G'day from Melbourne, Australia

Awesome tip Jeannine. That makes a lot of sense.

For the big 5 person tables I was going to use one giant table top as a big communal table. It would probably be better to have individual tables as the picture shows. That way I can push them up against the walls for events/functions.

Thank you,

Sean

···

On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM, Jeannine [email protected] wrote:

In choosing your furniture, consider moveability.

My back room looks like this:

Or it looks like this:

Or like this:

Sometimes it looks like this:

At least once it looked like this:

For some reason I cannot find my pictures of the setup with folding chairs for classes. In any event, the furniture was built to be able to be pushed into various places and make the large room suitable for workshops or classes or other kinds of events. That’s where we have yoga and mindfulness classes and so forth.

The high tables have an up and a downside: people love them for workshops but they are not popular for working at a laptop. I think it isn’t the tables but the bar stools, I got some high chairs with backs recently to see if that is it. But mostly folks with the laptops walk right through that room and work in the garden out back.

Anyway, in my checkered past I worked in theater and the back room is like a set: its atmosphere can be changed at will, it breaks down and transforms in about 20 minutes. Those tables look massive but they are built hollow and weigh nothing.

All of my desks and tables throughout the space are moveable and people can bring in their own furniture and accessories if they like. This does require making an inventory when they come in but otherwise it isn’t hard. Allowing people to decorate the space just as they like when they are there makes them want to come back and also increases their investment in the space. If you can do it, I do recommend it.

Second Rachel’s idea of having local artists hang their stuff on the walls, I have a painter’s club in the space and they hang unfinished paintings to dry. The rest of the members get to see works in progress and they like it very well.

Cheers,

Jeannine

On Sunday, July 28, 2013 10:03:17 AM UTC+2, Sean Qian wrote:

Thanks again for all the helpful posts Alex, Jeannine and Rachel. Getting friends and potential members to come help in the transformation is a brilliant idea!

I love having lots of green in offices so will definitely be investing in some indoor plants. I’m also considering covering half a wall in fake turf but that may be going overboard…

Anyway here is my draft mockup of how I envision the space if anyone is interested in having a look. The furniture in there is only to provide scale and layout. The hotdesks in the middle of the space 150cmX60cm each.

  • Sean

On Friday, July 26, 2013 11:42:31 PM UTC+10, Alex Hillman wrote:

I’m so glad Jeannine posted this. It may seem simple, but this co-creation process is powerful.

Lemme give you a peek into your potential futures:

In future one, you fill up your new room with all of the “stuff” we’ve suggested I’m this thread, and announce “come to my new Coworking space!”

A week or two pass, and you come back to this list and post like many others, “where do I find members? How do I get them to understand Coworking?”

In future two, you announce “I’m opening a new Coworking space and need help! Come by at X times to help with painting/building furniture/etc etc. I’ll supply some food and drink for while we work together”

As Jeannine suggested, the people who show up may not become members (yet) but they become invested. This helps in two ways:

-when they describe it to people who might be members, they won’t just focus on the stuff, they’ll talk about it as the experience they had with you co-creating it, they people they met, etc this is an important virtuous cycle to kickstart EARLY because it gets harder later

-it starts to shifts YOUR brain from “me” to “we” which will pay off long term

There’s a hidden benefit in here, too: if you can’t get anybody to show up and help paint or put desks together…your gonna have an even harder time getting people to join with paying memberships. Consider this participatory soft launch a litmus test for if you have people who actually want the thing you’ve set out to create.

Most importantly, though…this stuff is fun. Making things is rewarding. Making things other is 10x rewarding. Don’t forget to have a good time.

:slight_smile:

-Alex


/ah
indyhall.org

On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 9:03 AM, Jeannine [email protected] wrote:

About the soft launch:

One of the best things I did when we moved to the second space was to open while it looked like this:

Yes, I know, the tragedy of child labor, terrible, isn’t it?

Aaanyway. I didn’t do this because I was so clever, I did it because we needed to keep running. So the members I already had worked around it. And told their friends and put it on their Facebook and you know, more people came to help. Many did not become members, but they did become supporters and some of them are still hanging around. Don’t limit yourself to recruiting new members, the power of working together is not in who you know, it is in who they know, the second circle if you like.

Going through transitions together makes for a stronger bond.

But without a coffee maker you are totally lost, my friend. During construction a keg or a crate depending on local taste does not come amiss. Throw a couple of construction parties :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Jeannine

On Friday, July 26, 2013 7:10:48 AM UTC+2, Sean Qian wrote:

Thanks for all the responses. Everyone has be so helpful and insightful!

I get more and more excited about opening up the space every day.

There are a lot of renovation plans I want to implement at the place before I open it to the public but in the meantime my core group of friends want to start using it asap.

I’ve decided to go ahead with a ‘soft’ launch with them. They’ll receive significantly discounted rates with the understanding that the place will be “evolving” as they’re in there.

This is my to do checklist for getting the place up and running:

Power points for each workstation

Wifi internet connection

Some lockers or lockable filing cabinets

Coat of fresh paint

Digital door lock

Fridge

Chairs

Lighting

Website

Printer/Scanner

Google calendar

Thing I already have:

Desks

Power + Water

Kettle + Microwave

Anything I’ve missed?

On Friday, July 26, 2013 4:34:32 AM UTC+10, Jeannine wrote:

I also have a small space and started in an even smaller one.

  1. So far, I think I’m going to have 3 membership packages - an all access pass, 3 days a week, and the casual 1 day a week. How can I keep a track of who comes in and when? Is the only solution to purchase/create some kind of management software like Nexudus or Cobot? I’d like to not have to sit at the front desk all the time.

I use Google Calendar, it works very well. For folks who are less savvy I do the bookings for them, they just send me an email. Otherwise they just send me an invitation for the booking and I accept it or don’t, to confirm availablity.

I have a strippenkaart, it’s what the Dutch used to use for the bus. They pay in advance for 8 or 10 visits, and these can be used whenever. It ranks in booking after people with a regular booking, so they can’t cancel folks who always come on Tuesday or what have you. But that has not yet been a problem. A lot of writers, programmers,a dn other people who work on project basis like it a lot, they can come every day for a week and then not again for awhile. I don’t have a time limit on mine, in a larger space that might be necessary.

  1. Let’s say the office has 85m2 of usable workstation space after the kitchenette is taken out, how should I calculate how many members I can there at any one time, and how many members I can have there overall?

I played it by ear. You can in a small space. At about 50% occupancy I went looking for a bigger space.

  1. Should I concentrate my advertising/marketing towards other migration agents or similar professionals or be more broad?

Go broad, it’s more fun. Nothing like sharing office space with a circus or a theater group. Yes, really.

  1. What are some must have things? Photocopier/Printer? Couches? Water tank? I will supply a small fridge, microwave. coffee machine, kettle, tea and coffee beans.

Printer and here a scanner.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Hi everyone!

Thought I’d post an update on my coworking adventures thus far.

I’ve taken my core group of migration colleagues through the space to get their thoughts and input. Good news is that they all agree on the changes I want to make in order to make the space more presentable and comfortable to work in. We’re doing new floorboards, a fresh coat of paint, new lighting fixtures, chairs and table tops to start with. Two of them also requested private desks which I guess makes setting up that area a priority. My current timeline is to get the place more or less how I want it by September. That way I can take some photos of it for the website.

As a way to vent my enthusiasm I’ve created a facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/collinscollective). Feel free to throw us a like!

From all the coworking articles/threads/blog pieces I’ve been reading (I still come here every day) I think it will be important for the space to be able to host a myriad of events and workshops. My space is small, so as Jeannine pointed out earlier it’d be of great benefit if the furniture could be easily moved around when needed.

My next goal before opening the space is to merge my existing network of coworkers with another group of people from other industries. I really want the space to be as vibrant and diverse as possible. I’ve reached out to some university entrepreneurial clubs and have offered the space for them to host events in when it’s ready. Let’s see how it goes! Any ideas on getting my facebook likes up? Has anyone paid for facebook ads?

  • Sean
···

On Monday, July 29, 2013 11:08:18 AM UTC+10, Sean Qian wrote:

Awesome tip Jeannine. That makes a lot of sense.

For the big 5 person tables I was going to use one giant table top as a big communal table. It would probably be better to have individual tables as the picture shows. That way I can push them up against the walls for events/functions.

Thank you,

Sean

On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM, Jeannine [email protected] wrote:

In choosing your furniture, consider moveability.

My back room looks like this:

Or it looks like this:

Or like this:

Sometimes it looks like this:

At least once it looked like this:

For some reason I cannot find my pictures of the setup with folding chairs for classes. In any event, the furniture was built to be able to be pushed into various places and make the large room suitable for workshops or classes or other kinds of events. That’s where we have yoga and mindfulness classes and so forth.

The high tables have an up and a downside: people love them for workshops but they are not popular for working at a laptop. I think it isn’t the tables but the bar stools, I got some high chairs with backs recently to see if that is it. But mostly folks with the laptops walk right through that room and work in the garden out back.

Anyway, in my checkered past I worked in theater and the back room is like a set: its atmosphere can be changed at will, it breaks down and transforms in about 20 minutes. Those tables look massive but they are built hollow and weigh nothing.

All of my desks and tables throughout the space are moveable and people can bring in their own furniture and accessories if they like. This does require making an inventory when they come in but otherwise it isn’t hard. Allowing people to decorate the space just as they like when they are there makes them want to come back and also increases their investment in the space. If you can do it, I do recommend it.

Second Rachel’s idea of having local artists hang their stuff on the walls, I have a painter’s club in the space and they hang unfinished paintings to dry. The rest of the members get to see works in progress and they like it very well.

Cheers,

Jeannine

On Sunday, July 28, 2013 10:03:17 AM UTC+2, Sean Qian wrote:

Thanks again for all the helpful posts Alex, Jeannine and Rachel. Getting friends and potential members to come help in the transformation is a brilliant idea!

I love having lots of green in offices so will definitely be investing in some indoor plants. I’m also considering covering half a wall in fake turf but that may be going overboard…

Anyway here is my draft mockup of how I envision the space if anyone is interested in having a look. The furniture in there is only to provide scale and layout. The hotdesks in the middle of the space 150cmX60cm each.

  • Sean

On Friday, July 26, 2013 11:42:31 PM UTC+10, Alex Hillman wrote:

I’m so glad Jeannine posted this. It may seem simple, but this co-creation process is powerful.

Lemme give you a peek into your potential futures:

In future one, you fill up your new room with all of the “stuff” we’ve suggested I’m this thread, and announce “come to my new Coworking space!”

A week or two pass, and you come back to this list and post like many others, “where do I find members? How do I get them to understand Coworking?”

In future two, you announce “I’m opening a new Coworking space and need help! Come by at X times to help with painting/building furniture/etc etc. I’ll supply some food and drink for while we work together”

As Jeannine suggested, the people who show up may not become members (yet) but they become invested. This helps in two ways:

-when they describe it to people who might be members, they won’t just focus on the stuff, they’ll talk about it as the experience they had with you co-creating it, they people they met, etc this is an important virtuous cycle to kickstart EARLY because it gets harder later

-it starts to shifts YOUR brain from “me” to “we” which will pay off long term

There’s a hidden benefit in here, too: if you can’t get anybody to show up and help paint or put desks together…your gonna have an even harder time getting people to join with paying memberships. Consider this participatory soft launch a litmus test for if you have people who actually want the thing you’ve set out to create.

Most importantly, though…this stuff is fun. Making things is rewarding. Making things other is 10x rewarding. Don’t forget to have a good time.

:slight_smile:

-Alex


/ah
indyhall.org

On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 9:03 AM, Jeannine [email protected] wrote:

About the soft launch:

One of the best things I did when we moved to the second space was to open while it looked like this:

Yes, I know, the tragedy of child labor, terrible, isn’t it?

Aaanyway. I didn’t do this because I was so clever, I did it because we needed to keep running. So the members I already had worked around it. And told their friends and put it on their Facebook and you know, more people came to help. Many did not become members, but they did become supporters and some of them are still hanging around. Don’t limit yourself to recruiting new members, the power of working together is not in who you know, it is in who they know, the second circle if you like.

Going through transitions together makes for a stronger bond.

But without a coffee maker you are totally lost, my friend. During construction a keg or a crate depending on local taste does not come amiss. Throw a couple of construction parties :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Jeannine

On Friday, July 26, 2013 7:10:48 AM UTC+2, Sean Qian wrote:

Thanks for all the responses. Everyone has be so helpful and insightful!

I get more and more excited about opening up the space every day.

There are a lot of renovation plans I want to implement at the place before I open it to the public but in the meantime my core group of friends want to start using it asap.

I’ve decided to go ahead with a ‘soft’ launch with them. They’ll receive significantly discounted rates with the understanding that the place will be “evolving” as they’re in there.

This is my to do checklist for getting the place up and running:

Power points for each workstation

Wifi internet connection

Some lockers or lockable filing cabinets

Coat of fresh paint

Digital door lock

Fridge

Chairs

Lighting

Website

Printer/Scanner

Google calendar

Thing I already have:

Desks

Power + Water

Kettle + Microwave

Anything I’ve missed?

On Friday, July 26, 2013 4:34:32 AM UTC+10, Jeannine wrote:

I also have a small space and started in an even smaller one.

  1. So far, I think I’m going to have 3 membership packages - an all access pass, 3 days a week, and the casual 1 day a week. How can I keep a track of who comes in and when? Is the only solution to purchase/create some kind of management software like Nexudus or Cobot? I’d like to not have to sit at the front desk all the time.

I use Google Calendar, it works very well. For folks who are less savvy I do the bookings for them, they just send me an email. Otherwise they just send me an invitation for the booking and I accept it or don’t, to confirm availablity.

I have a strippenkaart, it’s what the Dutch used to use for the bus. They pay in advance for 8 or 10 visits, and these can be used whenever. It ranks in booking after people with a regular booking, so they can’t cancel folks who always come on Tuesday or what have you. But that has not yet been a problem. A lot of writers, programmers,a dn other people who work on project basis like it a lot, they can come every day for a week and then not again for awhile. I don’t have a time limit on mine, in a larger space that might be necessary.

  1. Let’s say the office has 85m2 of usable workstation space after the kitchenette is taken out, how should I calculate how many members I can there at any one time, and how many members I can have there overall?

I played it by ear. You can in a small space. At about 50% occupancy I went looking for a bigger space.

  1. Should I concentrate my advertising/marketing towards other migration agents or similar professionals or be more broad?

Go broad, it’s more fun. Nothing like sharing office space with a circus or a theater group. Yes, really.

  1. What are some must have things? Photocopier/Printer? Couches? Water tank? I will supply a small fridge, microwave. coffee machine, kettle, tea and coffee beans.

Printer and here a scanner.

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

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Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


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Hi Sean,

My names Lil, I’m starting a co-working space in South Melbourne in a two story warehouse which will double as an events/function space. I came across your post while trying to compile as much information as possible on co-working environments and would love to know how the last year has been for you and Collins Collective?

I was hoping you could give me some advice on the following:

  • Getting people involved in the space and building a community even while we are in the build phase of this project.
  • Managing memberships - the amount of members vs the amount of chairs. How have you been tracking how members use the space and how many members you can sign up?
  • Do all of your members have 24/7 access? And for those that do can you recommend an access system?
    If there are any other do’s and don’ts you could throw my way that you’ve learnt since you started it would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Lil

···

On Saturday, 20 July 2013 20:50:25 UTC+10, Sean Qian wrote:

HI All,

My name’s Sean and I’m planning on starting a co-working space for my colleagues and I in a few months. We’re all newly registered migration agents and are hoping to get our own businesses up and running. We’ve been meeting at least once a month, usually at a restaurant, to talk over cases and to catch up but I figure we’d be a lot more productive working together a few days a week.

Through a family connection I’ve managed to secure a premises on Collins Street, which is one of Melbourne CBD’s (Central Business District ie Down town) premier street locations at a very reasonable rental rate. I’ve also negotiated a free period which I’m sure will come in handy.

The office is approx 90m2, has a large open area, 2 decent sizes office rooms, a kitchenette and a small office which can be used as a private room or phone call room. I’ve uploaded a quick floorplan I drew for those interested.

I’ve been doing a lot of research about the movement and am so eager to meet all sorts of different people through the process of having a space, but I’ve got a few beginner questions which I’m hoping can be discussed and answered here.

  1. So far, I think I’m going to have 3 membership packages - an all access pass, 3 days a week, and the casual 1 day a week. How can I keep a track of who comes in and when? Is the only solution to purchase/create some kind of management software like Nexudus or Cobot? I’d like to not have to sit at the front desk all the time.
  1. Let’s say the office has 85m2 of usable workstation space after the kitchenette is taken out, how should I calculate how many members I can there at any one time, and how many members I can have there overall?
  1. Should I concentrate my advertising/marketing towards other migration agents or similar professionals or be more broad?
  1. What are some must have things? Photocopier/Printer? Couches? Water tank? I will supply a small fridge, microwave. coffee machine, kettle, tea and coffee beans.

Any feedback on the above would be greatly appreciated. I hope to have our co-working space up and running soon!

Cheers,

Sean

Hi Lil!

I’m not involved in Sean’s group at Collins Collective, but I thought I could help with your questions :slight_smile:

  • Getting people involved in the space and building a community even while we are in the build phase of this project.

It sounds like you already have the space, but it’s not fitted out yet?

My #1 tip here is to invite your potential members to get involved with that process as MUCH as possible. It might seem a bit scary, but the easiest thing you can do is to write down your fit-out todo list and organize it by things that need to be done by “professionals” (things like electrical, for instance, and other things that require safety and code requirements) vs. things that can be done with a little bit of creativity and elbow grease.

For the things in the latter group, share that list with your prospective community and invite them to bring their interests/expertise/experiences to the table and contribute. This could be anything from painting to installing whiteboards to assembling furniture to even installing and configuring your network.

You’ll still need to play a role in leading them, but the benefit is that the space turns from being a place that they’ll come into a place that they helped put together, quite literally. I like to think of it like a modern day “barn raising” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_raising), which was both a functional process of installing a new barn but also a community experience that involved people from the community across generations, disciplines, etc.

  • Managing memberships - the amount of members vs the amount of chairs. How have you been tracking how members use the space and how many members you can sign up?

I wrote a bit in here about how we manage this. A lot of people overthink this, and it’s much simpler than people think: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/coworking/A9AdyeFAsSQ/k5gDNidJk2oJ

Basic rule of thumb is that a full time desk can only be used by one member, and flex desks can be shared by an average of 4+ members (depending on your membership spread, of course, so your milage may vary).

  • Do all of your members have 24/7 access? And for those that do can you recommend an access system?

Nope, more on how we handle that here: http://dangerouslyawesome.com/2014/07/the-neighborhood-watch-method-for-coworking-space-security/

If there are any other do’s and don’ts you could throw my way that you’ve learnt since you started it would be greatly appreciated.

Definitely peruse this list’s archives - I’ve been here answering questions for a while :wink:

I’ve also got a lot of more specific articles on my blog, http://dangerouslyawesome.com

Good luck and definitely keep us posted on your community in Melbourne! I got to visit there for the Coworking Australia conference early last year and absolutely loved that city, it reminded me a lot of my favorite things about Philadelphia :slight_smile:

-Alex