Coworking Managers

Coworks to present Community Manager Awards at GWA 2023

At the GWA FlexForward conference in 2022, Coworks CEO DeShawn Brown stood onstage with an incredible group of people: coworking community managers who had been nominated by their spaces for Manager of the Year.

“It was such a privilege to see these folks be recognized for what they do every day,” Brown said. “We know that a Community Manager is a unique role: it’s a blend of operations, hospitality, concierge, tech support, reception, and more. They are the ones we think about when we build our space management software.”

Coworks CEO DeShawn Brown on Stage at GWA FlexForward 2022 with William Edmondson and nominees of the Community Manager Awards

And happily, Coworks will once again help bring the Community Manager Awards to the stage for GWA FlexForward 2023. Nominations closed just last week, so now a select group of industry insiders will review the submissions and make their selection.

Why does a Community Manager matter?

The success of a coworking space relies not just on a well-designed floor plan or high-speed internet connection, but more importantly on the sense of community it fosters among its members. 

Put yourself in the shoes of a person walking into a coworking space for the first time. It's not just about the desks, the chairs, or the coffee machine. It's about the people you meet, the connections you make, and the sense of belonging you feel. The atmosphere is more than just a physical environment; it’s a space filled with ideas, collaborations, and a community — all expertly curated and nurtured by the Community Manager.

The Community Manager is the shepherd of a coworking space, steering its course towards inclusivity, collaboration, and creativity. They are the architects of interactions, building the framework for rich relationships and productive partnerships. Their role stretches far beyond management; they are the lifeblood of the coworking ecosystem, fostering a sense of belonging and a spirit of enterprise among its members. 

To understand the role of a community manager, let's consider an analogy. In the Art of Gathering, author Priya Parker uses the metaphor of the host at a dinner party. The community manager is just like that host, setting the tone, making introductions, resolving conflicts, and making sure everyone feels seen and heard. They create a safe and inviting atmosphere where everyone can bring their whole selves to the table.

The Community Manager as conductor of an orchestra

A Community Manager lays the groundwork for meaningful relationships, navigating the thin line between professional and personal connections. They embody empathy, creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable and accepted. This empathic approach allows members to share their struggles, dreams, and successes openly, leading to a deeper, more meaningful sense of community.

A lively conversation between professional women at a coworking space

In addition to being the glue that holds the coworking community together, a Community Manager also orchestrates the rhythm of the space. They design events and activities that encourage members to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other. These could be professional development workshops, networking events, or social gatherings like happy hours or game nights. 

However, the success of these events depends on a deep understanding of the members’ needs, interests, and goals. A Community Manager, also has to be a master of active listening, capable of discerning the unspoken needs of the community and translating them into engaging and meaningful gatherings. 

The cultivators of community

Community Managers also play a pivotal role in conflict resolution. Just like any community, coworking spaces aren't immune to conflicts. With a diverse group of individuals sharing a common space, disagreements are bound to arise. The community manager, in this situation, steps in as a mediator, ensuring disputes are addressed and resolved in a fair and respectful manner.

The role of the Community Manager is, indeed, multi-faceted and complex. However, the essence of their job lies in their capacity to create meaningful connections, foster a sense of belonging, and inspire collaborative creativity. By nurturing these elements, they contribute to a thriving coworking community where each member feels valued, heard, and empowered.

In terms of what you can provide to support the success of a community manager, it's essential to recognize the importance of their role and provide them with the resources, training, and flexibility they need to shape the coworking community. Encourage them to bring their creativity and personality to the role, and trust them to understand and cater to the community's needs.

Ultimately, the Community Manager is not merely an administrator or a facilitator. They are the cultivators of a coworking community. By supporting and empowering them, you are investing in the heart and soul of your coworking space. And in doing so, you are contributing to the creation of a vibrant, inclusive, and inspiring coworking community. 

A happy man shares information with happy colleagues at a coworking space

Look, the fact is, the Community Manager in a coworking space is irreplaceable. Their work, while often behind the scenes, is the essential component in creating an engaging, productive, and inclusive environment. 

They not only manage the space but more importantly, they manage relationships, encourage collaboration, resolve conflict, and foster a sense of community that makes coworking spaces more than just places to work. They make them places to grow, innovate, and belong. And as long as we make Coworks software, we’ll make it work for them.

Join us at GWA FlexForward 2023

The annual conference of the Global Workspace Association is hosted in a different city each year, and this year it’s in Washington, DC. Last year, over 300 operators and occupiers came together in Frisco, Texas outside of Dallas. It included everybody from small to really big operators. There were franchisors and independents.The networking part of the event is truly the best part. Attendees trade ideas and share numbers.

Coworks is excited to be a sponsor. And the event welcomes some big thinkers in the industry. Register now!

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