When asked, What is your favorite part of operating your coworking space?, a striking 84% of managers said this one aspect was the top choice.
Coworking survey reveals key manager pain points
This is an installment in an ongoing series highlighting statistics from a recent Coworks survey of coworking space operators and managers. The goal is to illustrate the scope of their daily responsibilities and bring major frustrations to light — along with potential solutions.
When asked "What is your biggest pain point when managing your space?" The responses were informative, but also indicative of the modern coworking spaces challenges: a manager who wears too many hats.
Tackling technology headaches
Technology causes frequent headaches for many operators due to the mishmash of software, hardware, access control systems, and connectivity failures endemic to running a high-traffic space.
Solutions range from moving platforms to the cloud for reliability, investing in faster wi-fi networks and battery backups during power fluctuations, centrally monitoring devices through digital dashboards, and using flexible coworking management systems like Coworks to automatically sync disparate tool sets.
The technology experience can feel like barely contained chaos without ongoing oversight and optimization.
Technology issues also frequently originate from members directly in needing hardware help, accessories like chargers or cables, using AV equipment, accessing wifi, and other digital tool troubleshooting. Coworking spaces inherently attract a mobile workforce relying heavily on tech with little patience for snafus that disrupt their ability to work.
Operators can dramatically reduce 1-on-1 tech support demands by offering self-help options like community equipment lockers stocked with spare supplies to purchase. Adding labeled instructions throughout the space clarifies how to use meeting room screens, wifi networks, printers, and other gadgets independently too.
Most importantly, utilizing an app like the Coworks member mobile app equips users with on-demand booking, account management, amenity access instructions, FAQs, notifications, and space information at their fingertips. Empowering members and visitors to understand policies and troubleshoot basic issues prevents managers getting bogged down in putting out minor tech fires from dawn to dusk.
Facing facility frustrations
Facility troubles like equipment breakdowns, supply chain shortages, infrastructure failures, and scheduling contract work also demand huge time investments. Coworking spaces endure unusually heavy wear-and-tear from continually hosting events, meetings, and maximizing flexible use of resources.
Managers can alleviate stress by implementing automated maintenance ticketing systems, tracking assets and usage digitally, streamlining logistics with online inventory tools, and maintaining up-to-date preventative repair schedules across locations.
As spaces scale, relying on makeshift facilities processes becomes unwieldy.
Tackling sales and marketing overload
Marketing and promotional challenges typically tie back to limited resources in terms of staff, budget, and experience — especially for newer spaces getting started.
Creative and free marketing hacks for your coworking space
Embrace your uniqueness and show potential members why your coworking space is the best thing since sliced bread.
The constant demands of digital advertising, social media, email campaigns, referral programs and tracking data can overwhelm. Managers should consider outsourcing specialized needs like graphic design, copywriting, and analytics while focusing internally on high-touch community experiences.
Investment into professional branding, websites, and centralized marketing dashboards is also imperative as the foundation for external visibility and credibility.
Bearing up under budget constraints
Budget woes like cashflow timing, unclear revenue forecasting, and general number-crunching may indicate deeper business model issues. Operators should tap local resources like SCORE mentors, Small Business Development Centers, and coworking peers for advisory support.
Using coworking management software centralizes all financial data for faster insights too. Most importantly, delving into the specifics of pricing plans, growth planning, and location networking helps managers gain financial confidence and clarity.
Continual community cultivation
Lastly, occasional community engagement issues serve as red flags that member experience needs attention. Temporarily boosting events, soliciting feedback, surveying members, and showing appreciation through small gifts or exclusives helps smooth things over.
Coworking thrives on personal rapport and spaces live or die by word-of-mouth. Make member relations the priority whenever momentum seems to slow.
Event ideas and strategies for your coworking community
In this episode of Coworking Convos from Cat Johnson and The Lab, three coworking leaders brought the wisdom when it comes to events that engage members and support their spaces.
While juggling so many complex demands, it's no wonder coworking operators and managers feel frustrated at times. Still, solutions exist – often through fairly simple organizational changes, outsourcing help, adopting unifying platforms like Coworks, and re-centering focus back to members.
As the industry matures, expect leading operators to address these pain points head-on while continuing to scale their warm, authentic hospitality ethos through any growth spurts.