How to Onboard Coworking Space Members Quickly and Efficiently
As a busy coworking space operator, you need to bring new members into the space as easily as possible. You don’t have hours to spend onboarding someone, and new members want to get to work, not have to onboard all afternoon.
You can already speed up the new member process by empowering your members to be as self-sufficient as possible. With good software, they can create their member profile, choose their membership plan and enter their billing and payment information online and by themselves. Why not make the entire new member orientation process as streamlined and painless as possible? Here are our best tips for onboarding coworking space members quickly and efficiently.
1. Document your onboarding process
Create a New Member Information document, and perhaps a Facilities document, to hand to new members. This also provides the template for your community manager, or whoever does onboarding, to know exactly what to cover with new members.
2. Read and sign the contract in-person
Many people click “I agree” on online contract agreements without reading what the agreement says. Have new members read and sign their contract in-person, as well as online. This gives you the opportunity to review any critical pieces with them.
For instance, make sure they know about any termination or refund policies you may have. Be sure you cover community norms, like not hogging bandwidth (by downloading three movies at once) or considering the space their mini-apartment. These critical contractual points vary from space to space. Make sure your new members understand and sign off on them by doing this process in-person, whether they have agreed to your Terms and Conditions by checking a box or not.
3. Show don’t tell
During the onboarding process, walk with new members through the space. Rather than telling them how to scan in at the door or make coffee, take them through the process of scanning in and making coffee.
4. Introduce new members to existing members
Building on #3, as you walk around the space, you’ll bump into people and can introduce new members to them. This is a good way to give an orientation to the space and make new members feel like part of the community.
5. Simplify the printing process
An ongoing challenge with member onboarding is getting people successfully connected to the printer. Printer companies move slowly on updating their drivers and having accessible APIs (application program interface), so be sure you have a printer that makes it easy to connect new people. Satellite Deskworks can make your printer drivers available right in the member portal, so whenever a member needs to download a driver, they have simple instructions and easy access to it.
6. Simplify the onboarding process by automating as much as possible
Where can you reduce the number of steps necessary to onboard new members? What if you could connect your coworking space software to your access system so when you entered a new member, the access system automatically recognized them? If your access system has a good API, Satellite Deskworks can help with that.
You’ll also soon be able to add new member codes to some printers automatically through the Satellite Deskworks software. The idea is to simplify your onboarding by entering information once and having it get pushed everywhere in your system.
7. Give members a single sign-on
We all have too many passwords to keep track of as it is. Don’t bog down new members with a number of different logins and platforms to access their account information, book a meeting room, or see their usage. Satellite Deskworks gives members a single sign-on with a clean, intuitive interface. You can also attach other programs you want available for members.
8. Have onboarding materials ready-to-go
You don’t want to dig around for onboarding paperwork, or print contracts on-the-fly. Have your onboarding materials printed and ready-to-go so when a new member walks through the door you can easily access all the documents. Keep a supply of 5 – 10 New Member Packets and refill as they get used up. While your new member is signing up online through their laptop, you can fill in anything you need to customize in the packet.
9. Be very clear about expectations
Spell out the expectations you have for members very clearly. Don’t assume that everyone automatically understands what is, and is not, acceptable in the space.
For instance, if someone purchases an open coworking membership, be clear that the membership is for one person. If members are not allowed to be on speakerphones or conference calls in the open space, show them the places these calls can be made. Be clear about community norms in the kitchen. If members are expected to put their dishes in the dishwasher, or make more coffee if they take the last of it, tell them and show them how it’s done.
Be clear about your rules around dogs. Are they allowed in the space? Do they need to be kept on a leash? A dog-friendly coworking space can be a perk for members, but you need to be very clear about your expectations for dog owners.
Do you offer 24/7 access to your coworking space? What are the rules and community norms around that? Tell your members these rules upfront to avoid issues later. It might seem silly to tell a new member they can’t sleep in the space, but it’s far more uncomfortable to have to talk with them later, after you find out they’ve been sleeping in the space.
10. Think things through
Think through all the steps in your onboarding process and make sure it’s as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. One of the easiest ways to simplify your onboarding is to have coworking software that automates much of the onboarding process. If you’d like to see Satellite Deskworks in action, request a free demo. We’d love to show you what our software can do.
11. Respect the member’s time
When you have an onboarding system that empowers members to enter their information, pick their membership plan and set up their payment method, the community manager is freed up to prepare the new contract and set up the new member’s access card. During this time, you can answer any questions they may have and, by the time they’re finished, you’re handing them their access card and welcoming them as the newest member of the community.