

What would you expect from other members in a coworking space? According to the Global Coworking Survey 2015, we found out that there has been an increase in the number of times members work at a space – 73% of members (2014 to 2015) now work at a space three or more times a week, compared to 51% (2013 to 2014), and 44% actually go daily!

With such a high activity rate certainly comes expectations. Check out what expectations coworking space members have of other members through our infographic!

What do coworking space members expect from other members

Coworking Events for 2015

Coworking magazine Deskmag published a list of major coworking events that will take place in 2015. We thought it’s worth sharing it so here it is.

We might attend some of these events or even sponsor a few, but who knows. Which event will you attend?

3 Advantages Most Event Bloggers Fail to Leverage

One of the best ways to promote and cover an event is through a blog.  A blog can help spread awareness about an event as well as serve as a recap for those who missed the event.  However, many event bloggers fail to leverage some of the most important advantages that will make their promotion and coverage the most effective.

Here are three advantages that any event blogger should leverage when blogging about an event:

Incorporate Video Content from Speakers


What better than an actual video of the speaker?  For those who either missed the event, or those who simply want to see it again (because it was just that awesome), a quality video of the speaker is crucial to creating a post that will generate traffic and shares.  In order to make the most of the video, event bloggers should keep these two things in mind:

  • Host the video from your own site.  If you host the video from your own site rather than uploading it to YouTube and then embedding the video on your site, Google will determine the original source of the video as your site, therefore ranking your site rather than YouTube.  If you upload to YouTube and then embed the video on your site, YouTube will be determined as the original source and this will do nothing for your own page’s rank.
  • Make sure your video is optimized for the web.  It’s important to remember that many people watching your video will be viewing from a laptop or mobile device, so you want to make sure that the video will be optimized for these devices.  If you’re filming with a wide-angle lens, the speaker will hardly be visible on a smartphone.


Utilize Guest Posts from Speakers


Guest posts are huge for event bloggers.  If your site isn’t getting a lot of traffic, having the speaker of an event guest post on your blog before or after the event can do wonders.  Guest posts provide blogs with:

  • Credibility.   If your guest poster is well known and has been featured on well-known sites before, you will seem more credible in your field than somebody who has never utilized guest posting before.  As your blog post shows up in a Google search, people will see the name of the guest poster and automatically be more drawn to your article than many of the others around it.
  • Inbound Links.  A guest post will usually include the writer’s bio and their social media URLs at the end of the post.  These inbound links are extremely important in boosting organic search rankings, which result in better search visibility for the author’s website.
  • Networking.  Networking that results from guest blogging can result in some valuable industry contacts.  Every time somebody guest posts on your blog, you now have them as a contact.  In addition, some people may begin to ask you to guest post on their blogs as well because of the networking you have been doing.


Determine the Popularity of Your Event


Do some research and find out if anybody is talking about your event.  You can track online conversations with social monitoring tools to see what others are saying about your event.  This research is extremely important in determining how successful an event will be, and here’s why:

  • It tells you what people are saying.  If you know what people are saying about your event in advance, you are at a serious advantage.  You can now make adjustments catered to any positive or negative feedback, which can totally change the outcome of your event.  You can also see what people have to say after the event, and based off of that feedback you can make adjustments for future events.
  • It allows you to acknowledge those voicing their opinions.  When people take the time to voice their opinions, its usually because they want to be acknowledged.  Giving thoughtful feedback to people can help build your reputation and relationship with potential audience members.  If somebody has a problem with your event, a response from you can change their opinion and possibly result in one more audience member.


When promoting or covering an event a blog is one of the best tools at your disposal, and when utilized properly, it can help you pull in a lot of traffic. These three strategies are just some of the ways that you can use your blog to boost your event’s overall impact.

Are there any other tips you would suggest for event bloggers?

How to Make Your Business Look Bigger

For a startup or a small business, having the image of a big business can do wonders for your company.  Just because your business is small doesn’t mean it has to look small.  Image is an important factor when it comes to earning the trust of customers, and that’s why people tend to trust big name brands or companies.  Here are some really great ways to make your business look bigger:

Jo Christian Oterhals via Flickr
Jo Christian Oterhals via Flickr

Give Your Website a Makeover

Having a killer website is essential for making your business look bigger because your website is usually the first impression people get of your company.  You don’t want your site to look like it was built by an average Joe with basic coding skills.  An easy-to-navigate design combined with compelling content and visuals will give your website a professional image and make your business look bigger.

Build a Social Presence

Get your company name all over the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pintrest, etc., and be active with them.  Social Networking allows you build a strong customer-company relationship through daily interaction.  You can post polls, ask questions, answer questions, and address concerns.  By keeping up with your social networking you will build your company’s visibility on the web as well as foster a healthy relationship between you and your customers.

Get Your Name in the Press

Media coverage is a great way to boost your company’s image.  If people are seeing your company or product featured in magazines or articles, you gain credibility instantly.  You can’t go into a pitch with your eyes closed and guns blazing.  The pitch is very important and you’ll need to be prepared to make your company seem worth writing about.  Here are some things you should know before you contact an editor or a writer:

  • Why should anyone care about your startup?  Are you fixing any problems?
  • Does your startup align with any current trends that people would want to read about?
  • Be able to answer the who, what, when, where, and why about your company.

Any sort of publication with a decent following, whether it be a magazine, article, blog post, etc., will help make your business look bigger.  If people see other people talking about you, it will make your brand one that people can start to trust.

Setup a Virtual Office Package

If you are working from home and customers see a home address as your headquarters on your Contact page, they’re probably going to question how legit your business is.  Signing up for a virtual office package that gives you a dedicated business address will quickly make your business look bigger and more trustworthy.  Instead of seeing a mailing address in a local residence, you can use a professional business address for a surprisingly affordable price.

Many virtual office packages also include mail and phone handling, so your provider can handle and forward your mail as well as provide you with somebody to answer your calls for you.  A combination of the professional business address and phone number will make your business look bigger to anybody that comes across it.

Whether you are a startup or a small business, it isn’t too hard to make your business look bigger.  If you make the necessary image adjustments, your company will look way more professional and appealing to current and potential customers.

Using Content to Drive Leads and Sales

For a lot of companies, content marketing falls to the wayside.  This is one of the biggest marketing failures a company can make.  Why?

Most consumers do most of their research online without the help or influence of advertisements.  People surf the web for information about products and services that they are interested in, and that information can easily be found within the body of some well-written content.

Instead of focusing the majority of your energy on advertisements that most people will try and avoid, why not create content that they will go looking for?

A Blog is Your Best Friend

While a blog can be extremely useful for SEO purposes, a blog can also be your richest source of content.  Blog posts can be filled with extremely interesting and useful information that consumers actually want to read.  Advertisements can be great for bringing awareness to your brand, but a lot of the time consumers are trying to close out of your advertisement as quickly as possible.

With a blog, however, you can provide all of the information that consumers are looking for!  Write really great content and then include some really compelling Call-to-Action buttons on your page, which will help you drive those leads.  Here are some interesting stats:

  • Blogs give sites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links (Content+)
  • Companies that blog 15+ times per month get 5 times more traffic than companies that don’t blog (Hubspot)
  • Companies with an active blog report 97% more leads. (Content+)

Engage with Customers through Social Media

Social Media is a great way to share the content you are publishing with everyone who follows you on social media networks.  It is also a great way to engage with customers who have questions about your company or products, or customers who simply want to compliment or critique you.  When customers see that you are actively engaging with them, it will give your company a better image and help ensure more leads and even future sales.  Did you know:

  • Content from reputable sources is most shared (UCLA)
  • 90% of users listen to recommendations shared from friends (Voltier Digital)
  • Clicks from shared content are 5 times more likely to result in a purchase (Voltier Digital)
  • 87% of B2B marketers use social media to distribute content (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 80% of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook (Huffington Post)
  • People spend more than 50% of their time online with content and an additional 30% of their time on social channels where content can be shared (AOL & Nielson)

Save Some Money and Write More Content

Content Marketing is one of the most cost effective methods of marketing.  Think about it.  How much does it cost to write compelling content and distribute it?  Virtually nothing when you compare it to the costs of advertising on Google.

Traditional advertisement methods are still necessary because they do work, but as many marketers are saying, “Content is King.”  Content Marketing is cost effective, and it caters to the needs of today’s consumers by providing them with useful AND interesting information.  Here is some food for thought:

  • Interesting content is a top 3 reason that people follow brands on social media (Content+)
  • 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles over ads (Content+)
  • Sources providing full-text content are 2.3 times as likely to have users return for a second visit (Pulse)
  • 68% of users spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in (Content Marketing Association)
  • People want to be in control of the content they receive: 86% of people skip tv commercials, 44% of direct mail is never opened, and 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted into. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing

What sort of content marketing strategies are you using for your business, and how are they working for you?

Do Shared Workspaces Increase the Bottom Line?

More and more companies are beginning to explore the idea of coworking – creating work environments with no walls that promote face-to-face collaboration.  Some argue that coworking environments can be more distracting because of all the extra noise, but shared workspaces are actually increasing the bottom line for businesses.

Here’s why:

Shared workspaces are cheap

They help save on the costs of setup, as well as the costs of adding employees.  A shared workspace provides plenty of floor space for extra workstations, and therefore fitting more employees into the same space.  They’re efficient.  As Will Ferrell’s eccentric character, Brennan Huff, from the movie Step Brothers would say when he and his brother convert their beds into bunk beds, “There’s so much more room for activities!”  And he’s right.  The open floor space creates much more room for employees, and it helps foster conversation, which is key to generating ideas and innovation.

Face-to-Face Interaction Increases Productivity

While a lot of companies are moving towards remote working and conferencing, they are losing out on that face-to-face interaction, which allows workers to brainstorm and bounce new ideas back and forth.  It’s harder to create an environment that focuses heavily on collaboration and communication with remote conferencing.  If walls are getting in the way, then so are the miles between workers when they are working from outside of the office.

ThreeFortyNine and Kap Design have put together this infographic which shows an increase in shared workspaces and a direct correlation to an increase in productivity.


Increased Resources

Home offices aren’t necessarily designed to cater to the needs of a startup.  If your company involves more people than just you, a shared workspace provides you with a place for your team to gather, meet, and discuss outside of your living room or a coffee shop.

Shared workspaces also provide you with more resources than you probably would have access to in your home office.  With your membership you will have access to high-speed Wifi, better printing capabilities, conference rooms, whiteboards for notes and planning, and a dedicated desk and chair in a professional setting.


Fan of coworking, or not, at the end of the day shared workspaces can actually increase the bottom line for companies because they save on the costs of office setup, and the costs of adding employees.  A key thing to take away is that shared workspaces spaces not only help save on costs, but they create an environment where employees are more likely to collaborate and be more innovative, and you can’t put a value on that.

What are your thoughts on shared workspaces?