Congratulations are in order!
We built our coworking space in Toronto knowing we would not have an onsite person for at least the first few years, for the same reasons. We use a key box entry system, and all members need to greet their clients at the door because it stays locked. We do random and planned visits to the space, and installed a camera that we can view remotely if we get a call that there’s an issue.
At our first location, we were able to set up the buzzer system to our cell phones, so my business partner and I could buzz Members in remotely - it worked great, but we had to live with our phones possibly ringing at any time so that was a bit much.
Many Members have asked to have a reception, and we let them know the cost per year and how that would break down in terms of a hike in their Membership fees per month. Then they nod, and say they can do without. Note the community decision, and it demonstrates you’ve been transparent, and that the decision not to have a reception was a community one.
Another option that some of our Members have raised, is having a volunteer rotation for the reception desk duties. People seem to stop at the understanding that not everybody will offer this, and it would need to be coordinated by a volunteer as well. Nobody steps forward, so we go on another day without a rotating volunteer team working as reception. Again, turning it back to the community is helpful.
We are in Toronto at a prime location, so rent is pretty high. We’ve asked our Members if they’d like to move to something a bit lower end / middle of the line, and they love the space so much they are willing to stay at this location without a reception, rather than move someplace else with one.
I suppose they key is to figure out WHY you need one, and if it’s really important. With today’s tech, most of us are very reachable and able to be of assistance no matter where we are!
Hope that’s helpful
Inner Arts Collective
On Friday, February 23, 2018 at 10:30:35 AM UTC-5, Kevin Haggerty wrote:
So, Cowork Gloucester VA is rolling along, and we’re doing great so far (open since November and have 3 private offices leased, 1 dedicated desk, 2 part-time members, and 6 community members). However, we’re still very green and have a lot to learn.
The main thing I am hoping you can give me feedback on is the issue of member access when you or a community manager is not on-site.
Because we’re so new and don’t really have capital behind us, we haven’t been able to (and still cannot) afford hiring anyone to be a receptionist or community manager. This leaves me to have to be there pretty much every day from 9 to 5.
We allow our Private Office members to have the keypad combo and to come and go as they please, 24/7. Even that is somewhat of a risk, but we felt like we needed to limit liability in not giving that same unfettered access to the lower rungs of membership.
Are we being overcautious? Is there another way we could/should approach this? How do you handle it at your space?
Thanks in advance!