One of the things we have done in my own spaces is to serve as a betatest source for new services being offered by people who are not our members, or for existing services launching in Europe for the first time. We are poular in this area because we have a wide range of coworkers, with varying levels of tech sophistication, and also because well, the Dutch are excellent if what you are wrestling with is language barriers.
My strong preference is to make it possible for our coworkers to get their needs met within the community to the extent possible; we are working on tools to help get this done but so far the best response has been and remains old fashioned: putting it up on the bulletin board, email, and having an active space manager who knows everybody and serves as conduit and introductions maker.
We have a process for the launch of new B2B products by coworkers for instance, which makes it easy to offer products to other coworkers first; this results in real and actual buzz for the product which translates into a benefit for everybody. We are presently working on a “welcome home” package for new coworkers, which we are all having some fun with.
Recently we have seen the flip side, and had people ask us to send out a description of their business problem to see if one of the other cowrkers or a combination of them can solve it. That has been fun.
At various times we have also (for example) sent out calls when people are hiring, for collections, for automation, for website design. At new year we often start up a “new year resolutions” conversation which nearly always results in people doing business with each other. We get interns as a space and put them to work for all the coworkers, which is also fun.
For real benefits in terms of collective purchasing we need more people, which is why Open Coworking is looking at starting work on that problem again once the new organization is done. (hint, hint)
On Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 1:12:54 PM UTC+2, Jennifer Kready wrote:
Hello from Round Rock TX - the better outskirts of Austin
I host a Meetup (currently at 200+ members) and ask them several questions during their ‘sign-up’ phase, one being, "What are the pros and cons of working from home?’ With a 20% response rate to date, ‘Flexibility’ is winning out at 51% with quiet and work focus coming in at 15%. ‘Isolation’ is cited as the primary challenge of working from home (37%) with time management and distractions being the other two issues. I’m also asking this of my 165 member coworking Facebook group.
The physical space can resolve many of these challenges, but then I asked, 'What benefits of coworking can be enjoyed when not physically coworking?" How can the cowork be there when the member isn’t there? Is it only a ‘you have to be present to win’ approach? We know a benefit of coworking is reduced costs through shared resources, so how far can that extend?
- Do you group purchase online resources the coworker can access from anywhere? I’m thinking time/project management tools, planners, etc.
Do you group purchase local area resources the coworker can access when they’re not in your space? Say if they don’t want to cowork that day, but want to get out of the house, a coffee discount card or pass, or if they need copies, but are at home that day?
What other ways do you extend their membership (aside from a copass or visa program to other spaces) outside the physical space?
How much is too much added value? Is there such a thing?
Meetup: Engage for Entrepreneurs & Freelancers
Facebook: WilCo Coworking Connection