Technology can help build your community

We regularly think of technology and community in two separate buckets. Maybe you like building and engaging your coworking community and dread having to think about the technologies you’re using.

Or vice versa.

But your technology can actually enhance your community, as well as free you up to do the in-person work you love! We think of it as one of the pillars of coworking: setting up an environment where members (and non-members) can be as self-sufficient as possible. If your software (and in some cases hardware) can take these tasks off your shoulders, you’ll actually have a smile on your face and maybe even get a few extra days off!

Taking it from the top, Self-Registration. Be sure your coworking and virtual plans (perhaps not private offices) can be purchased online or independently from staff. Your software should allow people to choose their plan, enter Member Profile information and set up their payment method. It should automatically create their regular Recurring Billing, their first charge and take their first payment as well. And this has to be simple and seamless enough that they won’t get frustrated and go away! Self sufficiency in the environment helps people to feel more engaged.

Tracking Usage. There’s no reason why you should be running around checking people in. They should be automatically checked in when they go onto your network – and checked out when they leave. There’s no reason to limit yourself to the revenue from only full-time plans. And those check-ins should automatically be compared to their plan so extra time is auto-billed. Your community is more vibrant with more people, including the part-time ones. And they shouldn’t have to be thinking about check-ins and mundane matters of using your space. Actually, neither should you.

Digital Member Wall. Of course you have a Member Wall prominently displayed in your Coworking Space. Don’t you love seeing people stopping with their coffee to check out who’s there? But your management software should also include a digital version so that people can look up who’s in their field or find a contractor that they need. Or someone to ski with. Again it needs to be super-easy for people to use. And for you to display on your website, if you choose.

Digital Message Board. If you’re building a community, you need a way to quickly communicate. And members do, too! Your messages need to be front and center – or how else will they know there are cookies (or beer) in the breakroom and that Joe just closed the deal he’s been waiting 3 months for?

Mobile App. Your members are used to connecting through their phone. You’ve got to have a great Mobile App, a one-stop shop for them for all things your-space. It should be branded as you: your colors, pictures, messages. And again, it has to be totally easy for people to use. You should not have to train members – intuitive is king!

People don’t feel connected to technology; they feel connected to you and your coworking space. But they certainly don’t feel connected and do feel frustrated when things don’t move simply and intuitively, right when they want them. And that’s where technology comes in: as far as your members are concerned, you should be available to commiserate, contemplate and celebrate – because technology is handling the back end.

Let us show you how this is a touchstone for us at Deskworks and how we can make your life a lot simpler, too. Contact us to schedule a quick intro call today.

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